White-out in Greenland
Gerdel, Robert W.; Diamond, Marvin.
Research ReportLimited studies of white-outs on the Greenland Ice Cap indicate that five major types of low visibility have been reported as white-out. They are: 1.) Overcast white-out, caused by a continuous cloud cover. 2.) Water-fog white-out, produced by supercooled water droplets in the air. 3.) Ice-fog white-out, produced by ice crystals suspended in the air. 4.) Blowing snow white-out, produced by wind-driven, wind-eroded snow. 5.) Precipitation white-out, produced by falling snow. The first three types are interrelated and appear to be produced by upslope, convective lifting of warm maritime air and the advective transport of the cooled saturated air over the cold snow field. Radiation heat losses from the snow surface may contribute to more rapid formation of the white-out. The fact that there is a shift in the prevailing wind direction prior to the development of a white-out indicates that certain changes in upper air circulation may be associated with white-out formation and duration. There is reason to believe that upper air and surface observations might make it possible to forecast white-outs on the Greenland Ice Cap with some degree of reliability.
U.S. Army Snow, Ice, and Permafrost Research Establishment.Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Meteorology; Meteorological optics; Whiteout; White-out; Greenland; Ice fog; Visibility; Weather
Research report (U.S. Army Snow
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.