Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 14 items for

  • Author or Editor: E. J. Owens x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Owen E. Thompson
and
Richard J. Wolski

Abstract

This study deals with atmospheric tropopause detection by satellite. It is found that incorrect forecasting of the tropopause height yields a systematic bias in temperature profile estimates which use an algorithm (specifically, the “minimum information” method) operating on satellite-measured spectral infrared radiances and forecast temperature profiles as first guess fields. This bias follows from the general inability of linear satellite-based temperature retrieval schemes to substantially correct “shape” errors in the first guess field, owing to the rather low vertical resolving power of such schemes. A non-linear approach to tropopause detection which makes use of certain selected ratios of measured spectral radiances is shown to have some power for correcting these biases.

Full access
P. A. Mandics
and
E. J. Owens

Abstract

A monostatic acoustic echo sounder with a vertically-pointed antenna was installed aboard the NOAA research vessel Oceanographer and was tested during a recent cruise in the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. Acoustic returns produced by turbulence-induced temperature fluctuations were received from up to 300 m in height. The data revealed the existence of a rich variety in the structure of the marine atmosphere. Thermal convective plumes were usually observed when the sea water temperature exceeded the air temperature by as little as 1°C. Under more stable conditions the echo sounder detected the presence of layered structures associated with temperature inversions that were often perturbed by gravity waves or wind shear. Doppler frequency shift of the returned echo signals was used to estimate the vertical velocity of atmospheric scatterers.

The results of the tests indicate that it is possible to probe remotely the lower layers of the marine atmosphere from a moving ship using acoustic echo sounding techniques. Wind-generated noise, ambient acoustic noise, and structure-borne vibrations proved to be the major limitations on the performance of the echo sounder.

Full access
Donald E. Wroblewski
,
Owen R. Coté
,
Jorg M. Hacker
, and
Ronald J. Dobosy

Abstract

High-resolution measurements obtained from NOAA “best” atmospheric turbulence (BAT) probes mounted on an EGRETT high-altitude research aircraft were used to characterize turbulence in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere at scales from 2 m to 20 km, focusing on three-dimensional behavior in the sub-kilometer-scale range. Data were analyzed for 129 separate level flight segments representing 41 h of flight time and 12 600 km of wind-relative flight distances. The majority of flights occurred near the tropopause layer of the winter subtropical jet stream in the Southern Hemisphere. Second-order structure functions for velocity and temperature were analyzed for the separate level-flight segments, individually and in various ensembles. A 3D scaling range was observed at scales less than about 100 m, with power-law exponents for the structure functions of the velocity component in the flight direction varying mostly between 0.4 and 0.75 for the separate flight segments, but close to ⅔ for the ensemble-averaged curves for all levels and for various subensembles. Structure functions in the 3D scaling range were decoupled from those at scales greater than 10 km, with the large-scale structure functions showing less variation than those at smaller scales. Weakly anisotropic behavior was observed in the 3D range, with structure parameters for the lateral and vertical velocities on the same order as those in the flight direction but deviating from the expected isotropic value. Anisotropy was correlated with turbulence intensity, with greater anisotropy associated with weaker turbulence.

Full access
Donald E. Wroblewski
,
Owen R. Coté
,
Jorg M. Hacker
, and
Ron J. Dobosy

Abstract

Cliff–ramp patterns (CR) are a common feature of scalar turbulence, characterized by a sharp temperature increase (cliff) followed by a more gradual temperature decrease (ramp). Aircraft measurements obtained from NOAA best aircraft turbulence probes (BAT) were used to characterize and compare CR patterns observed under stably stratified conditions in the upper troposphere, a region for which there are few such studies. Experimental data were analyzed for three locations, one over Wales and two over southern Australia, the latter in correspondence with the Southern Hemisphere winter subtropical jet stream. Comparison of observed CR patterns with published direct numerical simulations (DNS) revealed that they were likely signatures of Kelvin–Helmholtz (KH) billows, with the ramps associated with the well-mixed billows and the cliffs marking the highly stretched braids. Strong correlation between potential temperature and horizontal velocity supported the KH link, though expected correlations with vertical velocity were not observed. The temperature fronts associated with the cliffs were oriented in a direction approximately normal to the mean wind direction. Locally high values of temperature structure constant near these fronts were associated with steep temperature gradients across the fronts; this may be misleading in the context of electromagnetic propagation, suggesting a false positive indication of high levels of small-scale turbulence that would not correspond to scintillation effects. Billow aspect ratios, braid angles, and length scales were estimated from the data and comparisons with published DNS provided a means for assessing the stage of evolution of the KH billows and the initial Richardson number of the layer.

