Meteorological atmospheric boundary layer measurements and ECMWF analyses during summer at Dome C, Antarctica

Christophe Genthon, Michael S. Town, Delphine Six, Vincent Favier, Stefania Argentini, Andrea Pellegrini

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Six levels of meteorological sensors have been deployed along a 45 m tower at the French-Italian Concordia station, Dome C, Antarctic. We present measurements of vertical profiles, the diurnal cycle, and interdiurnal variability of temperature, humidity, and wind speed and direction for 3 weeks during the southern summer of 2008. These measurements are compared to 6-hourly European Center for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses and daily radiosoundings. The ECMWF analyses show a 3-4°C warm bias relative to the tower observations. They reproduce the diurnal cycle of temperature with slightly weaker amplitude and weaker vertical gradients. The amplitude of the diurnal cycle of relative humidity is overestimated by ECMWF because the amplitude of the absolute humidity diurnal cycle is too small. The nighttime surface-based wind shear and Ekman spiral is also not reproduced in the ECMWF analyses. Radiosonde temperatures are biased low relative to the tower observations in the lowest 30 m but approach agreement at the top of the tower. Prior to bias correction for age-related contamination, radiosonde relative humidities are biased low relative to the tower observations in the lowest 10 m but agree with tower observations above this height. After correction for the age-related bias, the radiosonde relative humidity agrees with tower observations below 10 m but is biased high above this height. Tower temperature observations may also be biased by solar heating, despite radiation shielding and natural ventilation. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberD05104
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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