nfrasonic signatures of a Polar Low in the Norwegian and Barents Sea on 23–27 March 1992

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Ørbæk, Jon Børre ; Naustvik, Magnus (2011)

This article presents an analysis of a Polar Low in the Norwegian and Barents Sea, 23–27 March 1992. The low is remote monitored from northern Norway and Svalbard by means of two Passive Broadband Infrasonic Sodars (PBIS's), estimating the directionality of the local acoustic field of atmospheric infrasound. The presented data show that the polar low apparently generates strong infrasound, and it is believed that some part of the measured pressure perturbations are generated by the intense turbulent regions of the low, as part of the aerodynamic spectrum. Due to the very low attenuation of infrasound in the atmosphere, the sound propagates to distant recording stations more than 1000 km away, by successive reflections between the upper atmosphere and the sea surface. Because of the small number of synoptic stations in the area, data inputs to the numerical circulation models are few, and because the phenomena in study are mesoscale, down to one tenth the size of a frontal cyclone, conventional meteorological data may not resolve the features of interest. The infrasonic direction-of-arrival (DOA)-spectra produced by the PBIS passive acoustic remote sensing technique utilized in this work, is shown to give new information to the analysis of the weather situation. While the satellite images normally are ambiguous with respect to the dynamics and thermodynamic state of the visible cloud-clusters, the infrasonic DOA-spectra may provide valuable dynamic information of the distant polar low in near real time. It is suggested that the major part of the infrasonic signatures detected by the PBIS's come from the active regions of turbulent convection. By picking out the directions of these active intensification regions, the DOA-spectra may, as is shown in this article, indicate that several local disturbances took part in the complex polar low development.DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0870.1995.00201.x
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