Publication
Meteorological Data for the Astronomical Site at Dome A, Antarctica

Hu, Yi et al., 2014, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 126, 868 | View on ADS (2014PASP..126..868H) | Access via DOI

Abstract

We present an analysis of the meteorological data collected at Dome A, Antarctica by the Kunlun Automated Weather Station, including temperatures and wind speeds at eight elevations above the snow surface between 0m and 14.5m. The average temperatures at 2m and 14.5m are $-54^{\circ}$C and $-46^{\circ}$C, respectively. We find that a strong temperature inversion existed at all heights for more than 70% of the time, and the temperature inversion typically lasts longer than 25 hours, indicating an extremely stable atmosphere. The temperature gradient is larger at lower elevations than higher elevations. The average wind speed was 1.5m/s at 4m elevation. We find that the temperature inversion is stronger when the wind speed is lower and the temperature gradient decreases sharply at a specific wind speed for each elevation. The strong temperature inversion and low wind speed results in a shallow and stable boundary layer with weak atmospheric turbulence above it, suggesting that Dome A should be an excellent site for astronomical observations. All the data from the weather station are available for download.

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