The Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment (GALE), focused an intensive data-gathering effort along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States from 15 January through 15 March 1986. Here, the general objectives and experimental layout are described with special emphasis on the planetary-boundary-layer (PBL) component of GALE.

Instrumentation is described for buoys, ships, research aircraft, and towers. The networks of the cross-chain long range aid to navigation (LORAN) atmospheric sounding system (CLASS) and the portable automated mesonet (PAM II) are described and their impact on the operation of GALE is outlined. Special use of dual-Doppler radar to obtain detailed wind measurements in the PBL is discussed.

Preliminary analyses for a selected observational period are given. Detailed observations of the offshore coastal front reveal direct mesoscale circulations imbedded in the frontal zone. Later in the period, during an intense cold-air outbreak, sensible-heat and latent-heat fluxes over the coastal ocean each attain values of about 500 W · m−2. Coordinated aircraft operations are outlined for this case and a few early findings are given.

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1 Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment.

2 Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8208.