Mesoscale variability in the summer Arctic boundary layer
2009 (English)In: Boundary-layer Meteorology, ISSN 0006-8314, Vol. 130, no 3, 1573-1472 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Observations from the summer Arctic Ocean Experiment 2001 (AOE-2001) are analysed with a focus on the interactions between mesoscale and boundary-layer dynamics. Wavelet analyses of surface-pressure variations show daylong periods with different characteristics, some featuring episodes of pronounced high-frequency surface-pressure variability, here hypothesized to be caused by trapped gravity waves. These episodes are accompanied by enhanced boundary-layer turbulence and an enhanced spectral gap, but with only minor influence on the surface stress. During these episodes, mesoscale phenomena were often encountered and usually identified as front-like features in the boundary layer, with a peak in drizzle followed by changing temperature. These phenomena resemble synoptic fronts, though they are generally shallow, shorter-lasting, have no signs of frontal clouds, and do not imply a change in air mass. Based on this analysis, we hypothesize that the root cause of the episodes with high-frequency surface-pressure variance are shallow, mesoscale fronts moving across the pack ice. They may be formed due to local-to-regional horizontal contrasts, for example, between air with different lifetimes over the Arctic or with perturbations in the cloud field causing differential cooling of the boundary layer. Thermal contrasts sharpen as the air is transported with the mean flow. The propagating mesoscale fronts excite gravity waves, which affect the boundary-layer turbulence and also seem to favour entrainment of free tropospheric air into the boundary layer.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 130, no 3, 1573-1472 p.
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject Meteorology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24081DOI: 10.1007/s10546-009-9354-xISI: 000263418500005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-24081DiVA: diva2:196698
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-65852007-02-012007-02-012010-01-18Bibliographically approved