ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2021, Vol. 18, No. 6, pp. 241-252

Ice storm in Primorye on November 18–19, 2020

I.A. Gurvich 1 , M.K. Pichugin 1 , A.V. Baranyuk 1 , E.S. Khazanova 1 
1 V.I. Il'ichev Pacific Oceanological Institute FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia
Accepted: 21.10.2021
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2021-18-6-241-252
This work considers the conditions for the freezing rain formation on the south of Primorsky Krai on November 18–19, 2020, which, due to the catastrophic consequences, is classified as an “ice storm”. This severe weather event was registered in the Primorsky Kray for the first time in the history of meteorological observations. The study was carried out using measurements from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite, ERA5 and ERA5 Land reanalysis data sets, standard meteorological measurements and atmospheric upper-air sounding data. An ice storm occurred during a synoptic situation similar to a like phenomenon in regions where it is observed regularly. It was preceded by two parallel frontal systems oriented zonally. The southern cyclone contributed to the intensive transport of a stably stratified subtropical air mass to Primorye. The liquid precipitation were formed in the layer >2 km thick which occurred in the free atmosphere as a result of the advective inversion, with positive temperatures (up to 5.8 °C) and high values of relative humidity, mainly 100 %. Passing through a normally stratified underlying layer with a thickness of ~700 m and negative temperatures, supercooled liquid precipitation in contact with the surfaces of various objects caused a rapid growth of ice glaze on them. The diameter of the ice glaze varied from 12 to 51 mm. Based on measurements of the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) multichannel microwave radiometer and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on the GPM satellite, the spatial distribution of precipitation zones, estimates of their amount and intensity were obtained. The vertical profile of air temperature according to ERA5 data and precipitation intensity from DPR measurements showed that precipitation was formed in a free atmosphere in a layer up to 3 km at positive air temperatures. The application of existing methods for identifying freezing rain to a specific case made it possible to identify an area with favorable conditions for a hazardous weather phenomenon with a total area of ~89 000 km2. More than 70 % of meteorological stations with reports of freezing rain and sleet fell into the zone of favorable conditions. Comparison with the available in situ measurements showed the representativeness of the obtained model data. The combined use of satellite measurements and high-resolution reanalysis data significantly expands the possibilities of climatic studies of freezing rains.
Keywords: hazardous weather phenomena, freezing rain, satellite microwave sounding, Primorye, meteorological observations, ERA5 reanalysis
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