This study examines mechanisms which control heavy snowfalls in the eastern coast of Korea. Previous observational studies have indicated that heavy snowfalls are caused by the advection of cold and dry air over the warm ocean off the eastern coast. Previous studies have not considered the effects of surface heat fluxes on heavy snowfalls. It is likely that the warm ocean produces strong surface heat fluxes that are able to invigorate convection and enhance precipitation. Motivated by this, this study examines not only the effect of the advection on heavy snowfalls but also that of surface heat fluxes and compare these two types of effects. In addition to this, this study looks into microphysical and dynamic processes which are associated with heavy snowfalls, considering that previous studies have not given us information on these processes. By running high-resolution simulations, this study finds that surface heat fluxes are a main driver of heavy snowfalls and the roles played by the advection in them are negligible. Surface heat fluxes induce strong updrafts and large deposition onto snow and cloud ice, which enables the efficient growth of snow and heavy snowfalls. This demonstrates that for better understanding of heavy snowfalls in the eastern coast of Korea, we have to better understand the surface processes that are linked to surface heat fluxes.
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Acknowledgements This study was supported by the Korean Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program (CATER 2012-6050) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0211 and No. 2012R1A1A2001133 and 2015R1D1A1A09059906). This study was also supported by Development of Climate and Atmospheric Environmental Applications project, funded by ETRI, which is a subproject of Development of Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Ground Segment (NMSC-2017-01) program funded by NMSC of KMA, and Research and Development for KMA Weather, Climate, and Earth system Services (NIMS-2016-3100) of the National Institute of Meteorological Sciences (NIMS) funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA). Additional support was provided by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program “Research and Development for KMA Weather, Climate, and Earth system Services-Support to Use of Meteorological Information and Value Creation” under Grant (KMA2018-00222).
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- Cold-air advection
- Heavy snowfalls in Korea
- Surface fluxes