4.4 Influence of strong katabatic wind events in southeast Greenland on regional sea ice cover and air-sea fluxes

Tuesday, 10 July 2012: 9:15 AM
Essex North (Westin Copley Place)
Marilena Oltmanns, WHOI, Woods Hole, MA; and F. Straneo, G. W. K. Moore, and S. Mernild

Fjords in Greenland are subject to strong katabatic wind events. Triggered by local weather systems and radiative cooling over the ice sheet, and accelerated by the topography and coastal air-sea fluxes, these winds can reach intense speeds. In this presentation we examine the characteristics and impacts of katabatic wind events on the sea-ice cover and heat and buoyancy fluxes at the southeast Greenland coast and the Irminger Sea. Specifically, we use local meteorological data, satellite data and the atmospheric reanalysis model ERA-Interim to identify katabatic wind events, determine their occurrence and study their effects. By constructing a composite, we find that katabatic winds feature a unique evolution of surface temperature and pressure connected to the passage of a cyclone drawing cold air from the ice sheet. They also have a distinct impact on the regional sea ice cover and result in strong heat fluxes over large parts of the Irminger Sea.
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