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Simone Lolli and Paolo Di Girolamo

Abstract

Developing a reliable cost-effective instrument network for data measurement is a challenging task for agency decisionmakers. A simple way to fully characterize the performances of an instrument that also considers economical and operational factors—price, maintenance cost, lifetime, etc.—currently does not exist. Through principal component analysis, a method is developed to build a composite index that assigns a single score to each instrument, taking into account all the scientific, economic, and operational aspects. This index will then represent solid help in building and optimizing a cost-effective network, bridging the gap between two very different worlds: the scientific need for precision and economic constraints.

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Paolo Di Girolamo, Donato Summa, and Rossella Ferretti

Abstract

The University of Basilicata Raman lidar system (BASIL) is operational in Potenza, Italy, and it is capable of performing high-resolution and accurate measurements of atmospheric temperature and water vapor based on the application of the rotational and vibrational Raman lidar techniques in the ultraviolet region. BASIL was recently involved in the 2005 International Lindenberg campaign for Assessment of Humidity and Cloud Profiling Systems and Its Impact on High-Resolution Modeling (LAUNCH 2005) experiment held from 12 September to 31 October 2005. A thorough description of the technical characteristics, measurement capabilities, and performances of BASIL is given in this paper. Measurements were continuously run between 1 and 3 October 2005, covering a dry stratospheric intrusion episode associated with a tropopause folding event. The measurements in this paper represent the first simultaneous Raman lidar measurements of atmospheric temperature, water vapor mixing ratio, and thus relative humidity reported for an extensive observation period (32 h).

The use of water vapor to trace intruded stratospheric air allows the clear identification of a dry structure (∼1 km thick) originating in the stratosphere and descending in the free troposphere down to ∼3 km. A similar feature is present in the temperature field, with lower temperature values detected within the dry-air tongue. Relative humidity measurements reveal values as small as 0.5%–1% within the intruded air. The stratospheric origin of the observed dry layer has been verified by the application of a Lagrangian trajectory model. The subsidence of the intruding heavy dry air may be responsible for the gravity wave activity observed beneath the dry layer.

Lidar measurements have been compared with the output of both the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) global model. Comparisons in terms of water vapor reveal the capability of MM5 to reproduce the dynamical structures associated with the stratospheric intrusion episode and to simulate the deep penetration into the troposphere of the dry intruded layer. Moreover, lidar measurements of potential temperature are compared with MM5 output, whereas potential vorticities from both the ECMWF model and MM5 are compared with estimates obtained combining MM5 model vorticity and lidar measurements of potential temperature.

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Christian Herold, Dietrich Althausen, Detlef Müller, Matthias Tesche, Patric Seifert, Ronny Engelmann, Cyrille Flamant, Rohini Bhawar, and Paolo Di Girolamo

Abstract

Water vapor measurements with the multiwavelength Raman lidar Backscatter Extinction Lidar-Ratio Temperature Humidity Profiling Apparatus (BERTHA) were performed during the Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS) in the Black Forest, Germany, from June to August 2007. For quality assurance, profiles of the water vapor mixing ratio measured with BERTHA are compared to simultaneous measurements of a radiosonde and an airborne differential absorption lidar (DIAL) on 31 July 2007. The differences from the radiosonde observations are found to be on average 1.5% and 2.5% in the residual layer and in the free troposphere, respectively. During the two overflights at 1937 and 2018 UTC, the differences from the DIAL results are −2.2% and −3.7% in the residual layer and 2.1% and −2.6% in the free troposphere. After this performance check, short-range forecasts from the German Meteorological Service’s (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD) version of the Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling (COSMO-DE) model are compared to the BERTHA measurements for two case studies. Generally, it is found that water vapor mixing ratios from short-range forecasts are on average 7.9% drier than the values measured in the residual layer. In the free troposphere, modeled values are 9.7% drier than the measurements.

