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Taylor D. Swaim
,
Emalee Hough
,
Zachary Yap
,
Jamey D. Jacob
,
Siddharth Krishnamoorthy
,
Daniel C. Bowman
,
Léo Martire
,
Attila Komjathy
, and
Brian R. Elbing

Abstract

Heliotropes are passive solar hot air balloons that are capable of achieving nearly level flight within the lower stratosphere for several hours. These inexpensive flight platforms enable stratospheric sensing with high-cadence enabled by the low cost to manufacture, but their performance has not yet been assessed systematically. During July to September of 2021, 29 heliotropes were successfully launched from Oklahoma and achieved float altitude as part of the Balloon-based Acoustic Seismology Study (BASS). All of the heliotrope envelopes were nearly identical with only minor variations to the flight line throughout the campaign. Flight data collected during this campaign comprise a large sample to characterize the typical heliotrope flight behavior during launch, ascent, float, and descent. Each flight stage is characterized, dependence on various parameters is quantified, and a discussion of nominal and anomalous flights is provided.

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Ning Yang
,
Debin Su
,
Luyao Sun
, and
Tao Wang

Abstract

Atmospheric ducting is a highly refractive propagation condition that frequently occurs at sea and significantly impacts radar and communication equipment. This paper analyzes the spatiotemporal distribution of Lower Atmospheric Ducts (LAD) in the South China Sea (SCS) and the variation of their occurrence rate with the monsoon by using reanalysis data from the ECMWF from 1980 to 2022. Additionally, the study discusses the relationship between ducting occurrences and atmospheric and oceanic conditions. The results indicate that wind dynamics in the SCS significantly impact ducting incidents. During the high-incidence period of LAD, humidity gradient-constructed ducts are the primary mechanism. Before the onset of the monsoon, the mountains in the western part of Luzon Island obstruct the easterly wind, resulting in high temperatures and strong evaporation along the western coast of the mountains. Meanwhile, low temperatures and humidity prevail in the eastern part of the mountains, it leads to a stratified atmosphere characterized by dry and cold upper layers and warm and humid lower layers in the western part of Luzon Island, which causes a distinct decrease in humidity with height. After the onset of the monsoon, the air from the Indochina Peninsula to the ocean is dry and cold, but the high-altitude area blocks it. This weakens the horizontal mobility of the low-level humid atmosphere over the sea, resulting in atmospheric stratification in the eastern coastal area of the Indochina Peninsula. This stratification leads to dry and cold upper layers and warm and humid lower layers.

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Vasileios Savvakis
,
Martin Schön
,
Matteo Bramati
,
Jens Bange
, and
Andreas Platis

Abstract

The negative effects of relative humidity to measurements of particulate matter (PM) due to hygroscopic growth are often not inherently handled by low-cost optical particle counters (OPCs). This study presents a new approach in constructing a miniaturized diffusion dryer, for use with an OPC mounted on an uncrewed aircraft system (UAS), namely, the DJI S900 (weight of 7.5 kg and flight endurance of 20 min) for short-term measurements under humid conditions. In this work, an OPC of type N3 (Alphasense) was employed alongside the dryer, with experiments both in the laboratory and outdoors. Evaluation of the dryer’s performance in a fog tank showed effective drying from almost saturated air to 41% relative humidity for 35 min, which is longer than the endurance of the UAS, and therefore sufficient. Changes in the flow rate through the OPC-N3 with the dryer showed a 17% reduction compared to an absent dryer, but the measured PM values remained unaffected. Airborne measurements were taken from four hovering flights near a governmental air pollution station (Mannheim-Nord, Germany) under humid conditions (88%–93%) where the system gave agreeable concentrations when the dryer was in place, but significantly overestimated all PM types without it. At a rural area near the Boundary Layer Field Site Falkenberg (Lindenberg, Germany), operated by the German Meteorological Service (DWD), vertical profiles inside a low-altitude cloud showed sharp increase in concentrations when the UAS entered the cloud layer, demonstrating its capability to accurately detect the layer base.

