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Moored Observations of Precipitation Temperature

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  • 1 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
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Abstract

Direct observations of precipitation temperature were made from a surface buoy deployed for four months in the western Pacific warm pool. The observed rain droplet temperatures are equal to the wet-bulb temperature to within the measured wet-bulb temperature uncertainty of ±0.4°C. The rain droplet temperatures are 4.8°–5.8°C cooler than the ocean surface temperature. The sensible heat flux associated with the rain is found to be a significant component for the net surface heat while it is raining, ranging from −65.0 to −204 W m−2 (ocean cooling) and accounting for 15%–60% of the net heat flux for any single rain event. The rain heat flux is also important on longer timescales in the warm pool, where there is a close balance between surface heating and cooling and high precipitation rates. During the 4-month deployment period, the rain heat flux is 2.8 W m−2 (ocean cooling) and 15% of the net surface heat flux.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Steven P. Anderson, Physical Oceanography Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MS 29, Woods Hole, MA 02543.

Abstract

Direct observations of precipitation temperature were made from a surface buoy deployed for four months in the western Pacific warm pool. The observed rain droplet temperatures are equal to the wet-bulb temperature to within the measured wet-bulb temperature uncertainty of ±0.4°C. The rain droplet temperatures are 4.8°–5.8°C cooler than the ocean surface temperature. The sensible heat flux associated with the rain is found to be a significant component for the net surface heat while it is raining, ranging from −65.0 to −204 W m−2 (ocean cooling) and accounting for 15%–60% of the net heat flux for any single rain event. The rain heat flux is also important on longer timescales in the warm pool, where there is a close balance between surface heating and cooling and high precipitation rates. During the 4-month deployment period, the rain heat flux is 2.8 W m−2 (ocean cooling) and 15% of the net surface heat flux.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Steven P. Anderson, Physical Oceanography Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MS 29, Woods Hole, MA 02543.

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