26 Apr 2023
 | 26 Apr 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

An Overview of the Vertical Structure of the Atmospheric Boundary Layer in the Central Arctic during MOSAiC

Gina C. Jozef, John J. Cassano, Sandro Dahlke, Mckenzie Dice, Christopher J. Cox, and Gijs de Boer

Abstract. Observations collected during the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) provide an annual cycle of the vertical thermodynamic and kinematic structure of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) in the central Arctic. A self-organizing map (SOM) analysis conducted using radiosonde observations shows a range in the Arctic ABL vertical structure from very shallow and stable, with a strong surface-based virtual potential temperature (θv) inversion, to deep and near-neutral, with a weak elevated θv inversion. Profile observations from the DataHawk2 uncrewed aircraft system between 23 March and 26 July 2020 largely sampled the same profile structures, which can be further analyzed to provide unique insight into the turbulent characteristics of the ABL. The patterns identified by the SOM allowed for the derivation of criteria to categorize stability within and just above the ABL, which reveals that the Arctic ABL is stable and near-neutral with similar frequencies. In conjunction with observations from additional measurement platforms, including a 10 m meteorological tower, ceilometer, and microwave radiometer, the radiosonde observations provide insight into the relationships between atmospheric stability and a variety of atmospheric thermodynamic and kinematic features. The average ABL height was found to be 150 m, and ABL height increases with decreasing stability. A low-level jet was observed in 76 % of the radiosondes, with an average height of 401 m and an average speed of 11.5 m s−1. At least one temperature inversion below 5 km was observed in 99.7 % of the radiosondes, with an average base height of 260 m and an average intensity of 4.8 °C. The only cases without a temperature inversion were those with weak stability aloft. Clouds were observed within the 30 minutes preceding radiosonde launch 64 % of the time. These were typically low clouds, and high clouds largely coincide with a stable ABL. The amount of atmospheric moisture present increases with decreasing stability.

Gina C. Jozef et al.

Status: open (until 23 Jun 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-780', Günther Heinemann, 13 May 2023 reply
  • CC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-780', Günther Heinemann, 19 May 2023 reply

Gina C. Jozef et al.

Data sets

Initial radiosonde data from 2019-10 to 2020-09 during project MOSAiC, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven M. Maturilli, D. J. Holdridge, S. Dahlke, J. Graeser, A. Sommerfeld, R. Jaiser, H. Deckelmann, and A. Schulz

DataHawk2 Uncrewed Aircraft System data from the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) campaign, B1 level G. Jozef, G. de Boer, J. Cassano, R. Calmer, J. Hamilton, D. Lawrence, S. Borenstein, A. Doddi, J. Schmale, A. Preußer, and B. Argrow

Met City meteorological and surface flux measurements (Level 3, final), Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC), central Arctic, October 2019 – September 2020 C. J. Cox, M. Gallagher, M. D. Shupe, P. O. G. Persson, A. Grachev, A. Solomon, T. Ayers, D. Costa, J. Hutchings, J. Leach, S. Morris, J. Osbern, S. Pezoa, and T. Uttal

Ceilometer (CEIL). 2019-10-11 to 2020-10-01, ARM Mobile Facility (MOS) MOSAIC (Drifting Obs - Study of Arctic Climate); AMF2 (M1) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility. Compiled by V. Morris, D. Zhang, and B. Ermold

MWR Retrievals (MWRRET1LILJCLOU). 2019-10-11 to 2020-10-01, ARM Mobile Facility (MOS) MOSAIC (Drifting Obs - Study of Arctic Climate); AMF2 (M1) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility. Compiled by D. Zhang

Gina C. Jozef et al.


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Short summary
Observations collected during MOSAiC were used to identify the range in vertical structure and stability of the central Arctic lower atmosphere, through a self-organizing map analysis. Statistics on atmospheric boundary layer height and stability, low-level jet and temperature inversion characteristics, clouds and atmospheric moisture depending on season and stability are provided in this paper to give an overview of the thermodynamic and kinematic features of the central Arctic atmosphere.