The Use and Analysis of Profiler Winds to Derive Mesoscale Height and Temperature Fields: Simulation and Real-Data Experiments

Jennifer M. Cram MESO, Inc., Troy. New York

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Michael L. Kaplan MESO, Inc., Troy. New York

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Craig A. Mattocks MESO, Inc., Troy. New York

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John W. Zack MESO, Inc., Troy. New York

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Abstract

Conventional synoptic rawinsonde data do not have a fine enough temporal or spatial resolution to accurately resolve mesoscale features. Profiling networks are one potential source of these data although they provide only wind information. A methodology following Fankhauser and Kuo and Anthes is used to retrieve height and temperature analyses from actual profiler wind data using the full divergence equation. Simulation experiments were fist completed to test the feasibility of using the available profiler network spacing to define mesoscale atmospheric structure and to test the boundary conditions used in the retrieval process. Real profiler and rawinsonde data were then used to retrieve height analyses. The real-data results are compared to independent microbarograph surface pressure data and radiometer height data. Retrieved heights on 13 April 1986 from the four-node Colorado profiler network revealed the presence of a mesoscale trough that was not resolvable by the standard rawinsonde network, but was corroborated by PROFS mesonet data and Denver radiometer data. This study differs from previous work in that actual profiler data were used in the height retrievals, and the retrieved heights were verified against independent asynoptic data.

Abstract

Conventional synoptic rawinsonde data do not have a fine enough temporal or spatial resolution to accurately resolve mesoscale features. Profiling networks are one potential source of these data although they provide only wind information. A methodology following Fankhauser and Kuo and Anthes is used to retrieve height and temperature analyses from actual profiler wind data using the full divergence equation. Simulation experiments were fist completed to test the feasibility of using the available profiler network spacing to define mesoscale atmospheric structure and to test the boundary conditions used in the retrieval process. Real profiler and rawinsonde data were then used to retrieve height analyses. The real-data results are compared to independent microbarograph surface pressure data and radiometer height data. Retrieved heights on 13 April 1986 from the four-node Colorado profiler network revealed the presence of a mesoscale trough that was not resolvable by the standard rawinsonde network, but was corroborated by PROFS mesonet data and Denver radiometer data. This study differs from previous work in that actual profiler data were used in the height retrievals, and the retrieved heights were verified against independent asynoptic data.

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