Climate Change

Arctic storms: How scientists are improving forecasts of dangerous polar lows

A woman and her dog brave the elements during a winter storm on January 22, 2014 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The winter weather system, which is expected to continue into the night, has battered the Atlantic provinces with gusting winds and heavy snowfall.  REUTERS/Devaan Ingraham (CANADA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS SOCIETY) - GM1EA1N0D5R01

Polar lows can cause heavy snowfall. Image: REUTERS/Devaan Ingraham (CANADA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS SOCIETY) - GM1EA1N0D5R01

Marta Moreno Ibáñez
PhD candidate in Earth and atmospheric sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
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Satellite images of two polar lows
Satellite images of two polar lows with different cloud signatures: comma-shaped (a) over the Norwegian Sea and spiralform (b) over the Barents Sea. Image: Moreno-Ibáñez, M., Laprise, R. and Gachon, P., 2021., CC BY-NC
Satellite images of a polar low
A polar low east of Labrador. Image: Environment and Climate Change Canada
Satellite images of a polar low
Infrared image acquired by the instrument AVHRR on board satellite NOAA-19 on 1 March 2021. The image shows the polar low that developed to the west of Norway (in white). Image: Meteorologisk Institutt
map charting polar lows
Wind direction (arrows), wind speed (colours) and atmospheric pressure (black lines) over the Atlantic on March 1, 2021. Each ‘L’ represents a cyclone, with a small circle showing the polar low just west of the northern coast of Norway. Image: MétéoCentre
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