Anomalous atmospheric circulation over the Weddell Sea, Antarctica during the austral summer of 2001/02 resulting in extreme sea ice conditions
During the Austral summer of 2001/02 exceptionally heavy sea ice conditions were experienced over the eastern Weddell Sea. Satellite microwave imagery showed that large negative (positive) ice anomalies were present from October 2001 to January 2002 over the north-western Weddell Sea (off the coast of Dronning Maud Land). These were a result of anomalously high (low) atmospheric pressure over the South Atlantic (southern Weddell Sea and Bellingshausen Sea), which gave strong north to north-westerly cyclonic flow over the northern and eastern Weddell Sea. This resulted in convergence of sea ice into the southern Weddell Sea and inhibited ice advection along the coast of Dronning Maud land. The atmospheric anomalies around the Weddell Sea were part of an Antarctic-wide amplification of the mean wavenumber 3 pattern resulting in more intrusions of mid-latitude air into the interior of the continent, giving rise to near-record warm temperatures at several locations.
Authors: Turner, John, Harangozo, Stephen A., Marshall, Gareth J., King, John C., Colwell, Steve R.