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Tammy M. Weckwerth, Lindsay J. Bennett, L. Jay Miller, Joël Van Baelen, Paolo Di Girolamo, Alan M. Blyth, and Tracy J. Hertneky

Abstract

A case study of orographic convection initiation (CI) that occurred along the eastern slopes of the Vosges Mountains in France on 6 August 2007 during the Convective and Orographically-Induced Precipitation Study (COPS) is presented. Global positioning system (GPS) receivers and two Doppler on Wheels (DOW) mobile radars sampled the preconvective and storm environments and were respectively used to retrieve three-dimensional tomographic water vapor and wind fields. These retrieved data were supplemented with temperature, moisture, and winds from radiosondes from a site in the eastern Rhine Valley. High-resolution numerical simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model were used to further investigate the physical processes leading to convective precipitation.

This unique, time-varying combination of derived water vapor and winds from observations illustrated an increase in low-level moisture and convergence between upslope easterlies and downslope westerlies along the eastern slope of the Vosges Mountains. Uplift associated with these shallow, colliding boundary layer flows eventually led to the initiation of moist convection. WRF reproduced many features of the observed complicated flow, such as cyclonic (anticyclonic) flow around the southern (northern) end of the Vosges Mountains and the east-side convergent flow below the ridgeline. The WRF simulations also illustrated spatial and temporal variability in buoyancy and the removal of the lids prior to convective development. The timing and location of CI from the WRF simulations was surprisingly close to that observed.

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Belay Demoz, Cyrille Flamant, Tammy Weckwerth, David Whiteman, Keith Evans, Frédéric Fabry, Paolo Di Girolamo, David Miller, Bart Geerts, William Brown, Geary Schwemmer, Bruce Gentry, Wayne Feltz, and Zhien Wang

Abstract

A detailed analysis of the structure of a double dryline observed over the Oklahoma panhandle during the first International H2O Project (IHOP_2002) convective initiation (CI) mission on 22 May 2002 is presented. A unique and unprecedented set of high temporal and spatial resolution measurements of water vapor mixing ratio, wind, and boundary layer structure parameters were acquired using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scanning Raman lidar (SRL), the Goddard Lidar Observatory for Winds (GLOW), and the Holographic Airborne Rotating Lidar Instrument Experiment (HARLIE), respectively. These measurements are combined with the vertical velocity measurements derived from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Multiple Antenna Profiler Radar (MAPR) and radar structure function from the high-resolution University of Massachusetts frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) radar to reveal the evolution and structure of the late afternoon double-dryline boundary layer. The eastern dryline advanced and then retreated over the Homestead profiling site in the Oklahoma panhandle, providing conditions ripe for a detailed observation of the small-scale variability within the boundary layer and the dryline. In situ aircraft data, dropsonde and radiosonde data, along with NCAR S-band dual-polarization Doppler radar (S-Pol) measurements, are also used to provide the larger-scale picture of the double-dryline environment.

Moisture and temperature jumps of about 3 g kg−1 and 1–2 K, respectively, were observed across the eastern radar fine line (dryline), more than the moisture jumps (1–2 g kg−1) observed across the western radar fine line (secondary dryline). Most updraft plumes observed were located on the moist side of the eastern dryline with vertical velocities exceeding 3 m s−1 and variable horizontal widths of 2–5 km, although some were as wide as 7–8 km. These updrafts were up to 1.5 g kg−1 moister than the surrounding environment.

Although models suggested deep convection over the Oklahoma panhandle and several cloud lines were observed near the dryline, the dryline itself did not initiate any storms over the intensive observation region (IOR). Possible reasons for this lack of convection are discussed. Strong capping inversion and moisture detrainment between the lifting condensation level and the level of free convection related to an overriding drier air, together with the relatively small near-surface moisture values (less than 10 g kg−1), were detrimental to CI in this case.

