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Title: Atmospheric Response to Weddell Sea Open-Ocean Polynya

The atmospheric conditions associated with the rare Weddell Sea open ocean polynya are investigated. The polynya has not been seen since 1976, so data on the event is scarce. The CESM high resolution model is used to investigate multiple atmospheric variables. We analyze three years of polynyas, which are also compared to three years without a polynya. The surface temperature, sensible heat flux, latent heat flux, humidity, average wind speed, precipitation, longwave flux, and shortwave flux all increased over the polynya. The sensible heat flux had a higher magnitude than the latent heat flux because conduction and convection were the primary drivers of heat flux. A combination of increased latent heat flux and humidity led to an increase in precipitation. Increased longwave downwelling flux over the polynya indicated the presence of clouds over the polynya. Lastly, the sea level pressure was consistently lower over the polynya because of the presence of a thermal low generated by thermally driven convective updrafts.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Geosciences(58); Planetary Sciences; Weddell Sea; Polynya