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S. Rabenhorst, D. N. Whiteman, D.-L. Zhang, and B. Demoz

Abstract

The Water Vapor Variability-Satellite/Sondes (WAVES) 2006 field campaign provided a contiguous 5-day period of concentrated high-resolution measurements to examine finescale boundary layer phenomena under the influence of a summertime subtropical high over the mid-Atlantic region that is characterized by complex geography. A holistic analytical approach to low-level wind observations was adopted to identify the low-level flow structures and patterns of evolution on the basis of airmass properties and origination. An analysis of the measurements and the other available observations is consistent with the classic depiction of the daytime boundary layer development but revealed a pronounced diurnal cycle that was categorized into three stages: (i) daytime growth of the convective boundary layer, (ii) flow intensification into a low-level jet regime after dusk, and (iii) interruption by a downslope wind regime after midnight. The use of the field campaign data allows for the differentiation of the latter two flow regimes by their directions with respect to the orientation of the Appalachian Mountains and their airmass origins. Previous studies that have investigated mountain flows and low-level jet circulations have focused on regions with overt geographic prominence, stark gradients, or frequent reoccurrences, whereby such meteorological phenomena exhibit a clear signature and can be easily isolated and diagnosed. The results of this study provide evidence that similar circulation patterns operate in nonclassic locations with milder topography and atmospheric gradients, such as the mid-Atlantic region. The new results have important implications for the understanding of the mountain-forced flows and some air quality problems during the nocturnal period.

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R. A. Ferrare, S. H. Melfi, D. N. Whiteman, K. D. Evans, F. J. Schmidlin, and D. O'C. Starr

Abstract

This paper examines the calibration characteristics of the NASA/GSFC Raman water vapor lidar during three field experiments that occurred between 1991 and 1993. The lidar water vapor profiles are calibrated using relative humidity profiles measured by AIR and Vaisala radiosondes. The lidar calibration computed using the AIR radiosonde, which uses a carbon hygristor to measure relative humidity, was 3%–5% higher than that computed using the Vaisala radiosonde, which uses a thin film capacitive element. These systematic differences were obtained for relative humidities above 30% and so cannot be explained by the known poor low relative humidity measurements associated with the carbon hygristor. The lidar calibration coefficient was found to vary by less than 1% over this period when determined using the Vaisala humidity data and by less than 5% when using the AIR humidity data. The differences between the lidar relative humidity profiles and those measured by these radiosondes are also examined. These lidar–radiosonde comparisons are used in combination with a numerical model of the lidar system to assess the altitude range of the GSFC lidar. The model results as well as the radiosonde comparisons indicate that for a lidar located at sea level measuring a typical midlatitude water vapor profile, the absolute error in relative humidity for a 10-min, 75-m resolution profile is less than 10% for altitudes below 8.5 km. Model results show that this maximum altitude can be extended to 10 km by increasing the averaging time and/or reducing the range resolution.

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I. Veselovskii, D. N. Whiteman, A. Kolgotin, E. Andrews, and M. Korenskii

Abstract

The feasibility of using a multiwavelength Mie–Raman lidar based on a tripled Nd:YAG laser for profiling aerosol physical parameters in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) under varying conditions of relative humidity (RH) is studied. The lidar quantifies three aerosol backscattering and two extinction coefficients and from these optical data the particle parameters such as concentration, size, and complex refractive index are retrieved through inversion with regularization. The column-integrated, lidar-derived parameters are compared with results from the AERONET sun photometer. The lidar and sun photometer agree well in the characterization of the fine-mode parameters, however the lidar shows less sensitivity to coarse mode. The lidar results reveal a strong dependence of particle properties on RH. The height regions with enhanced RH are characterized by an increase of backscattering and extinction coefficient and a decrease in the Ångström exponent coinciding with an increase in the particle size. The hygroscopic growth factor calculated for a select case is consistent with previous literature results despite the lack of collocated radiosonde data. These results demonstrate the potential of the multiwavelength Raman lidar technique for the study of aerosol humidification process.

