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Wayne M. Angevine
,
S. K. Avery
, and
G. L. Kok

Abstract

Measurements of the turbulent virtual heat flux in the convective atmospheric boundary layer made with a 915-MHz boundary-layer wind profiler-radio acoustic sounding system (RASS) are compared to flux measurements from a King Air aircraft. The profiler-RASS flux was calculated by a refined eddy correlation technique. The measurements were made during the Rural Oxidants in the Southern Environment II experiment in June 1992. The area over which the measurements were made is primarily pine forest, and the dominant weather conditions were hot with light winds. The profiler-RASS measurements and the aircraft measurements agree well. Even under these light wind conditions, a 2-h-average profiler-RASS measurement may be sufficiently accurate to be useful. The instrumental error is estimated to be less than the uncertainty due to sampling of the turbulence.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
Richard J. Doviak
, and
Zbigniew Sorbjan

Abstract

The vertical velocity variance in the convective atmospheric boundary layer is estimated from measurements made with a 915-MHz boundary layer wind-profiling radar. The vertical velocity variance estimates are used to infer the surface virtual heat flux through a relationship with the convective velocity scale w *. The flux estimates are compared with in situ surface flux measurements and estimates extrapolated to the surface from direct eddy correlation measurements made with a profiler and radio acoustic sounding system. The measurements were made during the Rural Oxidants in the Southern Environment II Experiment in June 1992. The experiment area is primarily pine forest, and the dominant weather conditions were hot with light winds. The profiler variance measurements are compatible with theory and earlier observations. Both remote radar methods of estimating surface virtual heat flux agree with in situ measurements to within the sampling uncertainty.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
Peter S. Bakwin
, and
Kenneth J. Davis

Abstract

A 915-MHz boundary layer wind profiler with radio acoustic sounding system (RASS) was sited 8 km from a very tall (450 m) television transmitting tower in north-central Wisconsin during the spring, summer, and autumn of 1995. The profiler measured wind means and variances, and the RASS attachment measured virtual temperature. These quantities are compared to measurements from cup and sonic anemometers and a thermometer/hygrometer at 396 m above ground level on the tower. The precision of hour-averaged profiler winds is better than 1 m s−1, and the precision of the RASS virtual temperature is better than 0.9 K. Corrections to the virtual temperature measured by the RASS are discussed, and a new virtual temperature retrieval method is proposed. Vertical velocity variance correlation is similar to a previous study, and the fact that bias is small indicates that the calculation method used is reliable.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
Alison W. Grimsdell
,
Leslie M. Hartten
, and
A. C. Delany

This article describes the 1995 and 1996 Flatland boundary layer experiments, known as Flatland95 and Flatland96. A number of scientific and instrumental objectives were organized around the central theme of characterization of the convective boundary layer, especially the boundary layer top and entrainment zone. In this article the authors describe the objectives and physical setting of the experiments, which took place in the area near the Flatland Atmospheric Observatory, near Champaign–Urbana, Illinois, in August–September 1995 and June–August 1996. The site is interesting because it is extremely flat, has uniform land use, and is in a prime agricultural area. The instruments used and their performance are also discussed. The primary instruments were a triangle of UHF wind-profiling radars. Rawinsondes and surface meteorological and flux instruments were also included. Finally, some early results in terms of statistics and several case studies are presented.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
S. K. Avery
,
W. L. Ecklund
, and
D. A. Carter

Abstract

A 915-MHz boundary-layer wind profiler radar with radio acoustic sounding system (RASS) capability has been used to measure the turbulent fluxes of heat and momentum in the convective boundary layer by eddy correlation. The diurnal variation of the heat flux at several heights between 160 and 500 m above ground level and values of the momentum flux for 2-h periods in midday from 160 to 1000 m are presented, as well as wind and temperature data. The momentum flux is calculated both from the clear-air velocities and from the RASS velocities, and the two results are compared.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
W. L. Ecklund
,
D. A. Carter
,
K. S. Gage
, and
K. P. Moran

Abstract

Improved radio acoustic sounding system (RASS) technology for use with radar wind profilers has been developed and applied to 915-MHz and 50-MHz profilers. The most important advance is the simultaneous measurement of the wind velocity to correct the acoustic velocity measurement for air motion. This eliminates the primary source of error in previous RASS measurements, especially on short time scales. Another improvement is the use of an acoustic source that is controlled by the same computer that controls the radar. The source can be programmed to produce either a swept frequency or a random hopped frequency signal. Optimum choices of the acoustic source parameters are explored for particular applications. Simultaneous measurement of acoustic and wind velocity enables the calculation of heat flux by eddy correlation. Preliminary heat flux measurements are presented and discussed. Results of the use of RASS with oblique beams are also reported.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
Lee Eddington
,
Kevin Durkee
,
Chris Fairall
,
Laura Bianco
, and
Jerome Brioude

