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J. C. Kaimal, R. A. Eversole, D. H. Lenschow, B. B. Stankov, P. H. Kahn, and J. A. Businger

Abstract

The paper describes a convective boundary layer experiment conducted in April 1978 at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory, and examines the spectral behavior of wind velocity and temperature from the Observatory's 300 m tower, from aircraft flights alongside the tower and from a surface network of anemometers, for evidence of terrain influence on turbulence structure. The gently rolling terrain at the site does not seem to affect the turbulence spectra from the tower in any perceptible manner, except for minor shifts in the vertical velocity and temperature spectral peaks. The aircraft vertical velocity spectra showed different shapes for alongwind and crosswind sampling directions, as in earlier measurements over ocean surfaces, and their peaks are displaced to higher wavenumbers compared with the tower spectra. Long-term spectra of horizontal wind components from surface stations around the tower exhibit no particular sensitivity to site selection. Under near-stationary conditions the peak of the spectrum of the streamwise component tends to reflect more closely the predominant boundary layer. convective scales than does the peak of the lateral wind component. The problem of identifying those scales in the presence of large shifts in wind direction is discussed.

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Shane D. Mayor, Donald H. Lenschow, Ronald L. Schwiesow, Jakob Mann, Charles L. Frush, and Melinda K. Simon

Abstract

The capability of the NCAR 10.6-μm-wavelength CO2 Doppler lidar to measure radial air motion is validated by examining hard-target test data, comparing measurements with those from a two-axis propeller anemometer and a 915-MHz profiling radar, and analyzing power spectra and autocovariance functions of the lidar radial velocities in a daytime convective boundary layer. Results demonstrate that the lidar is capable of measuring radial velocity to less than 0.5 m s−1 precision from 20 laser pulse averages under high signal-to-noise ratio conditions. Hard-target test data and comparisons with other sensors show that the lidar data can be biased by as much as ±2 m s−1 when operating in the coherent oscillator mode and that correlated errors are negligible. Correlation coefficients are as large as 0.96 for 90-min comparisons of horizontal velocities averaged for 1 min from the lidar and anemometer, and 0.87 for 2.5-h comparisons between vertical velocities averaged for 30 s from the lidar and profiler. Comparisons of the lidar and profiler vertical velocities are particularly encouraging for the profiler since these results show that 915-MHz profilers are capable of making good vertical velocity measurements in strong convective boundary layers. The authors conclude that despite the commonplace systematic bias in lidar radial velocity, ground-based operation of the NCAR CO2 Doppler lidar can provide valuable velocity data for meso- and microscale meteorological studies. The lidar can also provide filtered velocity statistics that may be useful for boundary layer turbulence research.

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Ian Faloona, Donald H. Lenschow, Teresa Campos, B. Stevens, M. van Zanten, B. Blomquist, D. Thornton, Alan Bandy, and Hermann Gerber

Abstract

Fast measurements of three scalars, ozone, dimethyl sulfide (DMS), and total water, are used to investigate the entrainment process in the stratocumulus-topped boundary layer (STBL) observed over the eastern subtropical Pacific during the second Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus Experiment (DYCOMS-II). Direct measurement of the flux profiles by eddy covariance is used to estimate the entrainment velocity, the average rate at which the boundary layer grows diabatically via incorporation of overlying free tropospheric air. The entrainment velocities observed over the course of the mission, which took place during July 2001, ranged from 0.12 to 0.72 cm s−1, and appear to outpace the estimated large-scale subsidence as the boundary layer advects over warmer sea surface temperatures. Observed entrainment velocities display only a weak correlation with the buoyancy Richardson number defined at the inversion, which suggests that processes other than inversion strength, such as wind shear, might play a larger role in driving entrainment in the STBL than previously recognized.

This study is the first to use DMS as an entrainment tracer because the high-rate mass spectrometric technique has only recently been developed. The biogenic sulfur compound shows great promise for such investigations in marine environments because the free tropospheric concentrations are virtually nonexistent, and it therefore serves as an unambiguous marker of boundary layer air. As such, individual mixing events can be analyzed to determine the mixing fraction of boundary layer and free tropospheric air, and in several such cases buoyancy reversal was observed despite the absence of large-scale dissipation of the cloud field as postulated by cloud-top entrainment instability. Moreover, the redundancy attained in using three separate scalars allows for an investigation of the average height scales above the inversion from where air is blended into the STBL, and this tends to be less than 80 m above the mean inversion height, implying that the entrainment process occurs on very small scales.

