Short waves in the upper-level flow

  • Short waves (short wave troughs)- are embedded in the long waves
  • move quickly to the east
  • weaken when move to a long-wave ridge
  • strengthen when they move to a long-wave trough
  • Short waves are readily observable at mid levels (e.g., 500 mb chart)
  • Short waves are an important ingredient for the development and intensification of a mid-latitude cyclone - through baroclinic instability

QUESTION FOR THOUGHT:  How are short waves identifiable in weather data?  in other words, which maps would you use to identify their location?  Where are they today?

So, let's now talk about the necessary ingredients required for the formation and intensification of a mid-latitude cyclone.....