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A High-Resolution Numerical Simulation of the Wind Flow in the Ross Island Region, Antarctica

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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Abstract

A detailed description of the characteristics of the three-dimensional wind flow for the Ross Island region of Antarctica is presented. This region of Antarctica has complex topographic features, and the wind flow is dependent on the topography and the local meteorological conditions. High-resolution nonhydrostatic numerical simulations are conducted over a high-resolution domain in the Ross Island region. Two simulations are performed corresponding to the two dominant wind flow patterns in the Ross Island region. The first simulation is a light wind case with a stable lower atmosphere and the second is a high wind speed event. Froude number calculations, along with a study of the equation of motion, are included for a more complete understanding of the dynamics of the wind flow. The results of the simulations show a favorable correlation to past research results and observations, and provide a more complete understanding of the three-dimensional wind flow in the region. In addition to a more thorough understanding of the wind flow, the results indicate the usefulness and future applicability of nonhydrostatic simulations to understanding the unique meteorological conditions and features in the Antarctic.

Corresponding author address: Mark Seefeldt, 2150 W. River St., Monticello, MN 55362. Email: seefeldt@emperor.ssec.wisc.edu

Abstract

A detailed description of the characteristics of the three-dimensional wind flow for the Ross Island region of Antarctica is presented. This region of Antarctica has complex topographic features, and the wind flow is dependent on the topography and the local meteorological conditions. High-resolution nonhydrostatic numerical simulations are conducted over a high-resolution domain in the Ross Island region. Two simulations are performed corresponding to the two dominant wind flow patterns in the Ross Island region. The first simulation is a light wind case with a stable lower atmosphere and the second is a high wind speed event. Froude number calculations, along with a study of the equation of motion, are included for a more complete understanding of the dynamics of the wind flow. The results of the simulations show a favorable correlation to past research results and observations, and provide a more complete understanding of the three-dimensional wind flow in the region. In addition to a more thorough understanding of the wind flow, the results indicate the usefulness and future applicability of nonhydrostatic simulations to understanding the unique meteorological conditions and features in the Antarctic.

Corresponding author address: Mark Seefeldt, 2150 W. River St., Monticello, MN 55362. Email: seefeldt@emperor.ssec.wisc.edu

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