Temperate Cyclone (Extratropical Cyclones) [NCERT Notes For Geography UPSC]

Temperate cyclones are also known as Extra-tropical cyclone where the term “Extra-tropical” signifies that this type of cyclone generally occurs outside the tropics with a latitude range between 30° and 60°.

This article talks about Temperate Cyclones. This is an important part of NCERT notes which is relevant for the IAS aspirants. These notes will also be useful for other competitive exams like banking PO, SSC, state civil services exams and so on.

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Characteristics of Temperate Cyclone (Extra-Tropical Cyclones)

  • The Extra-Tropical Cyclones are storm systems emerging in the mid and high latitudes, away from the tropics.
  • They are low-pressure systems with associated cold fronts, warm fronts, and occluded fronts.
  • These cyclones are formed along the polar front.
  • In the beginning, the front is stationary.
  • Extra-tropical cyclones are also known as mid-latitude storms or baroclinic storms.
  • In the Northern hemisphere, cold air blows from the north of the front and warm air blows from the south.
  • When the pressure descents along the front, the cold air move towards the south and the warm air moves northwards setting in motion an anticlockwise cyclonic circulation.
  • The cyclonic circulation results in a well-built extratropical cyclone, with a cold front and a warm front.
  • There are pockets of warm air compressed between the forward and the rear cold air.
  • The warm air climbs over the cold air and a series of clouds appear over the sky ahead of the warm front and cause rainfall.
  • The cold front approaches the warm air from behind and pushes the warm air up.
  • As an outcome, cumulus clouds develop along the cold front.
  • The cold front moves faster than the warm front eventually surpassing the warm front.
  • The warm air is entirely lifted up and the front is occluded and the cyclone dissipates.
  • They can originate over the land and sea and cover a larger area.

Major Differences between Temperate Cyclone and Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone Temperate Cyclone
tropical cyclones, move from east to west. These cyclones move from west to east 
A tropical cyclone has an effect on a comparatively smaller area than Temperate cyclone. Temperate cyclone affect a much larger area
The velocity of wind in a tropical cyclone is much higher and it is more damaging. The velocity of air is comparatively lower
Tropical Cyclone form only on seas with temperature more than 26-27degree C and dissipate on reaching the land. Temperate cyclones can be formed on both land and sea
A tropical cyclone doesn’t last for more than 7 days Temperate cyclone can last for a duration of 15 to 20 days

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