Full access
Paul E. Robbins
,
James F. Price
,
W. Brechner Owens
, and
William J. Jenkins

Abstract

An analysis of the physical mechanisms contributing to the ventilation of the lower subtropical thermocline (26.5 < σ θ < 27.3) of the North Atlantic is presented. Examination of the surface forcing suggests that this density range in the Atlantic should be strongly ventilated by flow from the surface winter mixed layer. In contrast to this expectation, the isopycnic distribution of tracers within the shielded thermocline fails to show evidence of net advective penetration of recently ventilated waters into the eastern North Atlantic. Instead, the presence of the Azores Current appears to block the net southward invasion of mass from the region of the isopycnal surface outcrops. Tracer properties of recently ventilated waters enter the gyre by diffusive exchange across the Azores Front. Evidence of this diffusive ventilation based on both steady-state and transient tracers is presented. Mean basin-scale property distributions on σ θ = 27.0 are diagnosed from an expanded high quality hydrographic database. The Montgomery streamfunction revels no evidence of pathways for direct geostrophic ventilation on this density horizon; low values of potential vorticity are confined to the region of formation north of the Azores Current.

To complement the examination of the steady-state tracer distribution, an interpretation of the temporal evolution of the tritium–3He age in the eastern Atlantic is considered. The penetration of the coupled tritium and 3He tracers provide a sensitive diagnostic of the effects of mixing. Lateral mixing creates robust and predictable changes in measured Eulerian tritium–3He age in response to the oceanic input of anthropogenic tritium. Simple kinematic models of the ventilation of tritium and 3He are compared with the observed temporal character of the tracer age field. Circulation scenarios characterized by net export of fluid from the surface mixed layer into the lower subtropical thermocline require excessively large magnitudes of lateral diffusivity (≥4000 m2 s−1) to accurately simulate the transient tracer observations. On the other hand, the observations can be reconciled with canonical magnitudes of lateral diffusion (1000–1500 m2 s−1) if the ventilation of properties is mediated by diffusive transmission across the Azores Current accompanied by only negligible net transport of mass.

Full access
Russ E. Davis
,
Lynne D. Talley
,
Dean Roemmich
,
W. Brechner Owens
,
Daniel L. Rudnick
,
John Toole
,
Robert Weller
,
Michael J. McPhaden
, and
John A. Barth

Abstract

The history of over 100 years of observing the ocean is reviewed. The evolution of particular classes of ocean measurements (e.g., shipboard hydrography, moorings, and drifting floats) are summarized along with some of the discoveries and dynamical understanding they made possible. By the 1970s, isolated and “expedition” observational approaches were evolving into experimental campaigns that covered large ocean areas and addressed multiscale phenomena using diverse instrumental suites and associated modeling and analysis teams. The Mid-Ocean Dynamics Experiment (MODE) addressed mesoscale “eddies” and their interaction with larger-scale currents using new ocean modeling and experiment design techniques and a suite of developing observational methods. Following MODE, new instrument networks were established to study processes that dominated ocean behavior in different regions. The Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere program gathered multiyear time series in the tropical Pacific to understand, and eventually predict, evolution of coupled ocean–atmosphere phenomena like El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) sought to quantify ocean transport throughout the global ocean using temperature, salinity, and other tracer measurements along with fewer direct velocity measurements with floats and moorings. Western and eastern boundary currents attracted comprehensive measurements, and various coastal regions, each with its unique scientific and societally important phenomena, became home to regional observing systems. Today, the trend toward networked observing arrays of many instrument types continues to be a productive way to understand and predict large-scale ocean phenomena.

Full access
William J. Schmitz, Jr.
,
James F. Price
,
Philip L. Richardson
,
W. Brechner Owens
,
Douglas C. Webb
,
Robert E. Cheney
, and
H. Thomas Rossby

Abstract

SOFAR (sound fixing and ranging) floats deployed for engineering tests during 1977–79 yield the first long-term quasi-Lagrangian observations in the subsurface Gulf Stream System. The character of these float tracks supports the premise that the Gulf Stream is a persistent, large-scale, vertically coherent jet at depths (approximately) within and above the main thermocline. where mean and eddy kinetic energies are roughly the same and lateral motions of the Stream are clearly delineated. A float track at thermocline depth is visually coherent with the track of a concurrently launched surface drifter over the larger horizontal scales traversed during the first few months of their trajectories. Below thermocline depths, fluctuation or eddy kinetic energies are normally larger than the mean and a persistent Gulf Stream is difficult to detect. However, deep motions that are visually coherent with upper level flows may be observed for an intermediate range of space and time scales.

