Impact of wind pattern and complex topography on snow microphysics during International Collaborative Experiment for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic winter games (ICE-POP 2018)

Kim, Kwonil; Bang, Wonbae; Chang, Eun-Chul; Tapiador, Francisco J.; Tsai, Chia-Lun; Jung, Eunsil; Lee, Gyuwon

Snowfall in the northeastern part of South Korea is the result of complex snowfall mechanisms due to a highly contrasting terrain combined with nearby warm waters and three synoptic pressure patterns. All these factors together create unique combinations, whose disentangling can provide new insights into the microphysics of snow on the planet. This study focuses on the impact of wind flow and topography on the microphysics drawing of 20 snowfall events during the ICE-POP 2018 (International Collaborative Experiment for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic winter games) field campaign in the Gangwon region. The vertical structure of precipitation and size distribution characteristics are investigated with collocated MRR (micro rain radar) and PARSIVEL (particle size velocity) disdrometers installed across the mountain range. The results indicate that wind shear and embedded turbulence were the cause of the riming process dominating the mountainous region. As the strength of these processes weakens from the mountainous region to the coastal region, riming became less significant and gave way to aggregation. This study specifically analyzes the microphysical characteristics under three major synoptic patterns: air–sea interaction, cold low, and warm low. Air–sea interaction pattern is characterized by more frequent snowfall and vertically deeper precipitation systems on the windward side, resulting in significant aggregation in the coastal region, with riming featuring as a primary growth mechanism in both mountainous and coastal regions. The cold-low pattern is characterized by a higher snowfall rate and vertically deep systems in the mountainous region, with the precipitation system becoming shallower in the coastal region and strong turbulence being found in the layer below 2 inline-formulakm in the mountainous upstream region (linked with dominant aggregation). The warm-low pattern features the deepest system: precipitation here is enhanced by the seeder–feeder mechanism with two different precipitation systems divided by the transition zone (easterly below and westerly above). Overall, it is found that strong shear and turbulence in the transition zone is a likely reason for the dominant riming process in the mountainous region, with aggregation being important in both mountainous and coastal regions.

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Kim, Kwonil / Bang, Wonbae / Chang, Eun-Chul / et al: Impact of wind pattern and complex topography on snow microphysics during International Collaborative Experiment for PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic winter games (ICE-POP 2018). 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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