15 The impact of resolution on the representation of southeast Greenland barrier winds and katabatic flows

Monday, 3 August 2015
Back Bay Ballroom (Sheraton Boston )
G.W.K. Moore, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; and I. A. Renfrew, B. E. Harden, and S. Mernild

Southern Greenland is characterized by a number of low-level high wind speed weather systems that are the result of topographic flow distortion. These systems include barrier winds and katabatic flow that occur along its southeast coast. Global atmospheric reanalyses have proven to be important tools in furthering our understanding of these orographic winds and their role in the climate system. However, there is evidence that the mesoscale characteristics of these systems may be missed in these global products. Here we show that the Arctic System Reanalysis, a higher resolution regional reanalysis, is able to capture mesoscale features of barrier winds and katabatic flow, including the downslope acceleration associated with the excitation of mountain waves, that are missed or under-represented in ERA-I, a leading modern global reanalysis. This suggests that our understanding of the impact of these wind systems on the coupled climate system can be enhanced through the use of higher resolution regional reanalyses or model data.
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