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Publications - Occasional Papers

Synoptic Climatology of the Beaufort Sea Coast of Alaska

INSTAAR Occasional Paper 30

1979, 176 pp. (cost: $5)

[From the Preface] Many researchers over the years have been interested in the relationships between atmospheric circulation patterns and local weather and climate. Numerous classifications of pressure pattern or airflow types have been formulated and catalogs of their daily occurrence prepared. Until recently, investigators had to use subjectively determined classification categories and the labor involved in preparing catalogs of synoptic types spanning several decades was considerable. Now several “objective” techniques exist which permit long series of such circulation statistics to be prepared rapidly. This study utilizes one of these techniques to classify circulation patterns over Alaska and adjacent ocean areas. The climatic characteristics of the circulation types are documented for stations on the Beaufort Sea coast of Alaska and the results are analyzed in terms of their meteorological reality, as well as statistically.

The study is part of a broader program relating to the effects of both the seasonal climatic regime and synoptic weather events on shorefast ice conditions along the Beaufort Sea coast. The specific climatic information will be of interest to many environmental scientists working on Alaskan problems, while the procedures employed by R. E. Moritz provide a proven systematic approach for application of synoptic-climatological methods in other regions.

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