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Study of Explosive and Nonexplosive Cyclogenesis during FGGE

Carlyle H. WashDepartment of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

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Robert A. HaleDepartment of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

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Paul H. DobosDepartment of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

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Eric J. WrightDepartment of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

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Abstract

Explosive cyclogenesis during the winter of the First Global GARP Experiment (January–February 1979) is analyzed using the revised European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses. Explosive cyclogenesis is defined as a decrease in the sea level pressure at the rate of 1 mb h−1 for at least 12 h. Diagnostics for 23 explosively developing cases and 16 nonexplosive cases are evaluated. Parameters compared include the dry static stability, low-level relative vorticity, vorticity advection, upper-level divergence, kinematic vertical velocities, and the strength of the low-level baroclinity. These parameters are compared statistically at the initial, 12-, and 24-h time periods. Parameters for which the explosive and nonexplosive cyclone ensembles were statistically separable are the kinematic vertical velocity and the upper-level divergence and vorticity advection. The strong upper-level processes for the explosive cases at the initial time indicate the importance of upper-tropospheric features in producing the stronger vertical motions and more rapid cyclogenesis.

Abstract

Explosive cyclogenesis during the winter of the First Global GARP Experiment (January–February 1979) is analyzed using the revised European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses. Explosive cyclogenesis is defined as a decrease in the sea level pressure at the rate of 1 mb h−1 for at least 12 h. Diagnostics for 23 explosively developing cases and 16 nonexplosive cases are evaluated. Parameters compared include the dry static stability, low-level relative vorticity, vorticity advection, upper-level divergence, kinematic vertical velocities, and the strength of the low-level baroclinity. These parameters are compared statistically at the initial, 12-, and 24-h time periods. Parameters for which the explosive and nonexplosive cyclone ensembles were statistically separable are the kinematic vertical velocity and the upper-level divergence and vorticity advection. The strong upper-level processes for the explosive cases at the initial time indicate the importance of upper-tropospheric features in producing the stronger vertical motions and more rapid cyclogenesis.

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