52 Characteristics of Easterly-induced Snowfall and its Relationship to East Sea-Effect in Yeongdong of Korea

Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Aviary Ballroom (Catamaran Resort Hotel)
Byung-Gon Kim, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, Korea, Republic of (South); and H. G. Nam, S. O. Han, and J. C. Park

Characteristics of snowfall episodes have been investigated for the past ten years in order to study its association with low-level stability and air-sea temperature difference over the East Sea. In general, the selected snowfall episodes have similar synoptic setting such as the Siberian High extended to northern Japan along with the Low passing by the southern Korean Peninsula, eventually resulting in the easterly flow in the Yeongdong region. Especially in the heavy snowfall episodes, convective unstable layers have been identified over the East sea due to relatively warm sea surface temperature (SST) about 8~10 °C and specifically cold pool around 1~2 km above the surface level (ASL), which can be derived from Regional Data Assimilation and Prediction System (RDAPS), but that have not been clearly exhibited in the weak snowfall episodes. The basic mechanism to initiate snowfall around Yeongdong seems to be similar to that of lake-effect snowstorms around Great Lakes in the United States (Kristovich et al., 2003). Difference of equivalent potential temperature between 850 hPa and surface as well as difference between air and sea temperatures altogether gradually began to increase in the pre-snowfall period and reached their maximum values in the course of the period, whose air (850hPa) - sea temperature difference and snowfall intensity in case of the heavy snowfall events are almost larger than 20°C and 6 times greater than the weak snowfall events, respectively. Interestingly, snowfall appeared to begin in case of an air-sea temperature difference exceeding over 15°C. The current analysis is overall consistent with the previous finding (Lee et al., 2012) that an instability-induced moisture supply to the lower atmosphere from the East sea, being cooled and saturated in the lower layer, so to speak, East Sea-Effect Snowfall (SES), would make a low-level ice cloud which eventually moves inland by the easterly flow. In addition, a long-lasting synoptic characteristics and convergence-induced invigoration also appear to play the important roles in the severe snowstorms. Improvements in our understanding of mesoscale sea-effect snowstorms require detailed in-situ and remote sensing observations over and around East Sea since observations of the concurrent thermodynamic and microphysical characteristics have not been available there and this study emphasizes the importance of low level stability as quantitative estimation of moist static energy generation over the East Sea.
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