16 Examination of high latitude cloud variability in dynamical context

Tuesday, 30 April 2013
North/West Room (Renaissance Seattle Hotel)
Axel J. Schweiger, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and R. Lindsay

In this paper we examine the variability of clouds over the Arctic in the fall in the context of synoptic and sea ice variability. Cloud information from reanalyses and satellite data sets as well as from model simulations using the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model are analyzed to assess the impact of the location of the sea ice edge on atmospheric properties and clouds for different synoptic conditions and regions. The analysis partitions the data by on- or off-ice wind direction and synoptic situation to provide a dynamical context in which the different data sets can be assessed. Preliminary results suggest that current reanalyses are more consistent at capturing cloud-variability in this dynamical context for middle and high clouds, but that substantial differences exists in how low clouds are connected with the synoptic flow. This approach promises to provide new insights into how well models and reanalyses perform in capturing cloud formation and dissipation processes as summer ice extent changes and point the way for future improvements.
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