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Monday, March 21, 2011

Mait Sepp & Jaak Jaagus, Climate Change 105 (March 2011), Changes in the activity and tracks of Arctic cyclones

Climate Change, Vol. 105, Nos. 3-4 (March 2011) 577-595; DOI: 10.1007/s10584-010-9893-7

Changes in the activity and tracks of Arctic cyclones


Changes in the frequency and air pressure of cyclones that enter or are formed within the Arctic basin are herein examined by applying the database of cyclones created using NCEP/NCAR re-analysis. The Arctic basin is defined as the area north of latitude 68° N. Deep cyclones with a mean sea level pressure (SLP) of below 1,000 hPa, were analysed separately from shallow cyclones. Changes in the variables in the first, last, deepest and northernmost points of cyclones were studied. The cyclones were grouped into sectors by using the point on latitude 68° N at which the cyclone entered the Arctic region. The analysis described herein shows that the frequency of incoming cyclones (i.e., those that entered the Arctic basin) increased significantly during the period 1948–2002, but that the frequency of Arctic cyclones formed within the Arctic basin did not. The frequency of deep cyclones that entered the Arctic basin, as well as the frequency of cyclones that formed within it, clearly increased, while the frequency of shallow Arctic cyclones decreased. The most significant changes in the seasonal parameters associated with the cyclones occurred in winter. The mean annual SLP of deep cyclones decreased significantly, particularly for deep Arctic cyclones. The frequency of incoming cyclones showed an increase in the Bering Strait, Alaskan, Baffin Sea, and East Siberian sectors.

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