Boston Weather

 Tropopause Analysis

The tropopause maps are an analysis of potential temperature (color contours) on a surface of constant potential vorticity, Q (Q = 2.0 PVU). Superposed on the analysis, are analyses of saturated equivalent potential temperature (dashed lines, cint = 5 K).

This analysis contains the essential information needed to understand the dynamics of weather systems within the troposphere.

"Cold" tropopause (i.e. low potential temperature) regions are associated with cyclonic circulations, while "warm" tropopuase regions are associated with anti-cyclonic circulations. 

Features easily observed on these maps are the polar and subtropical jets. The polar jet generally is associated with the purple, blue, and light green contours during the winter. The stronger the gradient (as indicated by the spacing between these contours), the stronger the polar jet. The subtropical jet is usually associated with the red and orange contours. Often, one can easily see what is commonly referred to as a "split flow" in those regions in which the paths of the polar and subtropical jets diverge.

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