08 Nov 2022
08 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Antarctic atmospheric Richardson number from radiosoundings measurements and AMPS

Qike Yang1,2,3, Xiaoqing Wu1,3, Xiaodan Hu1,2,3, Zhiyuan Wang1,3, Chun Qing1,3, Tao Luo1,3, Pengfei Wu1,3, and Yiming Guo1,2,3 Qike Yang et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Optics, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, HFIPS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
  • 2Science Island Branch of Graduate School, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
  • 3Advanced Laser Technology Laboratory of Anhui Province, Hefei 230037, China

Abstract. Monitoring a wide range of atmospheric turbulence over the Antarctic continent is still tricky, while the atmospheric Richardson number (Ri ; a critical parameter determining the possibility of turbulence could be triggered) is easier to obtain. The Antarctic atmospheric Ri, calculated using the temperature and wind speed, was investigated using the daily results from the radiosoundings and forecasts of the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS). Radiosoundings for a year at three sites (McMurdo, South Pole, and Dome C) were used to quantify the reliability of the AMPS forecasts. The AMPS-forecasted 1/Ri  (inverse of the Richardson number) can identify the main characteristics of atmospheric turbulence over the Antarctic continent in terms of space and time. The correlation coefficients (Rxy) of 1/Ri at McMurdo, South Pole, and Dome C are 0.71, 0.66, and 0.68, respectively, where the performance gains during the warm seasons. In addition, a model to improve AMPS-forecasted 1/Ri has been presented. The monthly median at the three sites and the seasonal median throughout the two vertical cross-sections for the AMPS forecasts are presented. One can observe that the probability of triggering turbulence is primarily concentrated near the ground. In addition, strong wind shears near escarpment regions have been found in the range of 0–5 km above the ground, thus causing atmospheric instability (or a thick boundary layer). In addition, turbulent atmospheres are likely to be triggered over the ocean, moving toward the Antarctic Plateau and becoming stable. Finally, the 1/Ri at the planetary boundary layer height (PBLH), 1/RiPBLH, has been provided as a reference standard for judging atmospheric stability. The median value of 1/RiPBLH from the combined data of two vertical cross-sections was 0.55, which was used to calculate PBLH and agree well with the AMPS forecasts (Rxy >0.72).

Qike Yang et al.

Status: open (until 29 Dec 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-352', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Dec 2022 reply

Qike Yang et al.

Qike Yang et al.


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Short summary
The AMPS-forecasted 1/Ri (the inverse of the Richardson number) was first comprehensively valid over the Antarctic continent. The differences of Richardson number between the AMPS and radiosoundings were presented, and a model to improve the AMPS-forecasted 1/Ri was developed. The 1/Ri distribution was analysed and discussed. The critical value of the AMPS-forecasted 1/Ri for judging the atmospheric stability was obtained as 0.55.