AbstractBecause of the harsh weather conditions on the Antarctic continent, year-round observations of the low-level boundary layer must be obtained via automated data acquisition systems. Alexander Tall Tower! is an automatic weather station on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica and has been operational since February 2011. At 30 m tall, this station has six levels of instruments to collect environmental data, including temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, and pressure. Data are collected at 30-, 15-, 7.5-, 4-, 2-, and 1-m levels above the snow surface. This study identifies short-term trends and provides an improved description of the lowest portion of the boundary layer over this portion of the Ross Ice Shelf for the February 2011–January 2014 period. Observations indicate two separate initiations of the winter season occur annually, caused by synoptic-scale anomalies. Sensible and latent heat flux estimates are computed using Monin–Obukhov similarity theory and vertical profiles of potential air temperature and wind speed. Over the three years, the monthly mean sensible heat flux ranges between 1 and 39 W m−2 (toward the surface) and the monthly mean latent heat flux ranges between −8 and 0 W m−2. Net heat fluxes directed toward the surface occur most of the year, indicating an atmospheric sink of energy.
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Feb 20, 2018
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