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Kevin A. Kloesel

Abstract

Data from the First ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) Regional Experiment (FIRE) were combined with NOAA synoptic products, a trajectory analysis scheme, and satellite imagery to document the existence and causes of layers of air characterized by high ozone concentrations and low specific-humidity values, as well as layers of air characterized by high specific-humidity values and low ozone concentrations above the summertime marine stratocumulus cloud deck off the coast of California. The ozone concentrations and specific-humidity values observed were larger than those expected in the region just above the subsidence inversion off the California coast. The layers with high ozone concentrations appear to be extruded from the middle or upper troposphere. The layers with high specific-humidity values result from frontal lifting associated with surface cyclones upstream of the marine stratocumulus regime. Both types of layers can become embedded in the flow around the Pacific subtropical anticyclone and can alter the thermodynamic structure above the marine stratocumulus cloud regime. The impact of these layers on the marine stratocumulus cloud regime is also analyzed using boundary-layer model simulations.

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Kevin A. Kloesel

Abstract

Data from the First ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) Regional Experiment (FIRE) were combined with NOAA synoptic products, satellite imagery, and boundary-layer model data to document the existence and causes of periodic clearing of large regions of marine stratocumulus clouds off the coast of California during the summer season. These synoptic-to-mesoscale clearing episodes appear to be correlated with the ridging of the Pacific subtropical anticyclone into the United States Pacific Northwest, resulting in offshore flow effects. Furthermore, the subsidence associated with the Pacific subtropical anticyclone may help cause the clearing episodes, or prevent the redevelopment of these clouds in the clear regions. Because of the contribution of marine stratocumulus clouds to the global albedo, the clearing of large regions of these clouds may impact climate. Therefore, better understanding of these clouds is necessary in order to parameterize them in global climate models.

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Kevin A Kloesel

On 10 September 1923, the first research aircraft flight to investigate marine stratocumulus clouds took place. As we approach the 70th anniversary of this historic flight, it is important to look back at what we have learned from the field experiments designed to study these clouds, both in cloud-data analysis and in field-experiment methodology. In this note, marine stratus and stratocumulus field experiments conducted off the coast of California are reviewed.

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Kevin A. Kloesel and Bruce A. Albrecht

Abstract

The structure of the boundary layer over a broad region of the equatorial Pacific is studied using dropwinsonde measurements made in January, February, May and June of 1979. Low-level inversions of sufficient strength to inhibit deep convection are found to be present in more than 50% of the soundings. These inversions appear to play a critical role in regulating convective activity over the central and eastern Pacific. The tops of the inversions have an average pressure level of approximately 300 mb and show little latitudinal or longitudinal variation. The majority of the inversion soundings (approximately 70%) have a reversal in the mixing ratio profile (qreversal) above the inversion that appears as a dry layer at the top of the inversion layer capped by a relatively moist layer. This moist layer is on the average 2 g kg−1 more moist than the corresponding soundings that have no qreversal. No systematic regional or temporal variations in the frequency of occurrence of the qreversal or the structure of the boundary layer associated with this feature were observed. In previous studies it was suggested that the qreversal could be formed by nearby convection that is penetrating to higher levels, moistening thou levels, and producing downdrafts that spread out at the top of the inversion as a dry layer. Differences between the thermodynamic structure of soundings with and that without the qreversal support this idea. It is suggested that relatively dry layers may form above inversions of all types and heights in areas where there is nearby convection and associated downdrafts.

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Donald Wylie, Barry B. Hinton, and Kevin Kloesel

Abstract

We have studied the changes in marine stratocumulus cloud cover observed during the FIRF, Program and how cloud cover related to synoptic conditions. Statistical analyses of the 21 day FIRE period show that marine stratocumulus cloud cover over the eastern Pacific ocean was related to wind direction and temperature advection. Good coorelations were found between the cloud cover fraction observed on satellite imagery and the NMC Global Spectral Model analyses of surface winds and temperature advection. This comparison was made in even locations in the Eastern Pacific. Regional differences were found between the area of FIRE operations several hundred kilometers west of San Diego and the other oceanic areas studied.

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Paul Ruscher, Kevin Kloesel, Steven Graham, and Sue Hutchins

In 1992 a precollege outreach program designed to bring weather satellite imagery into the classroom was developed jointly by the Florida Technological Research and Development Authority and The Florida State University Department of Meteorology. This initiative incorporates the NOAA Direct Readout Satellite-data ingest program into Florida public school districts for the enhancement of education in a variety of curriculum areas.

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Leigh A. Baumgart, Ellen J. Bass, Brenda Philips, and Kevin Kloesel

Abstract

Emergency managers make time-sensitive decisions in order to protect the public from threats including severe weather. Simulation and questionnaires were used to capture the decision-making process of emergency managers during severe weather events. These data were combined with insights from emergency manager instructors, National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters, and experienced emergency managers to develop a descriptive decision-making model of weather information usage, weather assessments, and decisions made during severe weather. This decision-making model can be used to develop better decision support tools, improve training, and to understand how innovative weather information could potentially affect emergency managers’ role of protecting the public.

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Dale A. Morris, Kenneth C. Crawford, Kevin A. Kloesel, and Gayland Kitch

Abstract

The Oklahoma Climatological Survey began an initiative known as Oklahoma's First-Response Information System using Telecommunications (OK-FIRST) in 1996 to support local public-safety agencies (fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and emergency management). OK-FIRST provides participant agencies with a wealth of real-time weather information and instruction for these users on the interpretation and application of the data in their operations. The 3 May 1999 tornado outbreak was a critical test for the OK-FIRST system. Users of OK-FIRST prevented the tragedy from becoming worse by making informed decisions that protected life and property.

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Dale A. Morris, Kenneth C. Crawford, Kevin A. Kloesel, and J. Michael Wolfinbarger

The Oklahoma Climatological Survey has supported local public safety agencies (fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and emergency management) through its OK-FIRST program since 1996. OK-FIRST provides real-time use of weather data to help public safety agencies fulfill their respective operational missions. Users are taught how to interpret and apply weather data in their operations. The OK-FIRST system has been applied during a wide variety of weather events, including severe weather, floods, wildfires, and hazardous materials incidents.

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James E. Hocker, Andrea D. Melvin, Kevin A. Kloesel, Christopher A. Fiebrich, Robert W. Hill, Richard D. Smith, and Steven F. Piltz

Abstract

Since 1997, the Oklahoma Mesonet (the state’s automated mesoscale weather station network) has served a community of more than 1,400 public safety officials (emergency managers, fire officials, law enforcement, etc.) across Oklahoma through a weather data and training program called Oklahoma’s First-Response Information Resource System using Telecommunications (OK-First). OK-First provides free weather and radar data interpretation classes to eligible public safety officials and, following successful completion of training, password-protected access to weather data tools including a website and software. The objective of OK-First when it began was to fill significant gaps in weather product training and data access for Oklahoma’s public safety community. Though the core mission remains the same 20 years later, many aspects of OK-First have evolved over time, including participant membership, training curriculum, formats of training, training requirements, website and software technology, and program feedback. The purpose of this paper is to provide an update on the Mesonet’s OK-First program, with a particular focus on training, tools, and the impact it has had on the public safety community.

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