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Tetsu Sakai, David N. Whiteman, Felicita Russo, David D. Turner, Igor Veselovskii, S. Harvey Melfi, Tomohiro Nagai, and Yuzo Mano

Abstract

This paper describes recent work in the Raman lidar liquid water cloud measurement technique. The range-resolved spectral measurements at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center indicate that the Raman backscattering spectra measured in and below low clouds agree well with theoretical spectra for vapor and liquid water. The calibration coefficients of the liquid water measurement for the Raman lidar at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Southern Great Plains site of the U.S. Department of Energy were determined by comparison with the liquid water path (LWP) obtained with Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) and the liquid water content (LWC) obtained with the millimeter wavelength cloud radar and water vapor radiometer (MMCR–WVR) together. These comparisons were used to estimate the Raman liquid water cross-sectional value. The results indicate a bias consistent with an effective liquid water Raman cross-sectional value that is 28%–46% lower than published, which may be explained by the fact that the difference in the detectors' sensitivity has not been accounted for. The LWP of a thin altostratus cloud showed good qualitative agreement between lidar retrievals and AERI. However, the overall ensemble of comparisons of LWP showed considerable scatter, possibly because of the different fields of view of the instruments, the 350-m distance between the instruments, and the horizontal inhomogeneity of the clouds. The LWC profiles for a thick stratus cloud showed agreement between lidar retrievals and MMCR–WVR between the cloud base and 150 m above that where the optical depth was less than 3. Areas requiring further research in this technique are discussed.

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J. E. M. Goldsmith, Scott E. Bisson, Richard A. Ferrare, Keith D. Evans, David N. Whiteman, and S. H. Melfi

Raman lidar is a leading candidate for providing the detailed space- and time-resolved measurements of water vapor needed by a variety of atmospheric studies. Simultaneous measurements of atmospheric water vapor are described using two collocated Raman lidar systems. These lidar systems, developed at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and Sandia National Laboratories, acquired approximately 12 hours of simultaneous water vapor data during three nights in November 1992 while the systems were collocated at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Although these lidar systems differ substantially in their design, measured water vapor profiles agreed within 0.15 g kg−1 between altitudes of 1 and 5 km. Comparisons with coincident radiosondes showed all instruments agreed within 0.2 g kg−1 in this same altitude range. Both lidars also clearly showed the advection of water vapor in the middle troposphere and the pronounced increase in water vapor in the nocturnal boundary layer that occurred during one night.

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B. B. Demoz, D. O’C. Starr, K. D. Evans, A. R. Lare, D. N. Whiteman, G. Schwemmer, R. A. Ferrare, J. E. M. Goldsmith, and S. E. Bisson

Abstract

Detailed observations of the interactions of a cold front and a dryline over the central United States that led to dramatic undulations in the boundary layer, including an undular bore, are investigated using high-resolution water vapor mixing ratio profiles measured by Raman lidars. The lidar-derived water vapor mixing ratio profiles revealed the complex interaction between a dryline and a cold-frontal system. An elevated, well-mixed, and deep midtropospheric layer, as well as a sharp transition (between 5- and 6-km altitude) to a drier region aloft, was observed. The moisture oscillations due to the undular bore and the mixing of the prefrontal air mass with the cold air at the frontal surface are all well depicted. The enhanced precipitable water vapor and roll clouds, the undulations associated with the bore, the strong vertical circulation and mixing that led to the increase in the depth of the low-level moist layer, and the subsequent lifting of this moist layer by the cold-frontal surface, as well as the feeder flow behind the cold front, are clearly indicated.

A synthesis of the Raman lidar–measured water vapor mixing ratio profiles, satellite, radiometer, tower, and Oklahoma Mesonet data indicated that the undular bore was triggered by the approaching cold front and propagated south-southeastward. The observed and calculated bore speeds were in reasonable agreement. Wave-ducting analysis showed that favorable wave-trapping mechanisms existed; a low-level stable layer capped by an inversion, a well-mixed midtropospheric layer, and wind curvature from a low-level jet were found.

