HAPpy Hour Seminar - Environmental and Cloud Characteristics of Air-Mass Transformations During the COMBLE Field Campaign

Dec. 9, 2022

3:00 – 4:00 pm MST

FL2 3107
Main content

Air-mass transformations into and out of the arctic are crucial components of the arctic climate system. Warm-air intrusions (WAIs) transport warm and moist air from the mid-latitudes into the arctic while cold-air outbreaks (CAOs) transport cold arctic air in the opposite direction. When CAOs occur over the ocean, a characteristic cloud field develops with cloud streets close to the ice edge and open cellular clouds further downstream. The Cold Air Outbreaks in the Marine Boundary Layer Experiment (COMBLE) was conducted in northern Norway from December 2019 to May 2020 with a focus on this CAO cloud field. In this talk, the characteristics of WAIs and CAOs during COMBLE are presented, with a focus on open cellular convection that occurred during intense CAOs. Open cellular clouds were observed in different parts of their lifecycles, with developing clouds having strong updrafts in which liquid is produced, while dissipating clouds had weaker vertical motions and were fully glaciated. COMBLE observations and WRF simulations of those clouds are compared. Additionally, the talk will present novel observations that were made of polar lows during COMBLE. Polar lows are intense and short-lived mesoscale cyclones that form during CAOs, some of which can resemble the structure of tropical cyclones on satellite images. The low pressure centers of three polar lows passed in close proximity to COMBLE and all three exhibited distinct characteristics.

If you're unable to attend in person, please meet us virtually.

Christian Lackner

University of Wyoming

Christian Lackner is originally from Germany where he received a Bachelor degree in Meteorology from Johannes Gutenberg University in his hometown of Mainz in 2019. During his undergraduate studies, Christian gained experience in laboratory work about droplet freezing and hail fall velocities. His bachelor thesis was titled “Investigation of immersion freezing of desert dust in an acoustic levitator”. In 2020, Christian received Master degrees in Meteorology and Atmospheric Science from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the University of Wyoming as part of an exchange program. This time his focus was on regional climate modelling, assessing the impact of climate change on ski areas in the interior western US. During this research, he was able to visit some of those ski areas in person. Since 2020, Christian is a PhD student at the University of Wyoming focusing on observations of cold-air outbreaks and other phenomena during the COMBLE campaign. In his free time, Christian likes to enjoy the outdoors of the mountain west, snowboarding in the winter, and hiking in the summer. If there is time after work, he likes to go to the university gym to play pick-up basketball games with other students.