On the basis of structure, storm tracks, and general characteristics, anticyclones are divided into the following four distinct types:
(1) Subtropical highs:
These anticyclones develop in the subtropical regions. They are large in area, elongated in shape and very deep in vertical extent. They are almost permanent high- pressure systems positioned in the subtropical high-pressure belts.
They are most often stagnant. Whenever they move, they move very sluggishly. These anticyclones are well developed over the oceans, while there is low pressure over the continents.
(2) Polar Continental highs:
These cold anticyclones form over continental surfaces in winter. They are produced by radiational cooling of the earth’s surface. At about 2500 meters above sea- level they lose their identity. They are made up of a very shallow layer of cold air.
(3) Highs embedded between cyclones:
These anticyclones are merely the sluggish systems which are found between the more vigorous individual cyclones. These wedges of high pressure are Inert, and produce clear and fine weather after the more turbulent cyclonic weather.
(4) Polar-outbreak highs:
Generally the last member of a cyclone family is followed by a great outbreak of cold and dense polar air, which may move even into the tropical regions. Sometimes a well-developed depression in the middle latitudes draws on its rear rapidly moving masses of cold polar air.
These anticyclones while moving equator-ward slow down. These cold and dry polar air masses pick up moisture from the warm subtropical oceans and are transformed within a period of two or three days into subtropical warm anticyclones.