Wintertime precipitation behavior in the western Canadian Arctic region

Yoshio Asuma, Yusuke Inoue, Katsuhiro Kikuchi, Masahiro Kajikawa, Noboru Sato, Tadahiro Hayasaka

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10 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the precipitation formation process in the two major types of weather systems ("Pacific origin" and "storm track" types) in the western Canadian Arctic region, an X-band vertical pointing Doppler radar, microwave radiometer were installed at Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, during the midwinter of 1995/1996. Precise precipitation observations specially for ice crystals with replicator, microscope, and close-up photos were also conducted at the same place. Precipitation formation mechanisms were quite different between these two major weather systems. For the Pacific-origin-type disturbance, warm and moist air was advected from the Pacific Ocean between 1.5 and 3.5 km msl. Convective echo patterns appeared by radar, and a large amount of precipitable water vapor and liquid water path were estimated by a microwave radiometer. As the air temperature was below the freezing point, the liquid water was identified as being in the supercooled state. Densely rimed dendrites and graupel particles were observed predominantly on the ground. Collision and coalescence processes of supercooled cloud droplets were dominant. On the contrary, for the storm track disturbance the moisture came from the Arctic Ocean, and strong winds were observed on the ground. The air mass was colder than -20°C throughout the layer. Stratiform echo patterns were observed by radar, a smaller amount of precipitable water vapor, and only a small liquid water path were observed by a microwave radiometer. It was suggested that the condensation growth was predominant. Snow crystal shapes of plates, columns, and bullet rosettes were observed predominantly on the ground.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1999JD901124
Pages (from-to)14927-14939
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD11
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jun 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 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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