A mid-latitude cyclone, also known as an extratropical cyclone, is a huge low-pressure system of synoptic scale that is found in the middle latitudes. It has a cyclonic flow, but it is not a tropical storm or a hurricane. It causes windy and wet weather, and occurs most often in the United States during the winter season.Continue Reading
Mid-latitude cyclones have a definite life cycle. They originate as a frontal wave, grow to an occluded cyclone and finally die over a period of several days as cut-off cyclones. Their formation is associated with fronts, and they form easily in winter because of the large difference in the temperature between the north pole and the equator. A jet stream, which brings cool air from the north to the southern regions of United States, plays an important part in the location of these cyclones.
One system can cause extreme weather across the entire United States. Sometimes winds with strength similar to hurricane-force winds develop during a mid-latitude cyclone, causing severe damage along the coasts. If the cyclone slows down and persists for an extended period of time over an area, the enormous precipitation, mostly snow, damages trees, power lines, buildings and bridges. The "comma" appearance of a mid-latitude cyclone on satellite pictures makes its identification easy.Learn more about Storms
According to Nasa.gov, Hurricane Katrina formed after the warm rising air in the tropics formed into a cyclone. The hurricane began in the central Bahamas and came ashore as a Category 1 storm in southern Florida. After causing 11 deaths in that state, the storm made a southwestern turn and cut through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.Full Answer >
A cyclone is a rotating vortex of air caused by thermal currents around a low-pressure center. Tropical cyclones are enormous storms that rotate around a vertical axis, driven by warmth and moisture from tropical ocean waters. Tornadoes and land-based cyclones occur when unstable winds create rotation in the upper levels of a storm, and a strong downdraft pulls the vortex down to touch the ground.Full Answer >
The 1970 Bhola cyclone was the deadliest tropical cyclone of all time, claiming between 300,000 and 500,000 lives in the Ganges River Delta and causing approximately $490 million worth of damage in U.S. dollars. Its strength equaled that of a category 3 hurricane.Full Answer >
According to Geoscience Australia, the main source for the generation of a tropical cyclone is the abundance of warm water and favorable wind patterns that can persist for several days as the cyclone develops. Encyclopedia Britannica explains that warm, moisture-saturated air continues to rise through the center of the circulation as long as the air surrounding the core is cooler and heavier. The continuous vertical movement allows clouds to develop.Full Answer >