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What are Cyclones and Anti-Cyclones?




Cyclones and anticyclones are meteorological phenomena that refer to large-scale air circulation patterns.


Cyclones are low-pressure systems that rotate in a counterclockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere, and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. They typically bring with them strong winds and heavy rainfall, and can cause significant damage if they make landfall.


Anticyclones, on the other hand, are high-pressure systems that rotate in the opposite direction of cyclones. They are associated with clear, dry weather and often bring calm, settled conditions.


Both cyclones and anticyclones are important to weather forecasting and can have significant impacts on the climate of a region. Cyclones are typically more destructive and can cause widespread damage, while anticyclones often bring more pleasant weather conditions.


How are cyclones formed?


Cyclone formation is a complex meteorological process that typically occurs over warm ocean waters in the tropics. It begins with the development of a low-pressure area, which is an area of lower atmospheric pressure relative to the surrounding air. This low-pressure area can be caused by a variety of factors, including warm sea surface temperatures and atmospheric instability.


As the low-pressure area develops, it begins to rotate due to the Coriolis effect, which is caused by the Earth's rotation. This rotation causes air to begin flowing inward towards the low-pressure center, where it rises and cools. As the air cools, it condenses and forms clouds, which can eventually produce heavy rainfall.


As the low-pressure system continues to develop, the winds around it increase in speed and the system becomes more organized. At this point, it is considered a tropical depression, and if the winds reach a sustained speed of at least 39 mph (63 km/h), it is classified as a tropical storm. If the winds reach a sustained speed of at least 74 mph (119 km/h), it is classified as a tropical cyclone, or hurricane.


Tropical cyclones typically continue to intensify as they move over warm ocean waters, and can become quite large and powerful. However, they eventually weaken and dissipate as they move over cooler waters or make landfall.






How are anticyclones formed?

Anticyclones are meteorological phenomena that refer to high-pressure systems with circulating air patterns. These systems are characterized by closed isobars, which are lines on a weather map that connect points of equal atmospheric pressure. The circulation of air in an anticyclone is from the central high pressure towards the periphery, and due to the Coriolis effect, the winds around the system blow outwards in a circular direction.


The difference in pressure between the center and periphery of an anticyclone can range from 10 to 20 mb, and sometimes higher. Anticyclones are typically larger in size and area than temperate cyclones, with diameters that are 75% larger. Temperate anticyclones can be very extensive, with a single system covering nearly half of the United States.


The track of an anticyclone is highly variable and unpredictable. They can move very slowly, and sometimes become stationary over a particular location for several days. The average velocity of an anticyclone is 30 to 50 km per hour.


Anticyclones can form due to the descent of either polar cold air masses or warm tropical air masses. They are more common in subtropical high-pressure belts and polar high-pressure belts, where the air is sinking from the upper troposphere to the lower troposphere. However, they are practically absent in equatorial regions.


The formation of anticyclonic conditions in polar high-pressure belts is a thermal phenomenon, whereas the formation of anticyclonic conditions in subtropical high-pressure belts is a dynamic phenomenon. As such, anticyclones in polar high-pressure belts are referred to as thermal anticyclones, and anticyclones in subtropical high-pressure belts are referred to as dynamic anticyclones.





What are various types of cyclones?


There are several types of cyclones, including tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones, and subtropical cyclones.


Tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes or typhoons, are intense low-pressure systems that form over warm ocean waters in the tropics. They are characterized by strong winds and heavy rainfall, and can cause significant damage if they make landfall.


Extratropical cyclones, also known as mid-latitude cyclones or frontal cyclones, are low-pressure systems that form along the polar front, where cold polar air meets warm tropical air. They typically bring with them strong winds, heavy precipitation, and changes in temperature.


Subtropical cyclones are a hybrid of tropical and extratropical cyclones, and typically form over warm ocean waters in the subtropical latitudes. They are characterized by thunderstorms and strong winds, but typically do not have the intense rainfall and winds associated with tropical cyclones.


In addition to these three types of cyclones, there are also other types of cyclones that can form in different parts of the world, including polar vortexes and mesocyclones.