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M. Adam, B. B. Demoz, D. D. Venable, E. Joseph, R. Connell, D. N. Whiteman, A. Gambacorta, J. Wei, M. W. Shephard, L. M. Miloshevich, C. D. Barnet, R. L. Herman, and J. Fitzgibbon

Abstract

Water vapor mixing ratio retrieval using the Howard University Raman lidar is presented with emphasis on three aspects: (i) comparison of the lidar with collocated radiosondes and Raman lidar, (ii) investigation of the relationship between atmospheric state variables and the relative performance of the lidar and sonde (in particular, their poor agreement), and (iii) comparison with satellite-based measurements. The measurements were acquired during the Water Vapor Validation Experiment Sondes/Satellites 2006 campaign. Ensemble averaging of water vapor mixing ratio data from 10 nighttime comparisons with Vaisala RS92 radiosondes shows, on average, an agreement within ±10%, up to ∼8 km. A similar analysis of lidar-to-lidar data of over 700 profiles revealed an agreement to within 20% over the first 7 km (10% below 4 km). A grid analysis, defined in the temperature–relative humidity space, was developed to characterize the lidar–radiosonde agreement and quantitatively localizes regions of strong and weak correlations as a function of altitude, temperature, or relative humidity. Three main regions of weak correlation emerge: (i) regions of low relative humidity and low temperature, (ii) regions of moderate relative humidity at low temperatures, and (iii) regions of low relative humidity at moderate temperatures. Comparison of Atmospheric Infrared Sounder and Tropospheric Emission Sounder satellite retrievals of moisture with those of Howard University Raman lidar showed a general agreement in the trend, but the satellites miss details in atmospheric structure because of their low resolution. A relative difference of about ±20% is usually found between lidar and satellite measurements for the coincidences available.

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D. N. Whiteman, B. Demoz, K. Rush, G. Schwemmer, B. Gentry, P. Di Girolamo, J. Comer, I. Veselovskii, K. Evans, S. H. Melfi, Z. Wang, M. Cadirola, B. Mielke, D. Venable, and T. Van Hove

Abstract

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Scanning Raman Lidar (SRL) participated in the International H2O Project (IHOP), which occurred in May and June 2002 in the midwestern part of the United States. The SRL received extensive optical modifications prior to and during the IHOP campaign that added new measurement capabilities and enabled unprecedented daytime water vapor measurements by a Raman lidar system. Improvements were also realized in nighttime upper-tropospheric water vapor measurements. The other new measurements that were added to the SRL for the IHOP deployment included rotational Raman temperature, depolarization, cloud liquid water, and cirrus cloud ice water content. In this first of two parts, the details of the operational configuration of the SRL during IHOP are provided along with a description of the analysis and calibration procedures for water vapor mixing ratio, aerosol depolarization, and cirrus cloud extinction-to-backscatter ratio. For the first time, a Raman water vapor lidar calibration is performed, taking full account of the temperature sensitivity of water vapor and nitrogen Raman scattering. Part II presents case studies that permit the daytime and nighttime error statistics to be quantified.

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D. N. Whiteman, B. Demoz, G. Schwemmer, B. Gentry, P. Di Girolamo, D. Sabatino, J. Comer, I. Veselovskii, K. Evans, R-F. Lin, Z. Wang, A. Behrendt, V. Wulfmeyer, E. Browell, R. Ferrare, S. Ismail, and J. Wang

Abstract

The NASA GSFC Scanning Raman Lidar (SRL) participated in the International H2O Project (IHOP) that occurred in May and June 2002 in the midwestern part of the United States. The SRL system configuration and methods of data analysis were described in Part I of this paper. In this second part, comparisons of SRL water vapor measurements and those of Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) airborne water vapor lidar and chilled-mirror radiosonde are performed. Two case studies are then presented: one for daytime and one for nighttime. The daytime case study is of a convectively driven boundary layer event and is used to characterize the daytime SRL water vapor random error characteristics. The nighttime case study is of a thunderstorm-generated cirrus cloud case that is studied in its meteorological context. Upper-tropospheric humidification due to precipitation from the cirrus cloud is quantified as is the cirrus cloud optical depth, extinction-to-backscatter ratio, ice water content, cirrus particle size, and both particle and volume depolarization ratios. A stability and back-trajectory analysis is performed to study the origin of wave activity in one of the cloud layers. These unprecedented cirrus cloud measurements are being used in a cirrus cloud modeling study.

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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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