A climatology of Northern Hemisphere cyclonic cloud vortices is developed from high-resolution Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) infrared imagery for mid-season months. The technique which is described involves pattern recognition using a detailed vortex classification system. Variations in hemispheric frequencies of successive vortex types are dominantly seasonal rather than latitudinal and imply a close association with surface (mainly cryosphere) variations. More extensive sea ice or snow cover in April and January is associated with increased cyclogenesis, indicating enhanced surface-atmosphere feedback. A significant relationship exists between cloud- vortex variations and the sea ice boundary, but not with the continental snowline.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)