Identification of Surface Wind Patterns over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, Using Self-Organizing Maps

Melissa A. Nigro, John J. Cassano
2014 Monthly Weather Review  
The interaction of synoptic and mesoscale circulations with the steep topography surrounding the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, greatly influences the wind patterns in the region of the Ross Ice Shelf. The topography provides forcing for features such as katabatic winds, barrier winds, and barrier wind corner jets. The combination of topographic forcing and synoptic and mesoscale forcing from cyclones that traverse the Ross Ice Shelf sector create a region of strong but varying winds. This paper
more » ... winds. This paper identifies the dominant surface wind patterns over the Ross Ice Shelf using output from the Weather Research and Forecasting Model run within the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System and the method of self-organizing maps (SOM). The dataset has 15-km grid spacing and is the first study to identify the dominant surface wind patterns using data at this resolution. The analysis shows that the Ross Ice Shelf airstream, a dominant stream of air flowing northward from the interior of the continent over the western and/or central Ross Ice Shelf to the Ross Sea, is present over the Ross Ice Shelf approximately 34% of the time, the Ross Ice Shelf airstream varies in both its strength and position over the Ross Ice Shelf, and barrier wind corner jets are present in the region to the northwest of the Prince Olav Mountains approximately 14% of the time and approximately 41% of the time when the Ross Ice Shelf airstream is present.
doi:10.1175/mwr-d-13-00382.1 fatcat:myjgd7wnafg4jmq4bt5p5xgbg4