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

Characteristics, Variability and Hydrologic Impacts of the Summer Arctic Frontal Zone and Projected Changes Through the 21st Century

This project uses data from a suite of advanced atmospheric reanalyses, satellite remote sensing and model experiments to address the characteristics, variability and environmental impacts of the Summer Arctic Frontal Zone (AFZ), and how this 
seasonal feature may change over the next century. The AFZ is best developed along the Eurasian and Alaskan coasts, especially
 in Eastern Siberia and north of Alaska’s Brooks Range, where it appears that temperature gradients
 are sharpened by topographic trapping of cold Arctic Ocean air. The AFZ at the surface is 
overlain by a jet-like feature at the tropopause. Areas where the AFZ are best expressed 
are regions of frequent cyclogenesis. It appears that these cyclones have significant impacts
 on the summer precipitation regime not only along the Arctic coast, but also over the central
 Arctic Ocean, which is where many of the lows migrate into and decay. Migration of cyclones 
into the central Arctic Ocean also likely influences the sea ice state.

Research Group