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What’s a CCKW?


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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

Whilst reading the latest on TS Danny I came across this blog by Bob Henson. Given my complete ignorance on the subject I found it very interesting.



CCKWs are huge impulses, spanning thousands of miles, that move from west to east through the stratosphere, typically rolling along at about 30 to 40 mph. CCKWs are centered on the equator, with their effects progressively weaker as you move toward the subtropics. Like a giant chimney, each CCKW has a broad zone of rising air at its heart, tilted toward the west as you move up. The resulting circulation (see Figure 1) favors the development of showers and thunderstorms ahead of the CCKW, as low-level air converges. The resulting storms are then supported by upper-level divergence toward the center of the CCKW, plus low-level westerlies near the equator that can enhance cyclonic spin. An eastward-moving CCKW can intersect the train of westward-moving waves rolling through the Atlantic, giving one or more of them a boost that can help them consolidate into tropical cyclones.


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