The Influence of Gravity Waves on Radiometric Measurements: A Case Study

M. T. Decker Wave Propagation Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, CO 80303

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F. Einaudi School of Geophysical Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta 30332

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J. J. Finnigan Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado/NOAA, Boulder, CO 80304

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Abstract

During the 1978 PHOENIX experiment at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory in Colorado, the presence of atmospheric gravity waves was detected by various independent remote sensing instruments. Fluctuations in the zenith atmospheric radiation were measured at 22.235 and 55.45 GHz in the water vapor and oxygen absorption bands and compared with corresponding fluctuations of surface pressure and the height of FM-CW radar echo returns. These fluctuations are explained, qualitatively and quantitatively, in terms of an internal gravity wave generated by wind shear above the boundary layer. The analysis shows that the oscillations at 22.235 GHz are essentially due to fluctuations of water vapor in the antenna beam while those at 55.45 GHz are due to temperature variations.

Abstract

During the 1978 PHOENIX experiment at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory in Colorado, the presence of atmospheric gravity waves was detected by various independent remote sensing instruments. Fluctuations in the zenith atmospheric radiation were measured at 22.235 and 55.45 GHz in the water vapor and oxygen absorption bands and compared with corresponding fluctuations of surface pressure and the height of FM-CW radar echo returns. These fluctuations are explained, qualitatively and quantitatively, in terms of an internal gravity wave generated by wind shear above the boundary layer. The analysis shows that the oscillations at 22.235 GHz are essentially due to fluctuations of water vapor in the antenna beam while those at 55.45 GHz are due to temperature variations.

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