Date of this Version
Climate records for wind speed, wind direction, and temperature are analyzed for the period from 1979-2009 for the Beaufort/Chukchi Seas region of the Arctic. Wind records have historically been subject to far fewer analyses than other meteorological variables, such as temperature or precipitation. This is particularly true for data sparse regions. Data were collected for a large area in the Beaufort/Chukchi Seas region, which includes portions of Russia, the United States, and Canada. Data from 250 stations were collected from a variety of networks throughout the region and uniformly quality controlled. Eight long-term stations were identified for data completeness and length of record. Climatologies were developed for these eight stations for wind speed, wind direction, and temperature for the period from 1979-2009. Trends in monthly and annual wind speed and temperature were examined. Results from the climatologies and trend tests were then compared to gridded output from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). Using a combination of data sets, a case study focusing on warm-season seas breezes in a smaller study area was performed for 2009. Climatologies show an Arctic climate with clear distinctions between coastal and interior locations for the variables analyzed and strong seasonal characteristics. Strong warming was evident at all locations, particularly in the late warm-season/early cold-season. Negative wind speed trends were observed at several locations, though seasonality was less evident. Biases in NARR were noted for variables analyzed. Trends in NARR temperature compared well with observations in sign and magnitude. Wind speed trends were not well represented. Further investigations into physical mechanism behind wind speed trends and differences in reanalysis are required. Sea breezes were found to occur around Deadhorse, Alaska in the summer of 2009. Frequency was highest in June (43% of days) decreasing through the warm season (26% of days). Direction and inland penetration of sea breezes appears to be related to the strength of the temperature gradient over the region.
Advisor: Martha D. Shulski