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  • Author or Editor: Christopher W. Fairall x
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Edgar L. Andreas
,
P. Ola G. Persson
,
Andrey A. Grachev
,
Rachel E. Jordan
,
Thomas W. Horst
,
Peter S. Guest
, and
Christopher W. Fairall

Abstract

The Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) experiment produced 18 000 h of turbulence data from the atmospheric surface layer over sea ice while the ice camp drifted for a year in the Beaufort Gyre. Multiple sites instrumented during SHEBA suggest only two aerodynamic seasons over sea ice. In “winter” (October 1997 through 14 May 1998 and 15 September 1998 through the end of the SHEBA deployment in early October 1998), the ice was compact and snow covered, and the snow was dry enough to drift and blow. In “summer” (15 May through 14 September 1998 in this dataset), the snow melted, and melt ponds and leads appeared and covered as much as 40% of the surface with open water. This paper develops a bulk turbulent flux algorithm to explain the winter data. This algorithm predicts the surface fluxes of momentum, and sensible and latent heat from more readily measured or modeled quantities. A main result of the analysis is that the roughness length for wind speed z 0 does not depend on the friction velocity u * in the drifting snow regime (u * ≥ 0.30 m s−1) but, rather, is constant in the SHEBA dataset at about 2.3 × 10−4 m. Previous analyses that found z 0 to increase with u * during drifting snow may have suffered from fictitious correlation because u * also appears in z 0. The present analysis mitigates this fictitious correlation by plotting measured z 0 against the corresponding u * computed from the bulk flux algorithm. Such plots, created with data from six different SHEBA sites, show z 0 to be independent of the bulk u * for 0.15 < u * ≤ 0.65 m s−1. This study also evaluates the roughness lengths for temperature zT and humidity zQ , incorporates new profile stratification corrections for stable stratification, addresses the singularities that often occur in iterative flux algorithms in very light winds, and includes an extensive analysis of whether atmospheric stratification affects z 0, zT , and zQ .

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Joel R. Norris
,
F. Martin Ralph
,
Reuben Demirdjian
,
Forest Cannon
,
Byron Blomquist
,
Christopher W. Fairall
,
J. Ryan Spackman
,
Simone Tanelli
, and
Duane E. Waliser

Abstract

Combined airborne, shipboard, and satellite measurements provide the first observational assessment of all major terms of the vertically integrated water vapor (IWV) budget for a 150 km × 160 km region within the core of a strong atmospheric river over the northeastern Pacific Ocean centered on 1930 UTC 5 February 2015. Column-integrated moisture flux convergence is estimated from eight dropsonde profiles, and surface rain rate is estimated from tail Doppler radar reflectivity measurements. Dynamical convergence of water vapor (2.20 ± 0.12 mm h−1) nearly balances estimated precipitation (2.47 ± 0.41 mm h−1), but surface evaporation (0.0 ± 0.05 mm h−1) is negligible. Advection of drier air into the budget region (−1.50 ± 0.21 mm h−1) causes IWV tendency from the sum of all terms to be negative (−1.66 ± 0.45 mm h−1). An independent estimate of IWV tendency obtained from the difference between IWV measured by dropsonde and retrieved by satellite 3 h earlier is less negative (−0.52 ± 0.24 mm h−1), suggesting the presence of substantial temporal variability that is smoothed out when averaging over several hours. The calculation of budget terms for various combinations of dropsonde subsets indicates the presence of substantial spatial variability at ~50-km scales for precipitation, moisture flux convergence, and IWV tendency that is smoothed out when averaging over the full budget region. Across subregions, surface rain rate is linearly proportional to dynamical convergence of water vapor. These observational results improve our understanding of the thermodynamic and kinematic processes that control IWV in atmospheric rivers and the scales at which they occur.

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