Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 597–608 | Cite as

High-resolution simulation and analysis of the mature structure of a polar low over the sea of Japan on 21 January 1997



This paper presents a high-resolution simulation of a remarkable polar low observed over the Sea of Japan on 21 January 1997 by using a 5-km mesh non-hydrostatic model MRI-NHM (Meteorological Research Institute Non-Hydrostatic Model). A 24-hour simulation starting from 0000 UTC 21 January 1997 successfully reproduced the observed features of the polar low such as the wrapping of western part of an initial E-W orientation vortex, the spiral-shaped bands, the cloud-free “eye”, and the warm core structure at its mature stage. The “eye” of the simulated polar low was relatively dry, and was associated with a strong downdraft. A thermodynamic budget analysis indicates that the “warm core” in the “eye” region was mainly caused by the adiabatic warming associated with the downdraft. The relationship among the condensational diabatic heating, the vertical velocity, the convergence of the moisture flux, and the circulation averaged within a 50 km×50 km square area around the polar low center shows that they form a positive feedback loop, and this loop is not inconsistent with the CISK (Conditional Instability of the Second Kind) mechanism during the developing stage of the polar low.

Key words

polar low Sea of Japan high-resolution simulation warm core structure 


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© Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine MeteorologyOcean University of ChinaQingdao
  2. 2.Laboratory of Physical OceanographyOcean University of ChinaQingdao
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijing

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