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Edgeworth R. Westwater, B. Boba Stankov, Domenico Cimini, Yong Han, Joseph A. Shaw, Barry M. Lesht, and Carles N. Long

Abstract

During June–July 1999, the NOAA R/V Ron H. Brown (RHB) sailed from Australia to the Republic of Nauru where the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program operates a long-term climate observing station. During July, when the RHB was in close proximity to the island of Nauru, detailed comparisons of ship- and island-based instruments were possible. Essentially identical instruments were operated from the ship and the island's Atmospheric Radiation and Cloud Station (ARCS)-2. These instruments included simultaneously launched Vaisala RS80-H radiosondes, the Environmental Technology Laboratory's (ETL) Fourier transform infrared radiometer (FTIR), and ARM's atmospheric emitted radiance interferometer (AERI), as well as cloud radars/ceilometers to identify clear conditions.

The ARM microwave radiometer (MWR) operating on Nauru provided another excellent dataset for the entire Nauru99 experiment. The calibration accuracy was verified by a liquid nitrogen blackbody target experiment and by consistent high quality tipping calibrations throughout the experiment. Comparisons were made for calculated clear-sky brightness temperature (T b) and for precipitable water vapor (PWV). These results indicate that substantial errors, sometimes of the order of 20% in PWV, occurred with the original radiosondes. When a Vaisala correction algorithm was applied, calculated T bs were in better agreement with the MWR than were the calculations based on the original data. However, the improvement in T b comparisons was noticeably different for different radiosonde lots and was not a monotonic function of radiosonde age. Three different absorption algorithms were compared: Liebe and Layton, Liebe et al., and Rosenkranz. Using AERI spectral radiance observations as a comparison standard, scaling of radiosondes by MWR data was compared with both original and corrected soundings.

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V. Mattioli, E. R. Westwater, D. Cimini, J. C. Liljegren, B. M. Lesht, S. I. Gutman, and F. J. Schmidlin

Abstract

During 9 March–9 April 2004, the North Slope of Alaska Arctic Winter Radiometric Experiment was conducted at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program’s (ARM) “Great White” field site near Barrow, Alaska. The major goals of the experiment were to compare microwave and millimeter wavelength radiometers and to develop forward models in radiative transfer, all with a focus on cold (temperature from 0° to −40°C) and dry [precipitable water vapor (PWV) < 0.5 cm] conditions. To supplement the remote sensors, several radiosonde packages were deployed: Vaisala RS90 launched at the ARM Duplex and at the Great White and Sippican VIZ-B2 operated by the NWS. In addition, eight dual-radiosonde launches were conducted at the Duplex with Vaisala RS90 and Sippican GPS Mark II, the latter one modified to include a chilled mirror humidity sensor. Temperature comparisons showed a nighttime bias between VIZ-B2 and RS90, which reached 3.5°C at 30 hPa. Relative humidity comparisons indicated better than 5% average agreement between the RS90 and the chilled mirror. A bias of about 20% for the upper troposphere was found in the VIZ-B2 and the Mark II measurements relative to both RS90 and the chilled mirror.

Comparisons in PWV were made between a microwave radiometer, a microwave profiler, a global positioning system receiver, and the radiosonde types. An RMS agreement of 0.033 cm was found between the radiometer and the profiler and better than 0.058 cm between the radiometers and GPS. RS90 showed a daytime dry bias on PWV of about 0.02 cm.

