Intense sea-effect snowfall case on the western coast of Finland
- Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
Abstract. A new national daily snowfall record was measured in Finland on 8 January 2016 when it snowed 73 cm (31 mm as liquid water) in less than a day in Merikarvia on the western coast of Finland. The area of the most intense snowfall was very small, which is common in convective precipitation. In this work we used hourly weather radar images to identify the sea-effect snowfall case and to qualitatively estimate the performance of HARMONIE, a non-hydrostatic convection-permitting weather prediction model, in simulating the spatial and temporal evolution of the snowbands. The model simulation, including data assimilation, was run at 2.5 km horizontal resolution and 65 levels in vertical. HARMONIE was found to capture the overall sea-effect snowfall situation quite well, as both the timing and the location of the most intense snowstorm were properly simulated. Based on our preliminary analysis, the snowband case was triggered by atmospheric instability above the mostly ice-free sea and a low-level convergence zone almost perpendicular to the coastline. The simulated convective available potential energy (CAPE) reached a value of 87 J kg−1 near the site of the observed snowfall record.