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Plans for Antarctic numerical weather prediction incorporating sea ice analysis and forecasting

Plans for Antarctic numerical weather prediction incorporating sea ice analysis and forecasting
Beth Ebert


Beth Ebert, Phil Reid, Dave Bi, Gary Brassington, Harry Hendon, Tony Hirst, Andreas Schiller and Petteri Uotila
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR)


The Bureau of Meteorology provides weather forecasts for high southern latitudes to support aviation, shipping, terrestrial and marine science, Antarctic traverse and station operations. Marine forecasts are currently provided for latitudes to 50°S. In order to better serve the needs of the Australian Antarctic program for accurate and timely forecasts, the Bureau plans to upgrade its Antarctic numerical weather prediction (NWP) modelling to include a high resolution weather and sea ice analysis and prediction capability.

The Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) model was developed by CAWCR to predict weather and climate on space and time scales from kilometres and minutes through to global climate change (see talk by Tony Hirst). When run for seasonal forecasts and long-term climate projections the ACCESS model incorporates fully coupled atmospheric, land, ocean, and sea ice processes. At shorter ranges the atmospheric and ocean models are not coupled, and sea ice is currently prescribed based on observations.

As part of a staged approach for sea ice forecasting, we would like to implement a stand-alone sea ice model (the Los Alamos sea ice model CICE) driven by forecast winds within the Bureau's global NWP system (~25 km spatial resolution). Assimilate of observed ice conditions will require development of a robust and routine sea ice analysis based on satellite data and most likely also human interpretation. Work is underway to test a high resolution (~5 km) limited area version of the ACCESS atmospheric model in domains over Casey, Davis, and Mawson stations. This will better resolve the katabatic winds responsible for many of the coastal polynyas and important for realistic sea ice simulation. In the longer term we will couple the sea ice model with the high resolution atmospheric model to provide short range sea ice forecasts (1-7 days).

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Key dates

  • 11th June 2013
    Registrations close
  • 21st June 2013
    Registrations at the AAD open for staff
  • 24th June 2013
    Registrations at the venue open
  • 24th June 2013
    Conference commences
  • 26th June 2013
    Conference concludes

More key dates…

This page was last modified on 2 September 2013.