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Yibo Zhang
,
Chunzheng Kong
,
Zizhou Liu
,
Bingtian Li
, and
Xianqing Lv

Abstract

Satellite remote sensing can monitor sea level changes at temporal and spatial scales, plays an important role in the study of tides, and is widely used in numerical tidal models. However, these tidal models are usually computationally expensive. The equidistant nodes orthogonal polynomial fitting (ENOPF) method may overcome that drawback. This study evaluates the accuracy of the ENOPF method in fitting the major tidal constituents in the region near the Ryukyu Islands, where the water depth on either side of the islands varies significantly. The results show that the ENOPF method can accurately fit the major tidal constituents in the presence of complex topography. Furthermore, this approach can also be used to generate reasonable cotidal charts and provide valuable tidal information for hydrodynamic model simulations in the East China Sea. For the high-resolution hydrodynamic model of the East China Sea in particular, reasonable open boundary conditions can be provided by the ENOPF method.

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Aiswarya Lakshmi K.K.
,
Swaroop Sahoo
,
Sounak Kumar Biswas
, and
V. Chandrasekar

Abstract

Weather radars with dual-polarization capabilities enable the study of various characteristics of hydrometeors, including their size, shape, and orientation. Radar polarimetric measurements, coupled with Doppler information, allow for analysis in the spectral domain. This analysis can be leveraged to reveal valuable insight into the microphysics and kinematics of hydrometeors in precipitation systems. This paper uses spectral polarimetry to investigate precipitation microphysics and kinematics in storm environments observed during the RELAMPAGO field experiment in Argentina. This study uses range height indicator (RHI) scan measurements from a C-Band polarimetric Doppler weather radar deployed during the field campaign. In this work, the impact of storm dynamics on hydrometeors is studied, including the size sorting of hydrometeors due to vertical wind shear. In addition, particle microphysical processes because of aggregation and growth of ice crystals in anvil clouds, as well as graupel formation resulting from the riming of ice crystals and dendrites are also analyzed here. The presence of different particle size distributions because of the mixing of hydrometeors in a sheared environment and resulting size sorting has been reported using spectral differential reflectivity (sZdr ) slope. Spectral reflectivity (sZh ) and sZdr have also been used to understand the signature of ice crystal aggregation in an anvil cloud. The regions of pristine ice crystals are identified from vertical profiles of spectral polarimetric variables in anvil cloud because of sZh < 0 dB and sZdr values around 2 dB. It is also found that the growth process of these ice crystals causes a skewed bimodal sZh spectrum due to the presence of both pristine ice crystals and dry snow. Next, graupel formation due to riming has been studied and it is found that the riming process produces sZh values of about 10 dB and corresponding sZdr values of 1 dB. This positive sZdr indicates the presence of needle/columnar secondary ice particles formed by ice multiplication processes in the riming zones. Lastly, the temporal evolution of a storm is investigated by analyzing changes in hydrometeor types with time and their influence on the spectral polarimetric variables.

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Yoshiro Yamada
,
Subrena Harris
,
Michael Hayes
,
Rob Simpson
,
Werenfrid Wimmer
,
Raymond Holmes
,
Tim Nightingale
,
Arrow Lee
,
Nis Jepsen
,
Nicole Morgan
,
Frank-M. Göttsche
,
Raquel Niclòs
,
Martín Perelló
,
Craig Donlon
, and
Nigel Fox

Abstract

An international comparison of field deployed radiometers for sea surface skin temperature (SSTskin) retrieval was conducted in June 2022. The campaign comprised a laboratory and a field comparison. In the laboratory part the radiometers were compared against reference standard blackbodies, while the same was done with the blackbodies used for the calibration of the radiometers against a transfer standard radiometer. Reference values were provided by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), traceable to the primary standard on the International Temperature Scale of 1990. This was followed by the field comparison at a seaside pier on the south coast of England, where the radiometers were compared against each other while viewing the closely adjacent surface of the sea. This paper reports the results of the laboratory comparison of radiometers and blackbodies.

For the blackbody comparison, the brightness temperature of the blackbody reported by the participants agreed with the reference value measured by the NPL transfer standard radiometer within the uncertainties for all temperatures and for all blackbodies. For the radiometer comparison, the temperature range of most interest from the SSTskin retrieval point of view is 10 °C to 30 °C, and in this temperature range, and up to the maximum comparison temperature of 50 °C, all participants’ reported results were in agreement with the reference. On the other hand, below 0 °C the reported values showed divergence from the reference and the differences exceeded the uncertainties. The divergence shows there is room for improvement in uncertainty estimation at lower temperatures, although it will have limited implication in the SSTskin retrieval.

