Inferring Snow-Breeze Characteristics from Frozen-Lake Breezes

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  • a Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • | b Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
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Abstract

Thermally induced flows between snow and snow-free areas (snow breezes) are difficult to evaluate by direct observations. This note outlines the equivalence of the surface thermal flux over snow and that over frozen/near-frozen lakes and discusses the similarity of the related induced breezes. Surface observations for the frozen Lake Winnipeg and the near-frozen Lake Michigan were used to infer snow breezes. On synoptically unperturbed days during late winter and early spring, lake breezes were detected, and their characteristics are provided for several illustrative cases. Lake breezes with intensities as high as 6 m s−1 and onshore penetration of at least 6 km were observed. It is suggested that in future projects, detailed observations along these lakes could provide indirect characterization of snow breezes.

Abstract

Thermally induced flows between snow and snow-free areas (snow breezes) are difficult to evaluate by direct observations. This note outlines the equivalence of the surface thermal flux over snow and that over frozen/near-frozen lakes and discusses the similarity of the related induced breezes. Surface observations for the frozen Lake Winnipeg and the near-frozen Lake Michigan were used to infer snow breezes. On synoptically unperturbed days during late winter and early spring, lake breezes were detected, and their characteristics are provided for several illustrative cases. Lake breezes with intensities as high as 6 m s−1 and onshore penetration of at least 6 km were observed. It is suggested that in future projects, detailed observations along these lakes could provide indirect characterization of snow breezes.

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