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GBDNA / Longwave Lows

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U N D E R   C O N S T R U C T I O N

Upper Level Cyclonic Systems
Longwave Lows

A storm falls into the “longwave” category when its representation at 500MB is closed, semicircular and alters the atmospheric height field to its north and east (that is, creates ridges through warm advection aloft). Another characteristic of a longwave low is slow motion and concentrated areas of precipitation within the cold and overrunning sectors. The core of vorticity is very intense, yet compact, and is more supportive of stratiform rain and snow to the immediate north and west of the surface low center. As an example, the Feb 23 1977 storm shown below had blizzard conditions and thundersnow in Goodland KS, while Hays KS 100 miles to the east saw sunshine and 60 deg (albeit with very strong straight-line winds).


"A Guide to Baroclinic Disturbances" is © 2007 by Larry Cosgrove.
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