|DEFINING A "VORT MAX" AND A "VORT LOBE"
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
A vorticity max is the highest value of positive vorticity (point location) within a region of
A vorticity lobe is an axis of high
positive vorticity values. You can think of a vorticity max as a "bullseye" and a vorticity lobe as an
"elongated bullseye". Elongated regions of high positive vorticity that stretch over a large region are
referred to as vort lobes. The amount of elongation of the vort lobe determines how large the region of
PVA / NVA will be. If air flows through a vort lobe, ageostrophic circulations
will promote uplift in the PVA
(downstream region) and sinking in the NVA region
(upstream region). The PVA / NVA region with a vort max
tends to be smaller but more intense. Vort lobes tend to occur with highly amplified synoptic
and a vort max tends to occur with
shortwaves. Below is an example of a vort max and a vort lobe.