ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2018, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 249-264

Conditions and mechanisms of mesoscale cyclogenesis over the Chukchi Sea

I. A. Gurvich 1 , E.V. Zabolotskikh 2 , M.K. Pichugin 1 
1 V. I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia
2 Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Accepted: 07.06.2018
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2018-15-4-249-264
An investigation was conducted to identify the areas of mesocyclonic activity over the Chukchi Sea. The conditions and mechanisms of mesoscale cyclogenesis were revealed and classified. The study was based on the synergistic use of multi-sensor satellite measurement data and the CFSv2 model from the operational analysis of the Climate Forecast System, Version 2 of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), supplemented by synoptic surface analysis and baric topography maps. Satellite visible and infrared (IR) images of the MODIS spectroradiometer from the Aqua and Terra satellites and the VIIRS radiometer from the Suomi NPP satellite were used to identify polar mesocyclone (PMC) cloud system. The fields of the atmospheric water vapor content, cloud liquid water content, and sea surface wind speed were retrieved from the measurements of the AMSR2 passive microwave radiometer onboard GCOM-W1 satellite, using the algorithms based on brightness temperature physical modeling with the subsequent geophysical parameter retrievals using neural networks. A complex analysis of the CFSv2 and ASCAT (MetOp-A/B) sea surface wind vector fields in period of September-December 2016 was performed. Four typical mechanisms of mesoscale cyclogenesis over the Chukchi Sea and north adjacent Arctic Ocean were identified: I ― PMCs in the cyclonic wind shear along the baric trough axis; II ― reverse-shear PMCs in the convergence zone of air flows; III ― leeward PMCs under the influence of the orography of the Lisburn Peninsula in the northeast direction of the onflowing stream; IV ― comma cloud behind the cold front in the rear of synoptic scale cyclones (secondary vortices). It is found out that the orographic effect shows itself when a PMC crosses the eastern extremity of the Wrangel Island. The main condition for the appearance and development of PMCs is the presence of cold upper-level lows and shallow baroclinic zones in the atmospheric boundary layer, which are formed as a result of large temperature contrasts along the sea ice edges. Despite the low atmospheric water vapor content in the PMC cloud system (4–8 kg/m2), they are clearly distinguished in water vapor fields, which can be used to identify them along with sea surface wind fields and satellite images of clouds.
Keywords: polar mesocyclones, Chukchi Sea, satellites, multisensory measurements, atmosphere water vapor content, cloud liquid water, sea surface wind, ice cover
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