Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 507–534, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2-507-2021
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 507–534, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2-507-2021

Research article 24 Jun 2021

Research article | 24 Jun 2021

The three-dimensional life cycles of potential vorticity cutoffs: a global and selected regional climatologies in ERA-Interim (1979–2018)

Raphael Portmann et al.

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Latest update: 17 Sep 2021
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Short summary
We explore the three-dimensional life cycle of cyclonic structures (so-called PV cutoffs) near the tropopause. PV cutoffs are frequent weather systems in the extratropics that lead to high-impact weather. However, many unknowns exist regarding their evolution. We present a new method to track PV cutoffs as 3D objects in reanalysis data by following air parcels along the flow. We study the climatological life cycles of PV cutoffs in detail and propose a classification into three types.