MULTI-LAYER ATMOSPHERIC ANALYSIS DURING SNOW EPISODES IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL
Keywords:Snow precipitation. South Hemisphere. Southern of Brazil.
A climatology for thickness, temperature, absolute and relative humidities, and vertically-integrated water vapor is presented for a number of distinct atmospheric layers during snow episodes reported in Southern Brazil from January 1979 to March 2011, totaling 64 events. Data from “The Climate Forecast System Reanalysis” (CFSR) were used in the analysis of aforementioned variables for the following atmospheric layers: 850-1000 hPa, 700-1000 hPa, 500-1000 hPa, and 700-850 hPa. The snow episodes were subdivided into three sets according to the local surface elevation. The thicknesses of the atmospheric layers found for the snow events in southern Brazil were considerably deeper than the corresponding ones documented in the literature for North America. In addition, analysis of the vertical distribution of water vapor, temperature and relative humidity in the lower troposphere indicated that the atmospheric layer with favorable conditions to snow production is relatively shallow, being below 850hPa. Moreover, the threshold value of thickness for the 850-1000h Palayer during snow occurrence in southern Brazil was around 133 dam, being considerably higher than its counterpart value documented for North America, highlighting the role played by the local topography in setting the conditions that are favorable for snow occurrence in Brazil.
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