Skip to main content
Atmospheric Circulation Anomalies Associated with 1996/1997 Summer Precipitatipn Events on Sajama Ice Cap, Bolivia
Journal of Geophysical Research (1998)
  • Mathias Vuille
  • Douglas R. Hardy, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Carsten Braun
  • Frank Keimig
  • Raymond S Bradley, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
The analysis of atmospheric circulation anomalies related to snowfall eVents on Sajama volcano (Bolivian Andes) provides important information for the calibration of an ice core, recently recovered from the summjt. Seventeen precipitation episodes were recorded on Sajama volcano during the 1996/1997 summer season (November 1996 to Marcb 1997) by snow depth sensors and additional measurements of an automatic weather station located on the summit. The analysis of atmospheric circulation patterns during these events is pased on zonal and meridional wind, air temperature, relative humiqity, geopotential height and horizontal divergence at three pressure levels (400, 500, and 700 hPa levels), atmosphenc thickness (700 hPa-400 hPa), and precipitable water (vertically integrated), all extracted from the National Centers for Enyironment;tl Prediction (NCEP) data set. Highly convective situaUons prevailed through most of December and January, with strong motion over the Bolivian Altiplano. In Febl1lary and March, increased moisture advection from the east occurred in midtropospheric levels. These results are confirmed by isobaric 5-day back trajectories and transit time analysis at the 400 hPa level. The extremely southern position of the upper air high-pressure system ("Bolivian High") in February and March is the main reason for the unusually high precipitation amounts on the Altiplano in 1996/1997. Highly variable patterns of atmospheric circulation can lead to snowfall on Sajama during the SlImmer months.
Publication Date
May 27, 1998
Citation Information
Mathias Vuille, Douglas R. Hardy, Carsten Braun, Frank Keimig, et al.. "Atmospheric Circulation Anomalies Associated with 1996/1997 Summer Precipitatipn Events on Sajama Ice Cap, Bolivia" Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 103 Iss. D10 (1998)
Available at: