Regional climate variability driven by foehn winds in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

Speirs, Johanna C., McGowan, Hamish A., Steinhoff, Daniel F. and Bromwich, David H. (2013) Regional climate variability driven by foehn winds in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. International Journal of Climatology, 33 4: 945-958. doi:10.1002/joc.3481

Author Speirs, Johanna C.
McGowan, Hamish A.
Steinhoff, Daniel F.
Bromwich, David H.
Total Author Count Override 4
Title Regional climate variability driven by foehn winds in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
Journal name International Journal of Climatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0899-8418
Publication date 2013-04
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/joc.3481
Volume 33
Issue 4
Start page 945
End page 958
Total pages 14
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex , United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Warm, dry and gusty foehn winds are frequently experienced in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDVs), Antarctica; however, their significance in the region’s climate is unknown. Foehn events in the MDVs are caused by topographic modification of southwesterly airflow which is related to the occurrence of synoptic-scale cyclones in the Amundsen/Ross Sea region. The intra- and interannual frequency and intensity of foehn events therefore varies in response to the position and frequency of cyclones in this region that are believed to be strongly influenced by the El Ni˜no Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). Here, we present a 20-year climatology of foehn winds from observational records in the MDVs. The SAM is found to significantly influence foehn wind frequency during the Antarctic summer and autumn months, whereas ENSO only holds significant correlations with winter air temperatures in the MDVs. The positive relationship between the SAM and the foehn wind regime in summer is particularly significant as foehn winds frequently cause summer temperatures to rise above 0 °C leading to extensive melt and thaw in MDVs. Foehn winds are a major climatological feature of the MDVs with their frequency and duration affecting the region’s temperature records and their trends. Accordingly, analysis of the region’s weather and climate records and predictions of future impacts of climate change on the MDVs is incomplete without consideration of foehn winds and their influence.
Keyword Foehn
Katabatic winds
Climate variability
Dry valleys
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 4 April 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 19 Jul 2012, 15:54:03 EST by Alexandra Simmonds on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management