Cyclogenesis in Cold Air Masses

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  • 1 Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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Abstract

The small-scale and rapid development of polar lows over relatively data-sparse areas results in a special forecast challenge for the operational forecasting community. This paper constitutes a review of recent advances in our understanding of cyclogenesis in polar air masses. The review is primarily comprised of a survey of the observed features of polar lows as documented in a number of case studies presented in the recent literature. The review is organized on the basis of a combination of observational and physical considerations and is aimed at diagnosing common types of developments. Theoretical ideas concerning the origins of polar lows and results of numerical modeling experiments aimed at simulating their development are also summarized. Finally, a discussion of approaches to the operational problem of forecasting polar lows is given.

Abstract

The small-scale and rapid development of polar lows over relatively data-sparse areas results in a special forecast challenge for the operational forecasting community. This paper constitutes a review of recent advances in our understanding of cyclogenesis in polar air masses. The review is primarily comprised of a survey of the observed features of polar lows as documented in a number of case studies presented in the recent literature. The review is organized on the basis of a combination of observational and physical considerations and is aimed at diagnosing common types of developments. Theoretical ideas concerning the origins of polar lows and results of numerical modeling experiments aimed at simulating their development are also summarized. Finally, a discussion of approaches to the operational problem of forecasting polar lows is given.

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