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Extratropical cyclones: a century of research on meteorology's centerpiece

Schultz, David M. and Bosart, Lance F. and Colle, Brian A. and Davies, Huw C. and Dearden, Christopher and Keyser, Daniel and Olivia, Martius and Roebber, Paul J. and Steenburgh, James and Volkert, Hans and Winters, Andrew C. (2019) Extratropical cyclones: a century of research on meteorology's centerpiece. AMS Meteorological Monographs, 16.1-16.56. doi: 10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-18-0015.1. ISSN 0065-9401.

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Official URL: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-18-0015.1


The year 1919 was important in meteorology, not only because it was the year that the American Meteorological Society was founded, but also for two other reasons. One of the foundational papers in extratropical cyclone structure by Jakob Bjerknes was published in 1919, leading to what is now known as the Norwegian cyclone model. Also that year, a series of meetings was held that led to the formation of organizations that promoted the international collaboration and scientific exchange required for extratropical-cyclone research, which by necessity involves spatial scales spanning national borders. This chapter describes the history of scientific inquiry into the structure, evolution, and dynamics of extratropical cyclones, their constituent fronts, and their attendant jet streams and storm tracks. We refer to these phenomena collectively as the centerpiece of meteorology because of their central role in fostering meteorological research during this period. This extremely productive century in extratropical-cyclone research has been possible because of (a) the practical challenges of addressing poor forecasts that had large socio-economic consequences, (b) the intermingling of theory, observations, and diagnosis (including dynamical modeling) to provide improved physical understanding and conceptual models, and (c) strong international cooperation. Conceptual rameworks for cyclones arise from a desire to classify and understand cyclones; they include the Norwegian cyclone model and its sister the Shapiro–Keyser cyclone model. The challenge of understanding the dynamics of cyclones led to such theoretical frameworks as quasigeostrophy, baroclinic instability, semigeostrophy, and frontogenesis. The challenge of predicting explosive extratropical cyclones in particular led to new theoretical developments such as potential-vorticity thinking and downstream development. Deeper appreciation of the limits of predictability has resulted from an evolution from3 determinism to chaos. Finally, observational insights led to detailed cyclone and frontal structure, storm tracks, and the classification of rainbands.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/122153/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:Please note the Copyright Policy of the American Meteorological Society, which is available under https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/ethical-guidelines-and-ams-policies/ams-copyright-policy/
Title:Extratropical cyclones: a century of research on meteorology's centerpiece
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Schultz, David M.Univ. Manchester, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bosart, Lance F.State Univ. of New York, Albany, NY, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dearden, ChristopherUniv. Leeds, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Keyser, DanielState Univ. of New York, Albany, NY, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Olivia, MartiusUniv. Bern, SchweizUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Roebber, Paul J.Univ. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Steenburgh, JamesUniv. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Volkert, HansDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1688-208XUNSPECIFIED
Winters, Andrew C.State Univ. of New York, Albany, NY, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:30 January 2019
Journal or Publication Title:AMS Meteorological Monographs
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:16.1-16.56
Keywords:Geschichte der Meteorologie, Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Wettervorhersage
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Atmospheric and climate research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Transport Meteorology
Deposited By: Volkert, Dr. Hans
Deposited On:11 Oct 2018 07:48
Last Modified:19 Nov 2021 20:34

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