TITLE

The Role of Shearwise and Transverse Quasigeostrophic Vertical Motions in the Midlatitude Cyclone Life Cycle

AUTHOR(S)
Martin, Jonathan E.
PUB. DATE
April 2006
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Apr2006, Vol. 134 Issue 4, p1174
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The total quasigeostrophic (QG) vertical motion field is partitioned into transverse and shearwise couplets oriented parallel to, and along, the geostrophic vertical shear, respectively. The physical role played by each of these components of vertical motion in the midlatitude cyclone life cycle is then illustrated by examination of the life cycles of two recently observed cyclones. The analysis suggests that the origin and subsequent intensification of the lower-tropospheric cyclone responds predominantly to column stretching associated with the updraft portion of the shearwise QG vertical motion, which displays a single, dominant, middle-tropospheric couplet at all stages of the cyclone life cycle. The transverse QG omega, associated with the cyclones’ frontal zones, appears only after those frontal zones have been established. The absence of transverse ascent maxima and associated column stretching in the vicinity of the surface cyclone center suggests that the transverse ω plays little role in the initial development stage of the storms examined here. Near the end of the mature stage of the life cycle, however, in what appears to be a characteristic distribution, a transverse ascent maximum along the western edge of the warm frontal zone becomes superimposed with the shearwise ascent maximum that fuels continued cyclogenesis. It is suggested that use of the shearwise/transverse diagnostic approach may provide new and/or supporting insight regarding a number of synoptic processes including the development of upper-level jet/front systems and the nature of the physical distinction between type A and type B cyclogenesis events.
ACCESSION #
20583481

 

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