Date of Award

Fall 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Earth Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Jack E Dibb


The study of atmospheric chemistry relies on data from weather models to determine how air parcels move through the atmosphere. The performance of weather models can be negatively impacted by a number of factors, many of which are present at Summit, Greenland. Meteorological observations at Summit during the summer of 2008 included profiles of wind conditions over the lowest part of the troposphere. Data from the profiles were compared to output from two weather models. It was found that both models had difficulty predicting wind speed at the 650 hPa level, roughly 300--400 m above ground level. Analysis at other sites indicated that the poor performance at Summit was primarily due to 650 hPa being in or near the planetary boundary layer (PBL), but a lack of observational data going into model initialization and sparse regional data were also factors.