Comparison of kilometre and sub-kilometre scale simulations of a foehn wind event over the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula using the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM)

Orr, Andrew, Kirchgaessner, Amélie, King, John, Phillips, Tony, Gilbert, Ella, Elvidge, Andrew ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7099-902X, Weeks, Mark, Gadian, Alan, Kuipers Munneke, Peter, van den Broeke, Michiel, Webster, Stuart and McGrath, Daniel (2021) Comparison of kilometre and sub-kilometre scale simulations of a foehn wind event over the Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctic Peninsula using the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM). Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 147 (739). pp. 3472-3492. ISSN 0035-9009

[thumbnail of Quart J Royal Meteoro Soc - 2021 - Orr - Comparison of kilometre and sub‐kilometre scale simulations of a foehn wind event]
Preview
PDF (Quart J Royal Meteoro Soc - 2021 - Orr - Comparison of kilometre and sub‐kilometre scale simulations of a foehn wind event) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (19MB) | Preview

Abstract

A foehn event on 27 January 2011 over the Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS), Antarctic Peninsula and its interaction with an exisiting ground-based cold-air pool is simulated using the MetUM atmospheric model at kilometre and sub-kilometre scale grid spacing. Atmospheric model simulations at kilometre grid scales are an important tool for understanding the detailed circulation and temperature structure over the LCIS, especially the occurrence of foehn-induced surface melting, erosion of cold-air pools, and low-level wind jets (so-called foehn jets). But whether there is an improvement/convergence in the model representation of these features at sub-kilometre grid scales has yet to be established. The foehn event was simulated at grid spacings of 4, 1.5 and 0.5 km, with the results compared to automatic weather station and radiosonde measurements. The features commonly associated with foehn, such as a leeside hydraulic jump and enhanced leeside warming, were comparatively insensitive to resolution in the 4 to 0.5 km range, although the 0.5 km simulation shows a slightly sharper and larger hydraulic jump. By contrast, during the event the simulation of fine-scale foehn jets above the cold-air pool showed considerable dependence on grid spacing, although no evidence of convergence at higher resolution. During the foehn event, the MetUM model is characterised by a nocturnal cold bias of around 8 °C and an underestimate of the near-surface stability of the cold-air pool, neither of which improved with increased resolution. This finding identifies a key model limitation, at both kilometre and sub-kilometre scales, to realistically capture the vertical mixing in the boundary layer and its impact on thermodynamics, through either daytime heating from below or the downward penetration of foehn jet winds from above. Detailed model-resolved foehn jet dynamics thus plays a crucial role in controlling the near-surface temperature structure over the LCIS, as well as sub-grid turbulent mixing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This study is dedicated to Konrad Steffen, who was a co‐author on an earlier draft of this manuscript, but very sadly died in 2020. Konrad was the Director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), and former Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, who operated AWS 3, 4 and 5. We are grateful for the advice given by Adrian Lock on the model boundary‐layer scheme and by Richard Essery on the surface scheme. This study was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) under grant NE/G014124/1 “Orographic Flows and the Climate of the Antarctic Peninsula (OFCAP)”. We are grateful for the expert comments by two anonymous referees on an earlier version of this article which significantly expanded its scope, in particular by suggesting that the interaction between the foehn event and the cold‐air pool be examined in much more detail. Funding Information: This study is dedicated to Konrad Steffen, who was a co-author on an earlier draft of this manuscript, but very sadly died in 2020. Konrad was the Director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), and former Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado, who operated AWS 3, 4 and 5. We are grateful for the advice given by Adrian Lock on the model boundary-layer scheme and by Richard Essery on the surface scheme. This study was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) under grant NE/G014124/1 ?Orographic Flows and the Climate of the Antarctic Peninsula (OFCAP)?. We are grateful for the expert comments by two anonymous referees on an earlier version of this article which significantly expanded its scope, in particular by suggesting that the interaction between the foehn event and the cold-air pool be examined in much more detail. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the Royal Meteorological Society.
Uncontrolled Keywords: processes, regional and mesoscale modelling,2. scale: mesoscale,3. physical phenomenon: dynamics,4. geophysical sphere: atmosphere, orography (including valleys),climatic zone: polar,context: climate,7. boundary layer,atmospheric science,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1902
Faculty \ School:
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2022 07:06
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/87609
DOI: 10.1002/qj.4138

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item