WX MODEL 14: Cold Core High


A cold core high is a high pressure system that typically brings in colder and drier weather, especially underneath the high. They are common in the winter when polar air moves into the middle latitudes. The dense cold air is a factor that helps increase the surface pressure under the high. The depth of the cold air tends to be greater near the cold core high pressure center which also contributes to a higher surface pressure at this location. Cold core highs can bring in a cold air outbreak that causes temperatures to be below normal. Precipitation is more common on the periphery of the cold core high where the cold air is shallower and is closer to frontal boundaries.

The image below is that of a cold core high over the United States. The central surface pressure is around 1026 mb and these high pressures extend a significant distance in all directions from the high center. The center of the high tends to have reduced precipitation chances but the temperatures can be very cold.