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Yoshiro Yamada
,
Subrena Harris
,
Werenfrid Wimmer
,
Raymond Holmes
,
Tim Nightingale
,
Arrow Lee
,
Nis Jepsen
,
Nicole Morgan
,
Frank-M. Göttsche
,
Raquel Niclòs
,
Martín Perelló
,
Vicente Garcia-Santos
,
Craig Donlon
, and
Nigel Fox

Abstract

An international comparison of field-deployed radiometers for sea surface skin temperature (SSTskin) retrieval was conducted during two weeks in June 2022. The comparison comprised a laboratory comparison and a field comparison. The field comparison of the radiometers took place on the second week at a seaside pier on the south coast of England. Six thermal infrared radiometers were compared against each other while continuously viewing the closely adjacent surface of the sea from the end of the pier. This paper reports the results of this field comparison.

All participants’ radiometers agreed with the reference value, evaluated as the simple mean of the participant reported values, within the claimed uncertainties. The SSTskin variation during the five-day period was within 3 °C around 18.3 °C, which is two times larger in range than in the previous comparison in 2016, while the mean of the difference from the reference value over the period evaluated for each participant, was found to be within 0.07 °C, which is a two-times improvement on the previous results.

During the comparison an insignificant but noticeable abrupt shift in measured value occurred in one of the radiometers, which could not have been detected without comparison with other instruments. This demonstrated the effectiveness of having long term stable internal reference sources in the instrument, a feature this particular radiometer did not have.

The combined results from the laboratory comparison and the field comparison contribute to improve confidence in the retrieved SSTskin.

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Katrina S. Virts
,
Timothy J. Lang
,
Dennis E. Buechler
, and
Phillip M. Bitzer

Abstract

Identical Lightning Imaging Sensors aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM LIS, 1998–2015) and International Space Station (ISS LIS, 2017–present) have provided over two decades of lightning observations over the global tropics, with ISS LIS extending coverage into the mid-latitudes. Quantifying the detection performance of both LIS sensors is a necessary step toward generating a combined LIS climatological record and accurately combining LIS data with lightning detections from other sensors and networks. We compare lightning observations from both LIS sensors with reference sources including the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and ground-based Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN), Earth Networks Global Lightning Network (ENGLN), National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), and Global Lightning Dataset (GLD360). Instead of a relative detection efficiency (DE) approach that assumes perfect performance of the reference sensor, we employ a Bayesian approach to estimate the upper limit of the absolute DE (ADE) of each system being analyzed. The results of this analysis illustrate the geographical pattern of ADE as well as its diurnal cycle and yearly evolution. Reference network ADE increased by ~15–30% during the TRMM era, leading to a decline in TRMM LIS ADE. ISS LIS flash ADE has been relatively consistent at 61–65%, about 4–5% lower than TRMM LIS at the end of its lifetime.

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Free access
Marcin Paszkuta
,
Maciej Markowski
, and
Adam Krężel

Abstract

Empirical verification of the reliability of estimating the amount of solar radiation entering the sea surface is a challenging topic due to the quantity and quality of data. The collected measurements of total and diffuse radiation from the Multifilter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MRF-7) commercial device over the Baltic Sea were compared with the satellite results of using modeling data. The obtained results, also divided into individual spectral bands, were analyzed for usefulness in satellite cloud and aerosol detection. The article presents a new approach to assessing radiation and cloud cover based on the use of models supported by satellite data. Measurement uncertainties were estimated for the obtained results. To reduce uncertainty, the results were averaged to the time constant of the device, day, and month. The effectiveness of the method was determined by comparison against the SM Hel measurement point. The empirical results obtained confirm the effectiveness of using satellite methods for estimating radiation along with cloud-cover detection over the sea with the adopted uncertainty values.

Significance Statement

The difference in the amount of solar energy reaching the sea surface between cloudless and cloudy areas reaches tens of percent. Empirical results confirm the effectiveness of using satellite methods to estimate solar radiation along with cloud-cover detection. Over the sea in comparison to land, the amount of empirical data is limited. This research uses new empirical results of radiation to determine the accuracy of satellite estimation results. Experimental results show that the proposed method is effective and adequately parameterizes the detection of satellite image features.

Open access