Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 507–534, 2021
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 507–534, 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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Cited articles

Abatzoglou, J. T.: Contribution of cutoff lows to precipitation across the United States, J. Appl. Meteorol. Clim., 55, 893–899,, 2016. a, b
Al-Nassar, A. R., Pelegrí, J. L., Sangrà, P., Alarcon, M., and Jansa, A.: Cut-off low systems over Iraq: Contribution to annual precipitation and synoptic analysis of extreme events, Int. J. Climatol., 40, 908–926,, 2020. a
Appenzeller, C. and Davies, H.: Structure of stratospheric intrusions into the troposphere, Nature, 358, 570–572,, 1992. a
Appenzeller, C., Davies, H., and Norton, W.: Fragmentation of stratospheric intrusions, J. Geophys. Res., 101, 1435–1456,, 1996. a
Awan, N. K. and Formayer, H.: Cutoff low systems and their relevance to large-scale extreme precipitation in the European Alps, Theor. Appl. Climatol., 129, 149–158,, 2017. a
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.