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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons...

Yang, Y., A. Anderson, D. Kiv, J. Germann, M. Fuchs, S. P. Palm, and T. Wang (2021), This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modificatio, Earth and Space, 1, 10.

As a common phenomenon over Antarctica, blowing snow (BLSN), especially the large BLSN storms, play an important role in the Antarctic surface mass balance, radiation budget, and planetary boundary layer processes. This study presents the work on BLSN storm identification and analysis with observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Aqua satellite. Spectral analysis shows that BLSN identification is feasible with MODIS daytime data. A random forest machine learning model is developed and observations from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization are used for training. Model performance results show that machinelearning based classification can achieve over 90% overall accuracy when classifying MODIS pixels into cloud, clear, and BLSN categories. The machine learning model is applied to MODIS observations during the month of October 2009 for BLSN storm analysis. Results show that the size of BLSN storms has a large spectrum and can reach hundreds of thousands km2. The MODIS based BLSN storm frequency map extends the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations coverage limit from 82°S to the South Pole. A BLSN storm belt, which extends from the South Pole region to the coastal area between 130°E and 160°E along the Transantarctic Mountains, provides a potential pathway of snow transport. These results are important in improving the understanding of BLSN impact on Antarctic surface mass balance and boundary layer processes.

Research Program: 
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)
Cryospheric Science Program (CSP)
Funding Sources: 
CloudSat/CALIPSO Science program