S66 Analysis of Icing Frequency and Level Over Major US Airports

Sunday, 6 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Camellia Tipton, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

Icing on airplanes is severe and can be detrimental to aircraft flight by modifying the aerodynamic characteristics of the wing surface. As such, icing is an important topic in aviation meteorology, and there is considerable interest in understanding the variability and trends in icing. This project addresses this issue through a climatological study of temporal changes in the icing level over six major international airports from the mid-west to the east coast of the United States. The main objectives of the research are to determine the variability and trends in the frequency of icing over the study locations, and to qualify how the icing level height has changed over time.

An algorithm developed by Gencer, Aydonan, and Karahan of Turkey will be used as the primary calculator of icing because it incorporates the primary atmospheric variables related to icing (i.e., temperature, moisture and vertical velocity), and because it is an accepted and efficient approach to calculating the icing level for climatological purposes. Archived sounding data were used to obtain the temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere over the selected locations, while the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) data were used to get the vertical velocities over each location.

The results of this project will quantify historical variability and trends in icing level and frequency, which can then be used to help in defining variations in temperature and/or moisture within the region of the atmosphere associated with icing. Also, by knowing the location of the icing level over time, the average icing conditions (temperatures, moisture, etc.) for the icing level over each airport will be determined. Ultimately this research will aid in future forecasting and awareness of icing potential over each study location by defining and quantifying patterns in the icing level and frequency.

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