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Computing Surface Fluxes from Mesonet Data

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  • a Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • | b Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California
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Abstract

By using air–vegetation–soil layer coupled model equations as weak constraints, a variational method is developed to compute sensible and latent heat fluxes from conventional observations obtained at meteorological surface stations. This method also retrieves the top soil layer water content (daytime only) and the surface skin temperature as by-products. The method is applied to Oklahoma Mesonet data collected in the summer of 1995. Fluxes computed for selected Mesonet stations are verified against those obtained by the surface energy and radiation balance system at Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) sites closest to the selected Mesonet stations. The retrieved values of soil water content are also compared with the direct measurements at the closest ARM CART stations. With data provided by the dense Mesonet, the method is shown to be useful in deriving the mesoscale distributions and temporal variabilities of surface fluxes, soil water content, and skin temperature. The method is unique in that it provides an additional means to derive flux fields directly from conventional surface observations.

* Current affiliation: National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma.

Corresponding author address: Qin Xu, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73069.

qxu@nssl.noaa.gov

Abstract

By using air–vegetation–soil layer coupled model equations as weak constraints, a variational method is developed to compute sensible and latent heat fluxes from conventional observations obtained at meteorological surface stations. This method also retrieves the top soil layer water content (daytime only) and the surface skin temperature as by-products. The method is applied to Oklahoma Mesonet data collected in the summer of 1995. Fluxes computed for selected Mesonet stations are verified against those obtained by the surface energy and radiation balance system at Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) sites closest to the selected Mesonet stations. The retrieved values of soil water content are also compared with the direct measurements at the closest ARM CART stations. With data provided by the dense Mesonet, the method is shown to be useful in deriving the mesoscale distributions and temporal variabilities of surface fluxes, soil water content, and skin temperature. The method is unique in that it provides an additional means to derive flux fields directly from conventional surface observations.

* Current affiliation: National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma.

Corresponding author address: Qin Xu, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73069.

qxu@nssl.noaa.gov

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