TITLE

Case Studies of High Wind Events in Barrow, Alaska: Climatological Context and Development Processes

AUTHOR(S)
Lynch, Amanda H.; Cassano, Elizabeth N.; Cassano, John J.; Lestak, Leanne R.
PUB. DATE
April 2003
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Apr2003, Vol. 131 Issue 4, p719
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The Beaufort–Chukchi cyclones of October 1963 and August 2000 produced the highest winds ever recorded in Barrow, Alaska. In both cases, winds of 25 m s[sup -1] were observed with gusts unofficially reported at 33 m s[sup -1] . The October 1963 storm caused significant flooding, contaminated drinking water, and interrupted power supplies. The August 2000 storm caused the wreck of a $6 million dredge, and removed roofs from 40 buildings. Both storms were unusual in that they tracked eastward from the East Siberian Sea into the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, rather than following a more typical northward track into the Arctic Ocean. This paper addresses, through modeling and analysis, the development processes of these two storms. The October 1963 system was a long-lived, warm core, zonally elongated cyclone that traversed around the Arctic basin through the Canadian Archipelago. The August 2000 system was an open-wave cyclone that dissipated rapidly into a weak, cold core eddy in the Alaskan sector of the Beaufort Sea. Approximating the contributions to development using terms in a quasigeostrophic omega equation, it was found that both storms were characterized by the increasing importance of the convergence of the Q vector (representing differential vorticity advection and thermal advection) in the midtroposphere, at the expense of forcing by the turbulent fluxes of heat, moisture, and momentum in the boundary layer. However, the influence of surface turbulent fluxes in the early stages of development was important, particularly for the August 2000 cyclone, which passed over an extensive coastal lead in the East Siberian Sea. This study concludes that the observed retreat in western Arctic ice cover is unlikely to be an important contributor to increasing cyclonic activity in the region, but that ice retreat north of Eurasia could have an impact.
ACCESSION #
9337755

 

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