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Andreas Behrendt, Volker Wulfmeyer, Hans-Stefan Bauer, Thorsten Schaberl, Paolo Di Girolamo, Donato Summa, Christoph Kiemle, Gerhard Ehret, David N. Whiteman, Belay B. Demoz, Edward V. Browell, Syed Ismail, Richard Ferrare, Susan Kooi, and Junhong Wang

Abstract

The water vapor data measured with airborne and ground-based lidar systems during the International H2O Project (IHOP_2002), which took place in the Southern Great Plains during 13 May–25 June 2002 were investigated. So far, the data collected during IHOP_2002 provide the largest set of state-of-the-art water vapor lidar data measured in a field campaign. In this first of two companion papers, intercomparisons between the scanning Raman lidar (SRL) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and two airborne systems are discussed. There are 9 intercomparisons possible between SRL and the differential absorption lidar (DIAL) of Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), while there are 10 intercomparisons between SRL and the Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) of the NASA Langley Research Center. Mean biases of (−0.30 ± 0.25) g kg−1 or −4.3% ± 3.2% for SRL compared to DLR DIAL (DLR DIAL drier) and (0.16 ± 0.31) g kg−1 or 5.3% ± 5.1% for SRL compared to LASE (LASE wetter) in the height range of 1.3–3.8 km above sea level (450–2950 m above ground level at the SRL site) were found. Putting equal weight on the data reliability of the three instruments, these results yield relative bias values of −4.6%, −0.4%, and +5.0% for DLR DIAL, SRL, and LASE, respectively. Furthermore, measurements of the Snow White (SW) chilled-mirror hygrometer radiosonde were compared with lidar data. For the four comparisons possible between SW radiosondes and SRL, an overall bias of (−0.27 ± 0.30) g kg−1 or −3.2% ± 4.5% of SW compared to SRL (SW drier) again for 1.3–3.8 km above sea level was found. Because it is a challenging effort to reach an accuracy of humidity measurements down to the ∼5% level, the overall results are very satisfactory and confirm the high and stable performance of the instruments and the low noise errors of each profile.

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Véronique Ducrocq, Isabelle Braud, Silvio Davolio, Rossella Ferretti, Cyrille Flamant, Agustin Jansa, Norbert Kalthoff, Evelyne Richard, Isabelle Taupier-Letage, Pierre-Alain Ayral, Sophie Belamari, Alexis Berne, Marco Borga, Brice Boudevillain, Olivier Bock, Jean-Luc Boichard, Marie-Noëlle Bouin, Olivier Bousquet, Christophe Bouvier, Jacopo Chiggiato, Domenico Cimini, Ulrich Corsmeier, Laurent Coppola, Philippe Cocquerez, Eric Defer, Julien Delanoë, Paolo Di Girolamo, Alexis Doerenbecher, Philippe Drobinski, Yann Dufournet, Nadia Fourrié, Jonathan J. Gourley, Laurent Labatut, Dominique Lambert, Jérôme Le Coz, Frank S. Marzano, Gilles Molinié, Andrea Montani, Guillaume Nord, Mathieu Nuret, Karim Ramage, William Rison, Odile Roussot, Frédérique Said, Alfons Schwarzenboeck, Pierre Testor, Joël Van Baelen, Béatrice Vincendon, Montserrat Aran, and Jorge Tamayo

The Mediterranean region is frequently affected by heavy precipitation events associated with flash floods, landslides, and mudslides that cause hundreds of millions of euros in damages per year and, often, casualties. A major field campaign was devoted to heavy precipitation and f lash f loods from 5 September to 6 November 2012 within the framework of the 10-yr international Hydrological Cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX) dedicated to the hydrological cycle and related high-impact events. The 2-month field campaign took place over the northwestern Mediterranean Sea and its surrounding coastal regions in France, Italy, and Spain. The observation strategy of the field experiment was devised to improve knowledge of the following key components leading to heavy precipitation and flash flooding in the region: 1) the marine atmospheric f lows that transport moist and conditionally unstable air toward the coasts, 2) the Mediterranean Sea acting as a moisture and energy source, 3) the dynamics and microphysics of the convective systems producing heavy precipitation, and 4) the hydrological processes during flash floods. This article provides the rationale for developing this first HyMeX field experiment and an overview of its design and execution. Highlights of some intensive observation periods illustrate the potential of the unique datasets collected for process understanding, model improvement, and data assimilation.

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