A climatology of strong wind events at McMurdo station, Antarctica

Chenoli, Sheeba Nettukandy; Turner, John ORCID:; Samah, Azizan Abu. 2013 A climatology of strong wind events at McMurdo station, Antarctica. International Journal of Climatology, 33 (12). 2667-2681.

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Text (This article has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form in the International Journal of Climatology, published by Wiley. Copyright Royal Meteorological Society.)
chenoli_txt_rev_2_Sep.pdf - Accepted Version

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The first climatology of strong wind events (SWEs) at McMurdo station, Antarctica based on the in situ observations and reanalysis fields is presented. SWEs occur throughout the year, but with a minimum during the summer. They are associated with negative mean sea level pressure (MSLP) and upper height anomalies across the Ross Sea/Ice Shelf, as well as positive temperature anomalies at the station. Wind directions during SWEs exhibit a bimodal distribution of 135–180° and 45–90°. This distribution occurs because of the interaction of the predominantly southerly flow with the orography of Black and White Island and Minna Bluff. The east-northeast flow is associated with winds that are deflected around the orography, while the more southerly events have sufficient energy to override the barriers. The bimodal wind distribution is most common during the winter season since the southerly flow is stronger as a result of deeper cyclonic systems. SWEs also occur when there are large, positive MSLP anomalies at McMurdo station as ridges of high pressure build from the interior and enhance the pressure gradient between the continental high and offshore lows. The interannual variability in the number of winter SWEs is large. Years with many SWEs are associated with a deep climatological low centred over the north eastern Ross Ice Shelf. Years with few winter SWEs have a weakened mid-tropospheric vortex over the Ross Ice Shelf. There are periods when the index of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) correlates with the number of SWEs. However, the links are not statistically significant in the longer term. A similar link was also observed between the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the interannual variability in the number of SWEs. The relationship was found to be stronger when the phase of ENSO and the SAM were the same.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Climate
ISSN: 08998418
Additional Keywords: strong wind events; Antarctica; bimodal wind direction; interannual variability; mean sea level pressure; southern annular mode; wind speed
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Date made live: 25 Jul 2013 17:22 +0 (UTC)

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