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Shedding new Light on Fog Physical Processes

M. Haeffelin, T. Bergot, T. Elias, R. Tardif, D. Carrer, P. Chazette, M. Colomb, P. Drobinski, E. Dupont, J.-C. Dupont, L. Gomes, L. Musson-Genon, C. Pietras, A. Plana-Fattori, A. Protat, J. Rangognio, J.-C. Raut, S. Rémy, D. Richard, J. Sciare, and X. Zhang

Fog is a weather condition with significant socioeconomic impacts associated with increased hazards and constraints in road, maritime, and air traffic. While current numerical weather prediction models are able to forecast situations that are favorable to fog events, it is very difficult to determine the exact location and time of formation or dissipation. One-dimensional assimilation-forecast models have been implemented at a few airports and provide improved local predictions of fog events, but this approach is limited to specific locations. The occurrence, development, and dissipation of fog result from multiple processes (thermodynamical, radiative, dynamical, microphysical) that occur simultaneously, through a wide range of conditions, and that interact nonlinearly with each other. Hence, to advance our ability to forecast fog processes, we must gain a better understanding of how critical physical processes feed back on each other and improve their parametric representations in models. To provide a dataset suitable to study these processes simultaneously in continental fog, a suite of active and passive remote sensing instruments and in situ sensors was deployed at the Site Instrumental de Recherche en Télédétection Atmosphérique (SIRTA; instrumented site for atmospheric remote sensing research) observatory, near Paris, France, for 6 months (winter 2006/07) to monitor profiles of wind, turbulence, microphysical, and radiative properties as well as temperature, humidity, aerosol, and fog droplet microphysics and chemical composition in the surface layer. This field experiment, called ParisFog, provides a comprehensive characterization of over 100 fog and near-fog events. The ParisFog dataset contains contrasted events of stratus-lowering fog and radiative cooling fog as well as a large number of situations considered as favorable to fog formation but where fog droplets did not materialize. The effect of hydrated aerosols on visibility, the role of aerosols' microphysical and chemical properties on supersaturation and droplet activation, and the role of turbulence and sedimentation on fog life cycles have been investigated using the ParisFog dataset. The interactions between these processes, however, remain to be explored.

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Robert M. Rauber, Harry T. Ochs III, L. Di Girolamo, S. Göke, E. Snodgrass, Bjorn Stevens, Charles Knight, J. B. Jensen, D. H. Lenschow, R. A. Rilling, D. C. Rogers, J. L. Stith, B. A. Albrecht, P. Zuidema, A. M. Blyth, C. W. Fairall, W. A. Brewer, S. Tucker, S. G. Lasher-Trapp, O. L. Mayol-Bracero, G. Vali, B. Geerts, J. R. Anderson, B. A. Baker, R. P. Lawson, A. R. Bandy, D. C. Thornton, E. Burnet, J-L. Brenguier, L. Gomes, P. R. A. Brown, P. Chuang, W. R. Cotton, H. Gerber, B. G. Heikes, J. G. Hudson, P. Kollias, S. K. Krueger, L. Nuijens, D. W. O'Sullivan, A. P. Siebesma, and C. H. Twohy
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Robert M. Rauber, Bjorn Stevens, Harry T. Ochs III, Charles Knight, B. A. Albrecht, A. M. Blyth, C. W. Fairall, J. B. Jensen, S. G. Lasher-Trapp, O. L. Mayol-Bracero, G. Vali, J. R. Anderson, B. A. Baker, A. R. Bandy, E. Burnet, J.-L. Brenguier, W. A. Brewer, P. R. A. Brown, R Chuang, W. R. Cotton, L. Di Girolamo, B. Geerts, H. Gerber, S. Göke, L. Gomes, B. G. Heikes, J. G. Hudson, P. Kollias, R. R Lawson, S. K. Krueger, D. H. Lenschow, L. Nuijens, D. W. O'Sullivan, R. A. Rilling, D. C. Rogers, A. P. Siebesma, E. Snodgrass, J. L. Stith, D. C. Thornton, S. Tucker, C. H. Twohy, and P. Zuidema

Shallow, maritime cumuli are ubiquitous over much of the tropical oceans, and characterizing their properties is important to understanding weather and climate. The Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO) field campaign, which took place during November 2004–January 2005 in the trades over the western Atlantic, emphasized measurements of processes related to the formation of rain in shallow cumuli, and how rain subsequently modifies the structure and ensemble statistics of trade wind clouds. Eight weeks of nearly continuous S-band polarimetric radar sampling, 57 flights from three heavily instrumented research aircraft, and a suite of ground- and ship-based instrumentation provided data on trade wind clouds with unprecedented resolution. Observational strategies employed during RICO capitalized on the advances in remote sensing and other instrumentation to provide insight into processes that span a range of scales and that lie at the heart of questions relating to the cause and effects of rain from shallow maritime cumuli.

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H. J. S. Fernando, J. Mann, J. M. L. M. Palma, J. K. Lundquist, R. J. Barthelmie, M. Belo-Pereira, W. O. J. Brown, F. K. Chow, T. Gerz, C. M. Hocut, P. M. Klein, L. S. Leo, J. C. Matos, S. P. Oncley, S. C. Pryor, L. Bariteau, T. M. Bell, N. Bodini, M. B. Carney, M. S. Courtney, E. D. Creegan, R. Dimitrova, S. Gomes, M. Hagen, J. O. Hyde, S. Kigle, R. Krishnamurthy, J. C. Lopes, L. Mazzaro, J. M. T. Neher, R. Menke, P. Murphy, L. Oswald, S. Otarola-Bustos, A. K. Pattantyus, C. Veiga Rodrigues, A. Schady, N. Sirin, S. Spuler, E. Svensson, J. Tomaszewski, D. D. Turner, L. van Veen, N. Vasiljević, D. Vassallo, S. Voss, N. Wildmann, and Y. Wang


A grand challenge from the wind energy industry is to provide reliable forecasts on mountain winds several hours in advance at microscale (∼100 m) resolution. This requires better microscale wind-energy physics included in forecasting tools, for which field observations are imperative. While mesoscale (∼1 km) measurements abound, microscale processes are not monitored in practice nor do plentiful measurements exist at this scale. After a decade of preparation, a group of European and U.S. collaborators conducted a field campaign during 1 May–15 June 2017 in Vale Cobrão in central Portugal to delve into microscale processes in complex terrain. This valley is nestled within a parallel double ridge near the town of Perdigão with dominant wind climatology normal to the ridges, offering a nominally simple yet natural setting for fundamental studies. The dense instrument ensemble deployed covered a ∼4 km × 4 km swath horizontally and ∼10 km vertically, with measurement resolutions of tens of meters and seconds. Meteorological data were collected continuously, capturing multiscale flow interactions from synoptic to microscales, diurnal variability, thermal circulation, turbine wake and acoustics, waves, and turbulence. Particularly noteworthy are the extensiveness of the instrument array, space–time scales covered, use of leading-edge multiple-lidar technology alongside conventional tower and remote sensors, fruitful cross-Atlantic partnership, and adaptive management of the campaign. Preliminary data analysis uncovered interesting new phenomena. All data are being archived for public use.

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