Eddy kinetic energies based on the float data are compatible with existing Eulerian estimates to the extent comparable. The consistency of a quasi-Lagrangian eddy kinetic energy estimate in the vicinity of the thermocline, roughly 400 cm2 s−2, the first such observation to our knowledge, is indirect but relatively convincing. Zonal and meridional variances for the float data are also in line with existing Eulerian results. Estimates of the frequency distribution of eddy kinetic energy for the longest float trajectory available are nearly identical to comparable Eulerian results at frequencies less than about a cycle per 20 days.

Full access
G. Vaughan
,
J. Methven
,
D. Anderson
,
B. Antonescu
,
L. Baker
,
T. P. Baker
,
S. P. Ballard
,
K. N. Bower
,
P. R. A. Brown
,
J. Chagnon
,
T. W. Choularton
,
J. Chylik
,
P. J. Connolly
,
P. A. Cook
,
R. J. Cotton
,
J. Crosier
,
C. Dearden
,
J. R. Dorsey
,
T. H. A. Frame
,
M. W. Gallagher
,
M. Goodliff
,
S. L. Gray
,
B. J. Harvey
,
P. Knippertz
,
H. W. Lean
,
D. Li
,
G. Lloyd
,
O. Martínez–Alvarado
,
J. Nicol
,
J. Norris
,
E. Öström
,
J. Owen
,
D. J. Parker
,
R. S. Plant
,
I. A. Renfrew
,
N. M. Roberts
,
P. Rosenberg
,
A. C. Rudd
,
D. M. Schultz
,
J. P. Taylor
,
T. Trzeciak
,
R. Tubbs
,
A. K. Vance
,
P. J. van Leeuwen
,
A. Wellpott
, and
A. Woolley

Abstract

The Diabatic Influences on Mesoscale Structures in Extratropical Storms (DIAMET) project aims to improve forecasts of high-impact weather in extratropical cyclones through field measurements, high-resolution numerical modeling, and improved design of ensemble forecasting and data assimilation systems. This article introduces DIAMET and presents some of the first results. Four field campaigns were conducted by the project, one of which, in late 2011, coincided with an exceptionally stormy period marked by an unusually strong, zonal North Atlantic jet stream and a succession of severe windstorms in northwest Europe. As a result, December 2011 had the highest monthly North Atlantic Oscillation index (2.52) of any December in the last 60 years. Detailed observations of several of these storms were gathered using the U.K.’s BAe 146 research aircraft and extensive ground-based measurements. As an example of the results obtained during the campaign, observations are presented of Extratropical Cyclone Friedhelm on 8 December 2011, when surface winds with gusts exceeding 30 m s–1 crossed central Scotland, leading to widespread disruption to transportation and electricity supply. Friedhelm deepened 44 hPa in 24 h and developed a pronounced bent-back front wrapping around the storm center. The strongest winds at 850 hPa and the surface occurred in the southern quadrant of the storm, and detailed measurements showed these to be most intense in clear air between bands of showers. High-resolution ensemble forecasts from the Met Office showed similar features, with the strongest winds aligned in linear swaths between the bands, suggesting that there is potential for improved skill in forecasts of damaging winds.

Open access
Eric J. Jensen
,
Leonhard Pfister
,
David E. Jordan
,
Thaopaul V. Bui
,
Rei Ueyama
,
Hanwant B. Singh
,
Troy D. Thornberry
,
Andrew W. Rollins
,
Ru-Shan Gao
,
David W. Fahey
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
James W. Elkins
,
Glenn S. Diskin
,
Joshua P. DiGangi
,
R. Paul Lawson
,
Sarah Woods
,
Elliot L. Atlas
,
Maria A. Navarro Rodriguez
,
Steven C. Wofsy
,
Jasna Pittman
,
Charles G. Bardeen
,
Owen B. Toon
,
Bruce C. Kindel
,
Paul A. Newman
,
Matthew J. McGill
,
Dennis L. Hlavka
,
Leslie R. Lait
,
Mark R. Schoeberl
,
John W. Bergman
,
Henry B. Selkirk
,
M. Joan Alexander
,
Ji-Eun Kim
,
Boon H. Lim
,
Jochen Stutz
, and
Klaus Pfeilsticker

