Enhanced automated meteorological observations at the Canadian Arctic weather science (CAWS) supersites
- 1Meteorological Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, M3H 5T6, Canada
- 2Centre ESCER, Département des sciences de la Terre et de l’atmosphère, Université du Québec à Montréal, H2L 2C4, Canada
- 3Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, M3H 5T6, Canada
- 4Air Quality Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, M3H 5T6, Canada
Abstract. The changing Arctic climate is creating increased economic, transportation, and recreational activities requiring reliable and relevant weather information. However, the Canadian Arctic is sparsely observed and processes governing weather systems in the Arctic are not well understood. There is a recognized lack of meteorological data to characterize the Arctic atmosphere for operational forecasting and to support process studies, satellite calibration/validation, search and rescue operations (which are increasing in the region), high impact weather (HIW) detection and prediction, and numerical weather prediction (NWP) model verification and evaluation. To address this need, Environment and Climate Change Canada commissioned two supersites; one in Iqaluit (63.74° N, 68.51° W) in September 2015 and the other in Whitehorse (60.71° N, 135.07° W) in November 2017 as part of the Canadian Arctic Weather Science (CAWS) project. The primary goals of CAWS are to provide enhanced meteorological observations in the Canadian Arctic for HIW nowcasting (short-range forecast) and NWP model verification, evaluation, and process studies, and to provide recommendations on the optimal cost-effective observing system for the Canadian Arctic. Both sites are in Provincial/Territorial capitals and are economic hubs for the region; they also act as transportation gateways to the North and are in the path of several common Arctic storm tracks. The supersites are located at or next to major airports and existing Meteorological Service of Canada ground-based weather stations that provide standard meteorological surface observations and upper air radiosonde observations; they are also uniquely situated in close proximity to frequent overpasses by polar-orbiting satellites. The suite of in-situ and remote sensing instruments at each site are completely automated (no on-site operator) and operate continuously in all weather conditions, providing near-real time data to operational weather forecasters, the public, and researchers via obrs.ca. The two sites have similar instruments, including mobile Doppler weather radars, multiple vertically-profiling and/or scanning lidars (Doppler, ceilometer, water vapour), optical disdrometers, precipitation gauges in different shielded configurations, present weather sensors, fog monitoring devices, radiation flux sensors, and other meteorological instruments. Details on the two supersites, the suites of instruments deployed, data collection methods, and example case studies of HIW events are discussed. CAWS data are publically accessible via the Canadian Government Open Data Portal (https://doi.org/10.18164/ff771396-b22c-4bc3-844d-38fc697049e9 (Mariani et al., 2022a) and https://doi.org/10.18164/d92ed3cf-4ba0-4473-beec-357ec45b0e78 (Mariani et al., 2022b)); this dataset is being used to improve our understanding of synoptic and fine-scale meteorological processes in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, including HIW detection and prediction and NWP verification, assimilation, and processes.
Zen Mariani et al.
Status: final response (author comments only)
Zen Mariani et al.
Whitehorse, YT, CAWS supersite enhanced meteorological observations https://doi.org/10.18164/d92ed3cf-4ba0-4473-beec-357ec45b0e78
Iqaluit, NU, CAWS supersite enhanced meteorological observations https://doi.org/10.18164/ff771396-b22c-4bc3-844d-38fc697049e9
Zen Mariani et al.
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