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R. J. Keeler, R. J. Serafin, R. L. Schwiesow, D. H. Lenschow, J. M. Vaughan, and A. A. Woodfield

Abstract

Measurement of air motion relative to an aircraft by a conically scanned optical Doppler technique has advantages over measurements with conventional gust probes for many applications. Advantages of the laser air motion sensing technique described here include calibration based on physical constants rather than experiment for an accurate measurement of mean wind, freedom from flow distortion effects on turbulence measurements, all-weather performance, reduction in error from mechanical vibrations and ability to measure vertical wind shear. An experiment comparing a single-component laser velocimeter and a differential pressure gust probe shows that the optical approach measures the turbulence spectrum accurately at frequencies up to 10 Hz and that the signal-to-noise ratio is not a limiting factor. In addition, we have observed the effect of spectral skewing caused by airflow distortion in cloud.

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T. W. Horst, J. Kleissl, D. H. Lenschow, C. Meneveau, C.-H. Moeng, M. B. Parlange, P. P. Sullivan, and J. C. Weil

Abstract

The Horizontal Array Turbulence Study (HATS) field program utilized horizontal, crosswind arrays of sonic anemometers to calculate estimates of spatially filtered and subfilter-scale (SFS) turbulence, corresponding to its partitioning in large-eddy simulations (LESs) of atmospheric flows. Measurements were made over a wide range of atmospheric stability and for zf nominally equal to 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0, where z is height and Δf is the width of the spatial filter. This paper examines the viability of the crosswind array technique by analyzing uncertainties in the filtered turbulence fields. Aliasing in the crosswind direction, caused by the discrete spacing of the sonic anemometers, is found to be minimal except for the spatially filtered vertical velocity and for SFS second moments. In those cases, aliasing errors become significant when the sonic spacing is greater than the wavelength at the peak in the crosswind spectrum of vertical velocity. Aliasing errors are estimated to be of a similar magnitude for the crosswind gradients of filtered variables. Surrogate streamwise filtering is performed by assuming Taylor's hypothesis and using the mean wind speed U to interpret sonic time series as spatial data. The actual turbulence advection velocity U c is estimated from the cross correlation between data from HATS sonics separated in the streamwise direction. These estimates suggest that, for near-neutral stratification, the ratio U c/U depends on the turbulence variable and is typically between 1.0 and 1.2. Analysis of LES turbulence fields for a neutrally stratified boundary layer finds that the correlation between the true spatially filtered SFS stress component τ 13 and the same variable obtained with surrogate streamwise filtering exceeds 0.98 for zf > 0.25. Within the limits noted, it is concluded that the horizontal array technique is sufficient for the estimation of resolved and SFS turbulence variables.

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D. A. Randall, J. A. Coakley Jr., C. W. Fairall, R. A. Kropfli, and D. H. Lenschow
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Bjorn Stevens, Donald H. Lenschow, Gabor Vali, Hermann Gerber, A. Bandy, B. Blomquist, J. -L. Brenguier, C. S. Bretherton, F. Burnet, T. Campos, S. Chai, I. Faloona, D. Friesen, S. Haimov, K. Laursen, D. K. Lilly, S. M. Loehrer, Szymon P. Malinowski, B. Morley, M. D. Petters, D. C. Rogers, L. Russell, V. Savic-Jovcic, J. R. Snider, D. Straub, Marcin J. Szumowski, H. Takagi, D. C. Thornton, M. Tschudi, C. Twohy, M. Wetzel, and M. C. van Zanten

The second Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus (DYCOMS-II) field study is described. The field program consisted of nine flights in marine stratocumulus west-southwest of San Diego, California. The objective of the program was to better understand the physics a n d dynamics of marine stratocumulus. Toward this end special flight strategies, including predominantly nocturnal flights, were employed to optimize estimates of entrainment velocities at cloud-top, large-scale divergence within the boundary layer, drizzle processes in the cloud, cloud microstructure, and aerosol–cloud interactions. Cloud conditions during DYCOMS-II were excellent with almost every flight having uniformly overcast clouds topping a well-mixed boundary layer. Although the emphasis of the manuscript is on the goals and methodologies of DYCOMS-II, some preliminary findings are also presented—the most significant being that the cloud layers appear to entrain less and drizzle more than previous theoretical work led investigators to expect.

