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Pavlos Kollias, Ieng Jo, and Bruce A. Albrecht

Abstract

Unprecedented high-resolution observations of mammatus from a profiling 94-GHz Doppler radar during the NASA Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers–Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL–FACE) are presented. Because of its high sensitivity and temporal and spatial resolution, the cloud radar used was able to resolve the fine structure of individual mammatus clouds and record significant vertical Doppler velocity perturbations (−6 to +1 m s−1). Strong perturbations of the Doppler velocity within the mammatus as it extends below the main cirrus cloud base are captured by the radar observations. Upward motions in the periphery of descending mammatus cores are documented. Areas of intense, small-scale turbulent mixing near the cirrus cloud base are identified using the Doppler spectrum width. Power spectra analysis of the mean Doppler velocity field supports the presence of gravity waves and the development of higher-frequency structures near the cirrus anvil base, where the mammatus clouds are observed. The observations provide strong evidence for dynamical forcing from coherent vertical motions 500 m above the cloud base contributing to the mammatus formation. The results are discussed in the context of suggested theories for mamma formation and morphology.

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Pavlos Kollias, Nitin Bharadwaj, Kevin Widener, Ieng Jo, and Karen Johnson

Abstract

The acquisition of scanning cloud radars by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program and research institutions around the world generates the need for developing operational scan strategies for cloud radars. Here, the first generation of sampling strategies for the scanning ARM cloud radars (SACRs) is presented. These scan strategies are designed to address the scientific objectives of ARM; however, they introduce an initial framework for operational scanning cloud radars. While the weather community uses scan strategies that are based on a sequence of scans at constant elevations, the SACR scan strategies are based on a sequence of scans at constant azimuth. This is attributed to the cloud geometrical properties, which are vastly different from the rain and snow shafts that are the primary targets of precipitation radars; the need to cover the cone of silence; and the scanning limitations of the SACRs. A “cloud surveillance” scan strategy is introduced that is based on a sequence of horizon-to-horizon range–height indicator (RHI) scans that sample the hemispherical sky (HS) every 30° azimuth (HSRHI). The HSRHI scan strategy is complimented with a low-elevation plan position indicator (PPI) scan. The HSRHI and PPI are repeated every 30 min to provide a static view of the cloud conditions around the SACR location. Between the HSRHI and PPI scan strategies, other scan strategies are introduced depending on the cloud conditions. In the future, information about the atmospheric cloud state will be used in a closed-loop process to optimize the selection of the SACR scan strategy.

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Pavlos Kollias, Ieng Jo, Paloma Borque, Aleksandra Tatarevic, Katia Lamer, Nitin Bharadwaj, Kevin Widener, Karen Johnson, and Eugene E. Clothiaux

Abstract

The scanning Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program cloud radars (SACRs) are the primary instruments for documenting the four-dimensional structure and evolution of clouds within a 20–30-km radius of the ARM fixed and mobile sites. Here, the postprocessing of the calibrated SACR measurements is discussed. First, a feature mask algorithm that objectively determines the presence of significant radar returns is described. The feature mask algorithm is based on the statistical properties of radar receiver noise. It accounts for atmospheric emission and is applicable even for SACR profiles with few or no signal-free range gates. Using the nearest-in-time atmospheric sounding, the SACR radar reflectivities are corrected for gaseous attenuation (water vapor and oxygen) using a line-by-line absorption model. Despite having a high pulse repetition frequency, the SACR has a narrow Nyquist velocity limit and thus Doppler velocity folding is commonly observed. An unfolding algorithm that makes use of a first guess for the true Doppler velocity using horizontal wind measurements from the nearest sounding is described. The retrieval of the horizontal wind profile from the hemispherical sky range–height indicator SACR scan observations and/or nearest sounding is described. The retrieved horizontal wind profile can be used to adaptively configure SACR scan strategies that depend on wind direction. Several remaining challenges are discussed, including the removal of insect and second-trip echoes. The described algorithms significantly enhance SACR data quality and constitute an important step toward the utilization of SACR measurements for cloud research.

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Robert M. Rauber, Bjorn Stevens, Jennifer Davison, Sabine Goke, Olga L. Mayol-Bracero, David Rogers, Paquita Zuidema, Harry T. Ochs III, Charles Knight, Jorgen Jensen, Sarah Bereznicki, Simona Bordoni, Humberto Caro-Gautier, Marilé Colón-Robles, Maylissa Deliz, Shaunna Donaher, Virendra Ghate, Ela Grzeszczak, Colleen Henry, Anne Marie Hertel, Ieng Jo, Michael Kruk, Jason Lowenstein, Judith Malley, Brian Medeiros, Yarilis Méndez-Lopez, Subhashree Mishra, Flavia Morales-García, Louise A. Nuijens, Dennis O'Donnell, Diana L. Ortiz-Montalvo, Kristen Rasmussen, Erin Riepe, Sarah Scalia, Efthymios Serpetzoglou, Haiwei Shen, Michael Siedsma, Jennifer Small, Eric Snodgrass, Panu Trivej, and Jonathan Zawislak

The Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO) field campaign carried out a wide array of educational activities, including a major first in a field project—a complete mission, including research flights, planned and executed entirely by students. This article describes the educational opportunities provided to the 24 graduate and 9 undergraduate students who participated in RICO.

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