GEOG 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Cold Front

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GEOG LESSON 16
MID-LATITUDE WAVE CYCLONE
Mid-Latitude Wave Cyclone is a low pressure cell that forms &
moves along a frontal boundary. It exhibits counter-clockwise
circulation (NH) around the low center and produces a wavelike
deformation of the front.
high pressure cells do not have frontal boundries
Stages of the Wave Cyclone Life Cycle: (3/4/5!!!!!!)**** 3-7 days
Stage 1: Two air masses, a cold (cP or mP) & a warm (mT) are set-up
along a stationary front & move parallel to it.
Stage 2: A wave forms along the stationary front as warm air starts to move
pole ward and cold air moves equator ward.
Stage 3: cyclonic (counter-clockwise) circulation develops, with general convergence at
the surface and uplifting. The warm air overrides the cold air (frontal wedging) and a
cold front and warm front are established.
Stage 4: The Cold front moves faster than the Warm front and begins
to overtake it. This is the beginning stage of occlusion and the
formation of an Occluded Front.
Stage 5: Full development of an Occluded Front has a occurred & the
system is at its maximum intensity. It exhibits a steep pressure
gradient & strong winds and it is in this stage when the severest weather (tornadoes,
hail, etc.) will likely occur, if it going to occur.
Stage 6: The pressure gradient weakens, energy supply is exhausted &
the system dissipates.
A Mid-Latitude Wave Cyclone can be thought of as having 3 sections
based primarily on temperature, but exhibiting different
weather as well.
Warm Sector is the area between the warm front and the cold front
Cool Sector is the area ahead of the warm front
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