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D. D. Turner, B. M. Lesht, S. A. Clough, J. C. Liljegren, H. E. Revercomb, and D. C. Tobin

Abstract

Thousands of comparisons between total precipitable water vapor (PWV) obtained from radiosonde (Vaisala RS80-H) profiles and PWV retrieved from a collocated microwave radiometer (MWR) were made at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program's Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed (SGP CART) site in northern Oklahoma from 1994 to 2000. These comparisons show that the RS80-H radiosonde has an approximate 5% dry bias compared to the MWR. This observation is consistent with interpretations of Vaisala RS80 radiosonde data obtained during the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). In addition to the dry bias, analysis of the PWV comparisons as well as of data obtained from dual-sonde soundings done at the SGP show that the calibration of the radiosonde humidity measurements varies considerably both when the radiosondes come from different calibration batches and when the radiosondes come from the same calibration batch. This variability can result in peak-to-peak differences between radiosondes of greater than 25% in PWV. Because accurate representation of the vertical profile of water vapor is critical for ARM's science objectives, an empirical method for correcting the radiosonde humidity profiles is developed based on a constant scaling factor. By using an independent set of observations and radiative transfer models to test the correction, it is shown that the constant humidity scaling method appears both to improve the accuracy and reduce the uncertainty of the radiosonde data. The ARM data are also used to examine a different, physically based, correction scheme that was developed recently by scientists from Vaisala and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). This scheme, which addresses the dry bias problem as well as other calibration-related problems with the RS80-H sensor, results in excellent agreement between the PWV retrieved from the MWR and integrated from the corrected radiosonde. However, because the physically based correction scheme does not address the apparently random calibration variations observed, it does not reduce the variability either between radiosonde calibration batches or within individual calibration batches.

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R. A. Ferrare, E. V. Browell, S. Ismail, S. A. Kooi, L. H. Brasseur, V. G. Brackett, M. B. Clayton, J. D. W. Barrick, G. S. Diskin, J. E. M. Goldsmith, B. M. Lesht, J. R. Podolske, G. W. Sachse, F. J. Schmidlin, D. D. Turner, D. N. Whiteman, D. Tobin, L. M. Miloshevich, H. E. Revercomb, B. B. Demoz, and P. Di Girolamo

Abstract

Water vapor mass mixing ratio profiles from NASA's Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) system acquired during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM)–First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE) Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX) are used as a reference to characterize upper-troposphere water vapor (UTWV) measured by ground-based Raman lidars, radiosondes, and in situ aircraft sensors over the Department of Energy (DOE) ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in northern Oklahoma. LASE was deployed from the NASA DC-8 aircraft and measured water vapor over the ARM SGP Central Facility (CF) site during seven flights between 27 November and 10 December 2000. Initially, the DOE ARM SGP Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) Raman lidar (CARL) UTWV profiles were about 5%–7% wetter than LASE in the upper troposphere, and the Vaisala RS80-H radiosonde profiles were about 10% drier than LASE between 8 and 12 km. Scaling the Vaisala water vapor profiles to match the precipitable water vapor (PWV) measured by the ARM SGP microwave radiometer (MWR) did not change these results significantly. By accounting for an overlap correction of the CARL water vapor profiles and by employing schemes designed to correct the Vaisala RS80-H calibration method and account for the time response of the Vaisala RS80-H water vapor sensor, the average differences between the CARL and Vaisala radiosonde upper-troposphere water vapor profiles are reduced to about 5%, which is within the ARM goal of mean differences of less than 10%. The LASE and DC-8 in situ diode laser hygrometer (DLH) UTWV measurements generally agreed to within about 3%–4%. The DC-8 in situ frost point cryogenic hygrometer and Snow White chilled-mirror measurements were drier than the LASE, Raman lidars, and corrected Vaisala RS80H measurements by about 10%–25% and 10%–15%, respectively. Sippican (formerly VIZ Manufacturing) carbon hygristor radiosondes exhibited large variabilities and poor agreement with the other measurements. PWV derived from the LASE profiles agreed to within about 3% on average with PWV derived from the ARM SGP microwave radiometer. The agreement between the LASE and MWR PWV and the LASE and CARL UTWV measurements supports the hypotheses that MWR measurements of the 22-GHz water vapor line can accurately constrain the total water vapor amount and that the CART Raman lidar, when calibrated using the MWR PWV, can provide an accurate, stable reference for characterizing upper-troposphere water vapor.

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