Sanders, Frederick Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Bluestein, Howard B. Department of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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A distribution of atmospheric pressure and mass such that the specific volume, or density, of air is a function of both pressure and temperature, but not either alone. When the field is baroclinic, solenoids are present, there is a gradient of air temperature on a surface of constant pressure, and there is a vertical shear of the geostrophic wind. Significant development of cyclonic and anticyclonic wind circulations typically occurs only in strongly baroclinic fields. Fronts represent baroclinic fields which are locally very intense. See also: Air pressure; Front; Geostrophic wind; Solenoid (meteorology); Storm; Wind
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