Journal article

Dynamical characteristics of ice supersaturated regions

Gierens K, Brinkop S ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 12, issue 24 (2012) pp. 11933-11942

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The typical distributions of dynamical fields within ice supersaturated
regions are investigated. The dynamical fields divergence, relative
vorticity, and vertical velocity are analysed statistically in two
ways, namely using the unconditioned data and data conditioned on
the presence of ice supersaturation. Two geographical regions are
considered, namely Europe (250 hPa level) and the tropical belt from
30° S to 30° N on two pressure levels (200 and 150 hPa). The study
is based on forecast data from the European Centre for Medium-Range
Weather Forecasts for four months covering the four seasons, June,
September, December 2011 and March 2012. We find that histograms
(frequency distributions) and low order moments of the dynamical
fields differ substantially and statistically significantly inside
and outside of ice supersaturated regions. As expected, upward and
divergent flow favours ice supersaturation. But we find also that
ice supersaturation is mostly located in anti-cyclonic flow. The
latter result is probably due to the structure of warm/moist and
cold/dry air streams in synoptic disturbances in mid-latitudes, but
probably merely coincidental in the tropical belt.

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  • K. Gierens

  • S. Brinkop

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