Articles | Volume 14, issue 5
Research article
27 May 2020
Research article |  | 27 May 2020

Synoptic conditions and atmospheric moisture pathways associated with virga and precipitation over coastal Adélie Land in Antarctica

Nicolas Jullien, Étienne Vignon, Michael Sprenger, Franziska Aemisegger, and Alexis Berne

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Cited articles

Aemisegger, F. and Papritz, L.: A Climatology of Strong Large-Scale Ocean Evaporation Events. Part I: Identification, Global Distribution, and Associated Climate Conditions, J. Climate, 31, 7287–7312,, 2018. a
Aemisegger, F., Pfahl, S., Sodemann, H., Lehner, I., Seneviratne, S. I., and Wernli, H.: Deuterium excess as a proxy for continental moisture recycling and plant transpiration, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 4029–4054,, 2014. a
Agosta, C., Amory, C., Kittel, C., Orsi, A., Favier, V., Gallée, H., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., van Wessem, J. M., van de Berg, W. J., and Fettweis, X.: Estimation of the Antarctic surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR (1979–2015) and identification of dominant processes, The Cryosphere, 13, 281–296,, 2019. a, b
Auton, A.: Red Blue Colormap, MATLAB Central File Exchange, available at:, last access: 1 April 2020. a, b
Bailey, A., Singh, H. K. A., and Nusbaumer, J.: Evaluating a Moist Isentropic Framework for Poleward Moisture Transport: Implications for Water Isotopes Over Antarctica, Geophys. Res. Lett., 46, 7819–7827,, 2019. a
Short summary
Although snowfall is the main input of water to the Antarctic ice sheet, snowflakes are often evaporated by dry and fierce winds near the surface of the continent. The amount of snow that actually reaches the ground is therefore considerably reduced. By analyzing the position of cyclones and fronts as well as by back-tracing the atmospheric moisture pathway towards Antarctica, this study explains in which meteorological conditions snowfall is either completely evaporated or reaches the ground.