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D. H. Lenschow, I. R. Paluch, A. R. Bandy, R. Pearson Jr., S. R. Kawa, C. J. Weaver, B. J. Huebert, J. G. Kay, D. C. Thornton, and A. R. Driedger III

A combined atmospheric chemistry-meteorology experiment, the Dynamics and Chemistry of the Marine Stratocumulus (DYCOMS), was carried out during the summer of 1985 over the eastern Pacific Ocean using the NCAR Electra aircraft. The objectives were to 1) study the budgets of several trace reactive species in a relatively pristine, steady-state, horizontally homogeneous, well-mixed boundary layer capped by a strong inversion and 2) study the formation, maintenance and dissipation of marine stratocumulus that persists off the California coast (as well as similar regions elsewhere) in summer. We obtained both mean and turbulence measurements of meteorological variables within and above the cloud-capped boundary layer that is typical of this region. Ozone was used successfully as a tracer for estimating entrainment rate. We found, however, that horizontal variability was large enough for ozone that a correction needs to be included in the ozone budget for the horizontal displacement due to turns even though the airplane was allowed to drift with the wind. The time rate-of-change term was significant in both the ozone and radon budgets; as a result, a considerably longer time interval than the two hours used between sets of flight legs would be desirable to improve the measurement accuracy of this term.

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Edward G. Patton, Thomas W. Horst, Peter P. Sullivan, Donald H. Lenschow, Steven P. Oncley, William O. J. Brown, Sean P. Burns, Alex B. Guenther, Andreas Held, Thomas Karl, Shane D. Mayor, Luciana V. Rizzo, Scott M. Spuler, Jielun Sun, Andrew A. Turnipseed, Eugene J. Allwine, Steven L. Edburg, Brian K. Lamb, Roni Avissar, Ronald J. Calhoun, Jan Kleissl, William J. Massman, Kyaw Tha Paw U, and Jeffrey C. Weil

The Canopy Horizontal Array Turbulence Study (CHATS) took place in spring 2007 and is the third in the series of Horizontal Array Turbulence Study (HATS) experiments. The HATS experiments have been instrumental in testing and developing subfilterscale (SFS) models for large-eddy simulation (LES) of planetary boundary layer (PBL) turbulence. The CHATS campaign took place in a deciduous walnut orchard near Dixon, California, and was designed to examine the impacts of vegetation on SFS turbulence. Measurements were collected both prior to and following leafout to capture the impact of leaves on the turbulence, stratification, and scalar source/sink distribution. CHATS utilized crosswind arrays of fast-response instrumentation to investigate the impact of the canopy-imposed distribution of momentum extraction and scalar sources on SFS transport of momentum, energy, and three scalars. To directly test and link with PBL parameterizations of canopy-modified turbulent exchange, CHATS also included a 30-m profile tower instrumented with turbulence instrumentation, fast and slow chemical sensors, aerosol samplers, and radiation instrumentation. A highresolution scanning backscatter lidar characterized the turbulence structure above and within the canopy; a scanning Doppler lidar, mini sodar/radio acoustic sounding system (RASS), and a new helicopter-observing platform provided details of the PBL-scale flow. Ultimately, the CHATS dataset will lead to improved parameterizations of energy and scalar transport to and from vegetation, which are a critical component of global and regional land, atmosphere, and chemical models. This manuscript presents an overview of the experiment, documents the regime sampled, and highlights some preliminary key findings.

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David A. R. Kristovich, George S. Young, Johannes Verlinde, Peter J. Sousounis, Pierre Mourad, Donald Lenschow, Robert M. Rauber, Mohan K. Ramamurthy, Brian F. Jewett, Kenneth Beard, Elen Cutrim, Paul J. DeMott, Edwin W. Eloranta, Mark R. Hjelmfelt, Sonia M. Kreidenweis, Jon Martin, James Moore, Harry T. Ochs III, David C Rogers, John Scala, Gregory Tripoli, and John Young

A severe 5-day lake-effect storm resulted in eight deaths, hundreds of injuries, and over $3 million in damage to a small area of northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania in November 1996. In 1999, a blizzard associated with an intense cyclone disabled Chicago and much of the U.S. Midwest with 30–90 cm of snow. Such winter weather conditions have many impacts on the lives and property of people throughout much of North America. Each of these events is the culmination of a complex interaction between synoptic-scale, mesoscale, and microscale processes.

An understanding of how the multiple size scales and timescales interact is critical to improving forecasting of these severe winter weather events. The Lake-Induced Convection Experiment (Lake-ICE) and the Snowband Dynamics Project (SNOWBAND) collected comprehensive datasets on processes involved in lake-effect snowstorms and snowbands associated with cyclones during the winter of 1997/98. This paper outlines the goals and operations of these collaborative projects. Preliminary findings are given with illustrative examples of new state-of-the-art research observations collected. Analyses associated with Lake-ICE and SNOWBAND hold the promise of greatly improving our scientific understanding of processes involved in these important wintertime phenomena.

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