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Encyclopedia > Extratropical

Extratropical is a term used in advisories and tropical summaries to indicate that a cyclone has lost its "tropical" characteristics. The term implies both poleward displacement of the cyclone and the conversion of the cyclone's primary energy source from the release of latent heat of condensation to baroclinic (the temperature contrast between warm and cold air masses) processes. It is important to note that cyclones can become extratropical and still retain winds of hurricane or tropical storm force.

See also: tropical cyclone, Mid-latitude cyclone

  Results from FactBites:
CH2.5 (1896 words)
Compound extratropical transformation occurs when the tropical cyclone merges with a pre-existing extratropical cyclone, which usually intensifies because of the additional diabatic heat and moisture.
Complex extratropical transformation occurs when a tropical cyclone approaches a frontal zone and induces a new low-pressure wave on the front.
Extratropical cyclogenesis occurs as low-level ascent associated with warm advection becomes superimposed with upper-level ascent associated with cyclonic vorticity advection.
ALERT™ - Extratropical Cyclone (441 words)
Extratropical cyclones arise through a process called cyclogenesis, in which cold and warm air masses interact in an unstable environment.
Because extratropical cyclones form where cold and warm air masses come into contact with each other, however, storm formation is most favorable in the mid latitudes (between 35 and 60 degrees latitude) of both the Pacific, near the Asian coast, and the Atlantic, near Greenland and the North American coasts.
Extratropical storm systems are typically comprised of multiple areas of relatively low and high pressure, the locations of which can change quickly and frequently.
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