A study of extratropical dry surface cyclone development from the potential vorticity perspective

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Meteorology and Physical Oceanography

First Committee Member

Rainer Bleck, Committee Chair


The life cycle of dry surface cyclone development in an idealized westerly jet is studied in detail using a variety of isentropic models. Results are interpreted from the potential vorticity (PV) perspective.A quasi-geostrophic, isentropic model is used to study the optimal phase lag between an upper-level and a lower-level PV anomaly, employing the vortex interaction concept proposed by Hoskins et al. (1985). This study focuses on the quantitative aspects of surface pressure fall due to differences in spacial displacement between these two anomalies.Both linear and nonlinear primitive equation models are used to simulate and study the life cycle of surface cyclones. The numerical solutions are analyzed and examined with an emphasis on potential vorticity distribution.The above experiments are repeated in a short channel to concentrate on the impact of nonlinearity on surface cyclone development.


Physics, Atmospheric Science

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