The Novaya Zemlya Bora and its impact on Barents Sea air-sea interaction



[1] Novaya Zemlya is a mountainous archipelago in the Eastern Arctic. Weather station data indicates that southeasterly high-speed winds are frequent, especially during the winter. Although it has been proposed that a bora is responsible for these winds, there has been no quantitative analysis of the flow in the region. Here we present the first high-resolution climatology of the three-dimensional wind field near Novaya Zemlya. The high-speed wind events are shown to share many characteristics with bora as well as models of downslope windstorms. The highest wind speeds occur where Barents Sea dense water is observed to form, and we show that there is a doubling in the turbulent heat transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere during bora. It is argued that the bora plays an important role in the transformation of the Atlantic water that passes by the archipelago en route to the central Arctic Ocean.