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Climatological aspects of cyclogenesis near Adélie Land Antarctica

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The Adélie Land coastal region of Antarctica is one of the most prominent cyclogenesis regions in the Southern Hemisphere, and is adjacent to the continent's most intense katabatic wind regime. However, the physical mechanisms responsible for cyclogenesis are not known. A manual analysis of cyclogenesis for the 2003–2005 period using output from the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) identifies two primary patterns of cyclogenesis near the Adélie Land coast. For “secondary development” cyclones, enhanced low‐level cyclonic vorticity and baroclinicity result from the combination of an existing synoptic‐scale cyclone to the west, coastal barrier winds and katabatic winds. “Lee cyclogenesis” occurs near 152°E on the cyclonic‐shear side of the Adélie Land katabatic jet, where a low‐level warm potential temperature anomaly sets up a lee trough that becomes mobile with the arrival of upper‐level synoptic‐scale forcing. The representation of both “secondary development” and “lee cyclogenesis” cyclones in an automated cyclone‐tracking scheme is explored, where it is found that the automated scheme overestimates cyclogenesis for this region. The location of the Antarctic coastal cyclogenesis maximum near Adélie Land is due to the unique juxtaposition of the extraordinary katabatic wind regime and dissipating synoptic‐scale cyclones to the west.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2: Department of Geography, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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