Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Antarctic Automatic Weather Station Program

The Antarctic Automatic Weather Station (AWS) program is one of the largest Antarctic meteorological observing networks and has marked over 35 years of observations. This network is critical for observing the weather and climate of the Antarctic surface, and to increase our understanding of Antarctic meteorology. This project proposes to use the surface conditions observed by the AWS network to determine how large-scale modes of climate variability impact Antarctic weather and climate, how the surface observations from the AWS network are linked to surface layer and boundary layer processes, and to quantify the impact of snowfall and blowing snow events. Specifically, this project proposes to improve our understanding of the processes that lead to unusual weather events and how these events are related to large-scale modes of climate variability. Additionally, the proposed effort aims to improve our understanding of the surface and boundary layer processes of West Antarctica with the installation of a tall tower AWS and two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) campaigns. Finally, we propose to fill our gap in knowledge of snowfall distribution, and distinguishing between snowfall and blowing snow events using a suite of precipitation sensors at WAIS and near McMurdo Station. 

Research Group


University of Colorado

John Cassano, Melissa Nigro

University of Wisconsin

Matthew Lazzara, Mark Kulie

Funding Information

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation.