Project Summary

The 15th meeting of the Polar Low Working Group (PLWG) was initially scheduled from 13th to 15th of May 2021 in Moscow (to be held at Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS) however due to the COVID19 pandemic the meeting was first rescheduled and then turned into virtual in cyberspace. From 8th to 9th of December 2021 we ran the virtual meeting that brought together more than 30 researches from 9 countries. 

We received 29 abstracts that were organized in 5 program sections: 

1. Polar lows characteristics from different source-based case studies (5 talks)
2. Polar lows development environments (5 talks)
3. Polar boundary layer events as seen from high-resolution datasets (5 talks)
4. Polar lows as seen in satellite data and possible variations during the climate change (5 talks)
5. Polar lows modeling, forecast and prediction (9 talks)

 All presentations were prerecorded by participants and uploaded to the cloud storage, videos were played during the meeting while discussions and questions after presentation were held in live format. 

 PLWG agreed to formulate a letter of support for the STARS polar low dataset to be stored permanently with DOI. Given that there are several different polar low tracking algorithms, a comparison of these detection and tracking algorithms is recommended to assess the performance between different detections and tracking based on the same data set as well as the same detection and tracking on different reanalysis/model data. Related, it was discussed how to best define a polar low and how to determine its best track. PLWG recommends developing a community-accepted list of polar lows.
Several new data became available, such as Arctic CORDEX, CARRA, NORA3, ASR2, NAAD.
Participants discussed the relative role of baroclinicity and diabatic and agreed that previous symmetric theories such as CISC is not relevant to polar low development due to the asymmetry in initial development and non-availability of CAPE. Regarding the role of Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice interactions for PL development, there is a need for more case studies with coupled models to identify pertinent processes more systematically.
The PLWG also identified satellite data as a useful data source. In particular SAR data and new capabilities related to the distribution of moisture and hydrometeors.

Organizing committee:
Thomas Spengler (Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen)
Natalia Tilinina (Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement, UGA and Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS)
Polina Verezemskaya (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS)

Alexander Gavrikov (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS)
Mikhail Krinitskiy (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS)
Sergey Gulev (Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS) 

 Date and Location: 

Online, 8-10 December 2021

IASC Working Groups / Committees funding the Project:

Project Lead

Thomas Spengler, Sergey Gulev, Polina Verezemskaya, and Natalia Tilinina


Year funded by IASC



Project Status




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