Effects of vertically propagating mountain waves during a strong wind event over the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica

first_imgWeather forecasting in the Antarctic presents manychallenges, with strong wind events (SWEs) oftendisrupting air and field operations. Here, we study themechanisms responsible for a SWE (maximum windspeed 22 ms–1) that occurred at the McMurdo/ScottBase region on the Ross Ice Shelf (Antarctica) over12–13 October 2003. The study is based on in situobservations, satellite imagery and output from theAntarctic mesoscale prediction system (AMPS) model.The event occurred during the passage of a complexlow pressure system that increased the pressuregradient between the northwest Ross Ice Shelf and thecontinental high, initiating a strong southerly flow.AMPS simulations as well as upper air sounding profilesfrom McMurdo station showed the involvementof large amplitude vertically propagating mountainwaves over the area. The amplification of mountainwaves by the self-induced critical level reflected all theenergy back towards the surface to generate highdownslope winds.last_img