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Cyclones: Occluded

  • By: Nicholas L. Betts
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Occluded cyclones represent the late-mature stage of short-lived, rapidly moving extratropical cyclones that, with much slower-moving anticyclones, are responsible for the day-to-day weather changes in the middle latitudes. In redistributing energy and moisture, occluded cyclones are an integral component of the general circulation of the atmosphere. Juxtaposition of contrasting air masses with different temperatures and densities that resist mixing promotes the establishment of a front. A wave development on this front initiates cyclonic circulation and the genesis of a low-pressure region. The front develops discrete warm and cold portions separated by a warm sector. Through time, the cold front moves more rapidly than the warm front and eventually overtakes the warm one. Then, occlusion takes place. Precipitation associated with occluded cyclones may be of moderate ...

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