Abstract

The performance of mesoscale meteorological models is evaluated for the coastal zone and Los Angeles area of Southern California, and for the San Joaquin Valley. Several configurations of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) with differing grid spacing, initialization, planetary boundary layer (PBL) physics, and land surface models are compared. One configuration of the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) model is also included, providing results from an independent development and process flow. Specific phenomena of interest for air quality studies are examined. All model configurations are biased toward higher wind speeds than observed. The diurnal cycle of wind direction and speed (land–sea-breeze cycle) as modeled and observed by a wind profiler at Los Angeles International Airport is examined. Each of the models shows different flaws in the cycle. Soundings from San Nicolas Island, a case study involving the Research Vessel (R/V) Atlantis and the NOAA P3 aircraft, and satellite images are used to evaluate simulation performance for cloudy boundary layers. In a case study, the boundary layer structure over the water is poorly simulated by all of the WRF configurations except one with the total energy–mass flux boundary layer scheme and ECMWF reanalysis. The original WRF configuration had a substantial bias toward low PBL heights in the San Joaquin Valley, which are improved in the final configuration. WRF runs with 12-km grids have larger errors in wind speed and direction than those present in the 4-km grid runs.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
Joseph Olson
,
Jake J. Gristey
,
Ian Glenn
,
Graham Feingold
, and
David D. Turner

Abstract

Proper behavior of physics parameterizations in numerical models at grid sizes of order 1 km is a topic of current research. Modifications to parameterization schemes to accommodate varying grid sizes are termed “scale aware.” The general problem of grids on which a physical process is partially resolved is called the “gray zone” or “terra incognita.” Here we examine features of the Mellor–Yamada–Nakanishi–Niino (MYNN) boundary layer scheme with eddy diffusivity and mass flux (EDMF) that were intended to provide scale awareness, as implemented in WRF, version 4.1. Scale awareness is provided by reducing the intensity of nonlocal components of the vertical mixing in the scheme as the grid size decreases. However, we find that the scale-aware features cause poorer performance in our tests on a 600-m grid. The resolved circulations on the 600-m grid have different temporal and spatial scales than are found in large-eddy simulations of the same cases, for reasons that are well understood theoretically and are described in the literature. The circulations [model convectively induced secondary circulations (M-CISCs)] depend on the grid size and on details of the model numerics. We conclude that scale awareness should be based on effective resolution, and not on grid size, and that the gray-zone problem for boundary layer turbulence and shallow cumulus cannot be solved simply by reducing the intensity of the parameterization. Parameterizations with different characteristics may lead to different conclusions.

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John W. Nielsen-Gammon
,
Christina L. Powell
,
M. J. Mahoney
,
Wayne M. Angevine
,
Christoph Senff
,
Allen White
,
Carl Berkowitz
,
Christopher Doran
, and
Kevin Knupp

Abstract

An airborne microwave temperature profiler (MTP) was deployed during the Texas 2000 Air Quality Study (TexAQS-2000) to make measurements of boundary layer thermal structure. An objective technique was developed and tested for estimating the mixed layer (ML) height from the MTP vertical temperature profiles. The technique identifies the ML height as a threshold increase of potential temperature from its minimum value within the boundary layer. To calibrate the technique and evaluate the usefulness of this approach, coincident estimates from radiosondes, radar wind profilers, an aerosol backscatter lidar, and in situ aircraft measurements were compared with each other and with the MTP. Relative biases among all instruments were generally less than 50 m, and the agreement between MTP ML height estimates and other estimates was at least as good as the agreement among the other estimates. The ML height estimates from the MTP and other instruments are utilized to determine the spatial and temporal evolution of ML height in the Houston, Texas, area on 1 September 2000. An elevated temperature inversion was present, so ML growth was inhibited until early afternoon. In the afternoon, large spatial variations in ML height developed across the Houston area. The highest ML heights, well over 2 km, were observed to the north of Houston, while downwind of Galveston Bay and within the late afternoon sea breeze ML heights were much lower. The spatial variations that were found away from the immediate influence of coastal circulations were unexpected, and multiple independent ML height estimates were essential for documenting this feature.

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Wayne M. Angevine
,
Joseph Olson
,
Jaymes Kenyon
,
William I. Gustafson Jr.
,
Satoshi Endo
,
Kay Suselj
, and
David D. Turner

Abstract

Representation of shallow cumulus is a challenge for mesoscale numerical weather prediction models. These cloud fields have important effects on temperature, solar irradiance, convective initiation, and pollutant transport, among other processes. Recent improvements to physics schemes available in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model aim to improve representation of shallow cumulus, in particular over land. The DOE LES ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation Workflow (LASSO) project provides several cases that we use here to test the new physics improvements. The LASSO cases use multiple large-scale forcings to drive large-eddy simulations (LES), and the LES output is easily compared to output from WRF single-column simulations driven with the same initial conditions and forcings. The new Mellor–Yamada–Nakanishi–Niino (MYNN) eddy diffusivity mass-flux (EDMF) boundary layer and shallow cloud scheme produces clouds with timing, liquid water path (LWP), and cloud fraction that agree well with LES over a wide range of those variables. Here we examine those variables and test the scheme’s sensitivity to perturbations of a few key parameters. We also discuss the challenges and uncertainties of single-column tests. The older, simpler total energy mass-flux (TEMF) scheme is included for comparison, and its tuning is improved. This is the first published use of the LASSO cases for parameterization development, and the first published study to use such a large number of cases with varying cloud amount. This is also the first study to use a more precise combined infrared and microwave retrieval of LWP to evaluate modeled clouds.

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