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The mesoscale structure of a polar low: airborne lidar measurements and simulations

Wagner, J.S. and Gohm, A. and Dörnbrack, Andreas and Schäfler, Andreas (2011) The mesoscale structure of a polar low: airborne lidar measurements and simulations. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 137, pp. 1516-1531. American Meteorological Society. DOI: 10.1002/qj.857.

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.857/pdf

Abstract

The mesoscale structure of a mature polar low was studied on the basis of high-resolution airborne measurements and numerical modelling. A polar low was measured by light detection and ranging (lidar) and dropsonde observations over the Norwegian Sea on 3 and 4 March 2008. Lidar observations provided cross-sections of water-vapour mixing ratio, backscatter ratio and horizontal wind speed around the polar low and through its centre. Mesoscale structures, such as shallow convection in a cold-air outbreak, a dry intrusion in the eye-like centre of the cyclone and deep convection surrounding it could be identified. Numerical simulations were performed with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Integrated Forecast System (IFS) and a high-resolution, polar version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. WRF simulations reproduced these structures and showed that the polar low had a warm, upper-level core with descending motions. The eye-like centre had a diameter of about 100�150 km and was characterized by rather stable stratification, horizontally constant potential temperatures and calm winds. Beyond the centre, wind speeds increased rapidly. The observed radial wind and temperature profiles support previous idealized simulations. Several WRF sensitivity tests showed the influence of the initialization time and sensible and latent heat fluxes from the surface on the simulated polar-low development. The polar-low simulations were more accurate in runs starting at the mature stage. Heat fluxes from the surface were important for the polar-low energetics, especially at the final stages.

Document Type:Article
Title:The mesoscale structure of a polar low: airborne lidar measurements and simulations
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Wagner, J.S.Univ. Innsbruck, A
Gohm, A.Univ. Innsbruck, A
Dörnbrack, AndreasDLR
Schäfler, Andreasandreas.schaefler@dlr.de
Date:2011
Journal or Publication Title:Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:137
DOI:10.1002/qj.857
Page Range:pp. 1516-1531
Publisher:American Meteorological Society
Status:Published
Keywords:arctic meteorology, polar lows, aircraft lidar measurements, mesoscale meteorologic modelling
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben LIDAR-Forschung und -Entwicklung
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Cloud Physics and Traffic Meteorology
Deposited By: Jana Freund
Deposited On:20 Sep 2011 12:31
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 21:22

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