In situ observations in cyclones over Fram Strait
Brümmer, Burghard; Müller, Gerd; Schröder, David
During the international FRAMZY expedition in March 2002 in-situ observations of Fram Strait cyclones were made by aircraft, ship and automatic buoys in order to study the interaction between cyclones and sea ice. The atmospheric characteristics of the observed cyclones are presented in this paper. The cyclones were generated in the baroclinic zone at the ice edge and moved NNE-ward along the ice edge. This was supported by warm air advection from WSW by an upper-level wave. The cyclones were rather small (diameter 200-700 km) and shallow (1-1.5 km e-folding height for the horizontal pressure and temperature difference) with life times between 12 and 36 hours. In spite of the small space and time scales, remarkable extremes were observed within the cyclones. Winds reached maxima above 20 m s−1 lasting for only a few hours. The transition from the cold to the advancing warm air over sea ice occurred within narrow (5-30 km) frontal zones in which vorticity and convergence reached maxima on the order of 10−3 s−1. It is discussed whether the sea ice in spite of its inertia is able to react on these strong sub cyclone-scale processes and, thus, these processes have to be taken into account in models in order to simulate the cyclone-sea ice interaction properly.