Observations at McMurdo Station, Antarctica from 24 November 2015 through 3 January 2017 were used to characterize the physical relationships between boundary layer stability and atmospheric state and fluxes. The basis of this analysis was self‐organizing maps (SOMs), a neural network algorithm, used to identify the range of potential temperature profiles present in the twice‐daily radiosonde data during the ARM (Atmospheric Radiation Measurement) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) campaign. The SOM identified profiles ranging from strongly stable to weakly stable regimes over the lowest 500 m of the atmosphere. It was found that in the winter (MJJA), moderate and strongly stable regimes occur most frequently (61%), while weakly stable regimes dominate in the summer (DJ, 83.4%). The mechanisms responsible for the dominance of different stability regimes in each season were analyzed to determine why these regimes occur with varying frequency throughout the year. This analysis found that wind speed variations and radiative cooling are responsible for the stability observed in the winter, radiative warming, as well as weaker wind speeds, are responsible for summer weak stability, and stability variations in the transition seasons (FMA, SON) are characterized by a change in sign of net radiation with increasing stability, as wind speed changes little across stability regimes. Low‐level jets were observed to occur about 50% of the time below areas of enhanced stability aloft and were observed most frequently in the transition seasons. The boundary layer depth, as determined by the Bulk Richardson number, was found to decrease with increasing stability.
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 1273 to 1289
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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