Presented on March 15, 2023, by

Professor, Faculty of Science
Niigata University, Japan


We propose a new scheme based on geopotential height fields to detect cutoff lows starting in the preexisting trough stage. The intensity and scale derived from the proposed scheme will allow for a better understanding of the cutoff low life cycle. These cutoff lows often accompany mesoscale disturbances, causing adverse weather-related events, such as intense torrential rainfall and/or tornadoes. The proposed scheme quantifies the geometric features of a depression from its horizontal height profile. The height slope of a line intersecting the depression bottom and the nearest tangential point (optimal slope) locally indicates the intensity and scale of an isolated depression. The strength of the proposed scheme is that, by removing a local background height slope from a geopotential height field, the cutoff low and its preexisting trough are seamlessly detected as an identical depression. The distribution maps for the detected cutoff lows and preexisting troughs are illustrated along with their intensities, sizes, and local background flows estimated from snapshot height fields. We conducted climatological comparisons of cutoff lows to determine the utility of the proposed scheme.