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  • Author or Editor: Jerald A. Brotzge x
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Jerald A. Brotzge and Scott J. Richardson

Abstract

A major challenge in meteorology is determining the manner and scale at which the land surface interacts with the atmosphere. A majority of field programs, designed to address this issue, have been limited in space and time and thus have been unable to span the seasonal cycle across a regional to a statewide area. In an effort to address this problem, data for one year were collected and archived from 89 sites during 2000 from the Oklahoma Mesonet and Oklahoma Atmospheric Surface-Layer Instrumentation System (OASIS). Mean and variance estimates of radiation, air and skin temperature, relative humidity, surface fluxes, and soil moisture were investigated. Site-to-site correlation coefficients of these variables also were examined. Furthermore, Hovmoeller diagrams of atmospheric and surface variables were plotted and were discussed in relation to statewide patterns of rainfall, vegetation, and topography. The data revealed complex interactions among the more slowly varying parameters, such as soil wetness and vegetation greenness, and the more rapidly changing variables, such as atmospheric temperature and moisture.

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Jerald A. Brotzge and Kenneth C. Crawford

Abstract

The challenges of using the Oklahoma Mesonet for calculations of sensible heat flux are discussed. The mesonet is an integrated network of 115 remote and automated meteorological stations across Oklahoma that provides the spatial density to observe synoptic and mesoscale features. Temperature and wind speed are measured at two levels at 48 mesonet sites, from which heat flux may be estimated using a gradient approach. A series of field experiments was conducted that quantified the problems and limitations of estimating heat fluxes from the mesonet sites. Four specific problems were identified, and solutions to these limitations are discussed. These problems include 1) differences in instrumentation, 2) an apparent “offset” between thermistors, 3) radiative heating error, and 4) fetch limitations. As an independent verification, mesonet flux values were compared directly with eddy correlation estimates.

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