Meteorological Data for the Astronomical Site at Dome A, Antarctica Academic Article uri icon


  • 2014. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. All rights reserved. We present an analysis of the meteorological data collected at Dome A, Antarctica by the Kunlun Automated Weather Station, including temperatures and wind speeds at eight elevations above the snow surface between 0 m and 14.5 m. The average temperatures at 2 m and 14.5 m are _54C and _46C, respectively. We find that a strong temperature inversion existed at all heights for more than 70% of the time, and the temperature inversion typically lasts longer than 25 hr, indicating an extremely stable atmosphere. The temperature gradient is larger at lower elevations than at higher elevations. The average wind speed was 1:5 ms_1 at 4 m elevation. We find that the temperature inversion is stronger when the wind speed is lower, and the temperature gradient decreases sharply at a specific wind speed for each elevation. The strong temperature inversion and low wind speed result in a shallow and stable boundary layer with weak atmospheric turbulence above it, suggesting that Dome A should be an excellent site for astronomical observations. All the data from the weather station are available for download.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 2.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Hu, Y. i., Shang, Z., Ashley, M., Bonner, C. S., Hu, K., Liu, Q., ... Wen, H.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Hu, Yi||Shang, Zhaohui||Ashley, Michael CB||Bonner, Colin S||Hu, Keliang||Liu, Qiang||Li, Yuansheng||Ma, Bin||Wang, Lifan||Wen, Haikun

publication date

  • September 2014