Abstract

The February–March 2014 deployment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) provided unique in situ measurements in the western Pacific tropical tropopause layer (TTL). Six flights were conducted from Guam with the long-range, high-altitude, unmanned Global Hawk aircraft. The ATTREX Global Hawk payload provided measurements of water vapor, meteorological conditions, cloud properties, tracer and chemical radical concentrations, and radiative fluxes. The campaign was partially coincident with the Convective Transport of Active Species in the Tropics (CONTRAST) and the Coordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics (CAST) airborne campaigns based in Guam using lower-altitude aircraft (see companion articles in this issue). The ATTREX dataset is being used for investigations of TTL cloud, transport, dynamical, and chemical processes, as well as for evaluation and improvement of global-model representations of TTL processes. The ATTREX data are publicly available online (at https://espoarchive.nasa.gov/).

Full access
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
F. Aldred
,
Nadine Gobron
,
John B. Miller
,
Kate M. Willett
,
M. Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Richard, P. Allan
,
Rob Allan
,
J. Anderson
,
Anthony Argüez
,
C. Arosio
,
John A. Augustine
,
C. Azorin-Molina
,
J. Barichivich
,
H. E. Beck
,
Andreas Becker
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
David I. Berry
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Olivier Bock
,
X. Bodin
,
Michael G. Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
S. A. Buehler
,
B. Calmettes
,
Laura Carrea
,
Laura Castia
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
E.-S. Chung
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Curt Covey
,
J.-F. Cretaux
,
M. Crotwell
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Doug Degenstein
,
R. Delaloye
,
Larry Di Girolamo
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff S. Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
James W. Elkins
,
Vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
J. Garforth
,
Matthew Gentry
,
S. K. Gupta
,
S. Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Brad D. Hall
,
Ian Harris
,
D. L. Hemming
,
M. Hirschi
,
Shu-pen (Ben) Ho
,
F. Hrbacek
,
Daan Hubert
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Antje Inness
,
K. Isaksen
,
Viju O. John
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Robert Junod
,
J. W. Kaiser
,
V. Kaufmann
,
A. Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
R. Kidd
,
Hyungjun Kim
,
Z. Kipling
,
A. Koppa
,
B. M. Kraemer
,
D. P. Kratz
,
Xin Lan
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
D. Lavers
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Diego Loyola
,
R. Madelon
,
Michael Mayer
,
M. F. McCabe
,
Tim R. McVicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
L. Moesinger
,
Stephen A. Montzka
,
Colin Morice
,
L. Mösinger
,
Jens Mühle
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Ben Noll
,
J. O’Keefe
,
Tim J. Osborn
,
T. Park
,
A. J. Pasik
,
C. Pellet
,
Maury S. Pelto
,
S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick
,
G. Petron
,
Coda Phillips
,
S. Po-Chedley
,
L. Polvani
,
W. Preimesberger
,
D. G. Rains
,
W. J. Randel
,
Nick A. Rayner
,
Samuel Rémy
,
L. Ricciardulli
,
A. D. Richardson
,
David A. Robinson
,
Matthew Rodell
,
N. J. Rodríguez-Fernández
,
K.H. Rosenlof
,
C. Roth
,
A. Rozanov
,
T. Rutishäuser
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
P. Sawaengphokhai
,
T. Scanlon
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
R. W. Schlegel
,
S. Sharma
,
Lei Shi
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
Carolina Siso
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
B. J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
T. H. Sparks
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Martin Stengel
,
Dimitri A. Streletskiy
,
Sunny Sun-Mack
,
P. Tans
,
S. J. Thackeray
,
E. Thibert
,
D. Tokuda
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
M. van der Vliet
,
Guido R. van der Werf
,
A. Vance
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Ray Wang
,
Markus Weber
,
David Wiese
,
Anne C. Wilber
,
Jeanette D. Wild
,
Takmeng Wong
,
R. Iestyn Woolway
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Xungang Yin
,
Guangyu Zhao
,
Lin Zhao
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
, and
R. M. Zotta
Free access