What are various types of Anticyclones?


There are two main types of anticyclones: thermal anticyclones and dynamic anticyclones.


Thermal anticyclones are high-pressure systems that form in polar high-pressure belts due to the descent of cold air masses. These systems are characterized by the presence of cold, stable air, and are typically associated with clear, dry weather conditions.


Dynamic anticyclones, on the other hand, are high-pressure systems that form in subtropical high-pressure belts due to the descent of warm air masses. These systems are characterized by the presence of warm, stable air, and are typically associated with clear, dry weather conditions.


In addition to these two types of anticyclones, there are also other types of high-pressure systems that can form in different parts of the world, such as the Siberian high and the North Atlantic high. These systems typically have similar characteristics to anticyclones, but can vary in size, strength, and other characteristics depending on their location and the specific weather conditions. These are also called as Blocking Anticyclones.


Blocking Anticyclones


Blocking anticyclones are high-pressure systems that form over a particular region and remain stationary for an extended period of time. They are also sometimes called "blocking highs" or "blocking ridges."


Blocking anticyclones can form in a variety of locations, but are most common in the mid-latitudes, where they can disrupt the flow of the jet stream and cause weather patterns to become stuck in a particular location. This can lead to prolonged periods of clear, settled weather, as well as extreme weather events such as heatwaves or cold spells.


Blocking anticyclones are typically larger and more intense than other types of high-pressure systems, and can have significant impacts on the weather and climate of a region. They are often difficult to predict and can have long-lasting effects on the weather patterns in an area.


How are cyclones named?


Cyclones are typically named by the meteorological agency or government agency responsible for monitoring and forecasting the weather in a particular region. In most cases, cyclones are given names according to a predetermined list of names that are agreed upon by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other international organizations.


The naming of cyclones can vary depending on the region, but most systems use a list of names that are associated with the area where the cyclone is expected to form or make landfall.


For example, tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean are typically given names from a list of English, French, and Spanish names, while tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific Ocean are typically given names from a list of Japanese, Korean, and Filipino names.


Naming Cyclones in Indian Ocean


Cyclones in the Indian Ocean are typically named by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) or the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The naming of cyclones in the Indian Ocean follows a predetermined list of names that has been agreed upon by the IMD and the WMO.

The list of names for cyclones in the Indian Ocean includes names from various countries and regions in the area, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Maldives. The names on the list are assigned to cyclones in alphabetical order, and once a name has been used for a particular cyclone, it is retired and a new name is chosen from the list.

The use of names for cyclones helps to avoid confusion and make it easier for people to track and prepare for the storm. It also allows for better communication and coordination among the various meteorological agencies and government agencies that are responsible for monitoring and forecasting cyclones in the Indian Ocean.

Once a cyclone has been named, it is typically referred to by its name in all official forecasts and warnings issued by the responsible meteorological agency. This helps to avoid confusion and make it easier for people to track and prepare for the storm


Color Codes for Cyclones as per IMD


The India Meteorological Department (IMD) uses a color-coded system to alert authorities and the public to the potential severity of cyclones and other weather hazards. The colors used in this system are green, yellow, orange, and red, and each color corresponds to a different level of warning.


The color green is used to denote that everything is smooth and in order, with no adverse weather expected. This is the lowest level of warning and indicates that there is no need for concern or action.


The color yellow is used to request that security personnel be updated to deal with adverse weather that could linger for days and affect everyday activities. This level of warning indicates that there is a potential for bad weather, but it is not yet severe enough to warrant more serious action.


The color orange is used to indicate that people should be prepared for severe weather. This level of warning indicates that there is a potential for significant damage, including communication breakdowns and power outages, as well as traffic and rail disruptions. In this situation, it is recommended that people evacuate if necessary and prepare essential supplies for their families.


The color red is the highest level of warning and indicates that the worst weather conditions pose a hazard to human life. In this situation, authorities are urged to take action, and disaster management response teams are mobilized to assist with managing the situation. This level of warning indicates that the situation is serious and requires immediate attention.


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