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


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2019, Vol. 16, No. 6, pp. 272-280

Mesoscale cyclogenesis over the Sea of Japan. Part I: quantitative characteristics

I.A. Gurvich 1 , M.K. Pichugin 1 , E.S. Khazanova 1 
1 V.I. Il’ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia
Accepted: 29.10.2019
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2019-16-6-272-280
This paper analyses mesocyclones activities over the Sea of Japan for 15 cold seasons (October – April 2003–2018) using the archive of the polar mesocyclones (PMCs) images obtained by the MODIS spectroradiometer aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites. PMCs were identified from the cloud signatures on visible and infrared satellite images with the support of satellite measurements of ocean surface wind speed. On average, 35.5 PMCs occur over the Sea of Japan during the cold season. Mesocyclonic activity noticeably increases in December – February, when more than 70 % of all mesocyclones are formed. High repeatability, 10.5 PMCs, is registered in January. Its interannual variability is significant and partially related to the shift to December during the cold seasons 2003/2004–2007/2008. Distribution of the PMCs density is characterized by two main areas of mesocyclogenesis in the South-Western and Northern parts of the sea. Trajectories of PMCs with a southern component prevail and account for 60 % of all mesocyclones. The oscillatory nature of inter-annual variability was revealed, it’s characterized by a high correlation between the number of PMCs and cold air-outbreaks. Intensification of mesoscale cyclogenesis was observed in the last two cold seasons (2016/2017 and 2017/2018) due to atmospheric blocking (AB). During AB the Pacific upper level ridge was located over the Bering Sea. It should be noted that the archive of satellite images of PMCs is a valuable tool for verifying the results of statistical and climatological reanalysis-based studies which are becoming increasingly common.
Keywords: polar mesocyclones, Sea of Japan, multisensor satellite measurements, cold air-outbreaks, blocking, Pacific upper level ridge
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