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EESA09H3 (185)

Lecture 4

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Environmental Science
Tanzina Mohsin

EESA09H WINDLecture 4 NotesOutline of this lecturePart I Midlatitude CyclonesWhat are midlatitude cyclonesMidlatitude cyclones in the Great Lakes regionFamous Midlatitude CyclonesEdmund FitzgeraldPerfect Storm1998 Ice StormPart II ResearchToronto Blizzard of 1999Gough 2000 Climatological Context of the Blizzard of 1999Part I Midlatitude Cyclonesa What are midlatitude cyclonesIn Lecture 2 we examined the large scale circulation of the world Midlatitude cyclones occur within the moving boundary of the Ferrel and Polar cells referred to as the Polar front A series of low and high pressures propagate along the polar front These lows are called midlatitude cyclones and largely characterize the weather conditions of the midlatitudes in the fall winter and spring During the summer the polar front often lies to the north of the Great Lakes region Storms during the summer are either midlatitude cyclones or convective storms arising from surface heating Midlatitude cyclones commonly referred to as low pressures are the major source of weather variation in the midlatitudes 30 to 60These storms occur approximately every four to seven daysIn North America they occur at the boundary of two major air masses a cold polar air mass cP and a moist tropical air mass mT The warmth and latent heat in water vapour of the mT air provide the energy for the storms In North America there are four major regions of cyclone development Two of the regions are on the leeside eastern side of the Rocky Mountains producing Alberta Clippers and Colorado Lows The other two regions have cyclones developing over ocean bodies Gulf Lows begin over the Gulf of Mexico and Hatteras Lows Noreasters off the eastern coast of the United States Midlatitude cyclones are typically 100s to 1000s km in extent larger than hurricanes They have less intense winds than hurricanes They may have thunderstorms and tornadoes associated with them along the cold front
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