Modeling Study of Foehn Wind Events in Antarctic Peninsula with WRF Forced by CCSM
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Significant changes have occurred in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) including warmer temperatures, accelerated melting of glaciers, and breakup of ice shelves. This study uses the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) forced by the Community Climate System Model 4 (CCSM) simulations to study foehn wind warming in AP. Weather systems responsible for generating the foehn events are two cyclonic systems that move toward and/or cross over AP. WRF simulates the movement of cyclonic systems and the resulting foehn wind warming that is absent in CCSM. It is found that the warming extent along a transect across the central AP toward Larsen C Ice Shelf (LCIS) varies during the simulation period and the maximum warming moves from near the base of leeward slopes to over 40 km away extending toward the attached LCIS. Our analysis suggests that the foehn wind warming is negatively correlated with the incoming air temperature and the mountain top temperature during periods without significant precipitation, in which isentropic drawdown is the dominant heating mechanism. On the other hand, when significant precipitation occurs along the windward side of AP, latent heating is the major heating mechanism evidenced by positive relations between the foehn wind warming and 1) incoming air temperature, 2) windward precipitation, and 3) latent heating. Foehn wind warming caused by isentropic drawdown also tends to be stronger than that caused by latent heating. Comparison of WRF simulations forced by original and corrected CCSM data indicates that foehn wind warming is stronger in the original CCSM forced simulation when no significant windward precipitation is present. The foehn wind warming becomes weaker in both simulations when there is significant windward precipitation. This suggests that model’s ability to resolve the foehn warming varies with the forcing data, but the precipitation impact on the leeward warming is consistent.
Key wordsfoehn wind warming Antarctic Peninsula melting Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model Community Climate System Model (CCSM) forcing
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