Aleutian Low

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A large Aleutian Low in the Gulf of Alaska on October 24, 2011

The Aleutian Low is a semi-permanent low pressure center located near the Aleutian Islands during the winter. It is one of the main centers of action in the atmospheric circulation of the Northern Hemisphere. If not for the presence of the Eurasian and North American continents, a continuous belt of low pressure would likely develop in the Northern Hemisphere sub-polar latitudes, mirroring the circumpolar belt of low pressure and frequent storms found in the Southern Ocean.[1] However, the presence of the continents disrupts this motion, and the subpolar belt of low pressure is well developed only in the North Pacific (the Aleutian Low) and the North Atlantic (the Icelandic Low, which is located between Greenland and Iceland[2]).

The Aleutian Low is characterized by many strong cyclones. Cyclones which form in the subpolar latitudes in the North Pacific typically slow down and reach maximum intensity in the area of the Aleutian Low.

In summer, remnants of typhoons can go past the Aleutian low and strengthen a little.


  1. ^ Sinclair, Mark (1997). "Objective identification of cyclones and their circulation intensity, and climatology". Weather and Forecasting. 12. 
  2. ^ Serreze, Mark; Carse, Fiona; Barry, Roger G; Rogers, Jeffery C (1997). "Icelandic Low cyclone activity: Climatological features, linkages with the NAO, and relationships with recent changes in the Northern Hemisphere circulation". Journal of Climate. 10: 455.