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R. G. Strauch and R. Frehlich

Abstract

Simulations of weather radar echoes were used to determine whether single-pulse estimates of velocity could be made with sufficient accuracy to measure the velocity aliasing that is inherent with pulse Doppler weather radars. The results indicated that this type of velocity measurement can be made, but such a large number of single-pulse estimates need to be averaged to determine the velocity aliasing that the concept is not compatible with the spatial and temporal resolution requirements of the WSR-88D (NEXRAD).

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R. G. Frehlich and M. J. Yadlowsky

Abstract

Correction to Volume 11, Issue 5, pages 1217-1230.

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R. G. Frehlich and M. J. Yadlowsky

Abstract

The performance of mean-frequency estimators for Doppler radar and lidar measurements of winds is presented in terms of two basic parameters: Φ, the ratio of the average signal energy per estimate to the spectral noise level; and Ω, which is proportional to the number of independent samples per estimate. For fixed Φ and Ω, the Cramer-Rao bound (CRB) (theoretical best performance) for unbiased estimators of mean frequency (normalized by the spectral width of the signal), signal power, and spectral width are essentially independent of the number of data samples M. For Φ, the estimators of mean frequency are unbiased and the performance is independent of M. The spectral domain estimators and covariance based estimators are bounded by the approximate periodogram CRB. The standard deviation of the maximum-likelihood estimator approaches the exact CRB, which can be more than a factor of 2 better than the performance of the spectral domain estimators or covariance-based estimators for typical Ω. For small Φ, the estimators are biased due to the effect of the uncorrelated noise (white noise), which results in uniformly distributed “bad” estimates. The fraction of bad estimates is a function of Φ and M with weak dependence on the parameter Ω. Simple empirical models describe the standard deviation of the good estimates and the fraction of bad estimates. For Doppler lidar and for large Φ, better performance is obtained by using many low-energy pulses instead of one pulse with the same total energy. For small Φ, the converse is true.

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S. B. Trier, R. D. Sharman, R. G. Fovell, and R. G. Frehlich

Abstract

Turbulence affecting aircraft is frequently reported within bands of cirrus anvil cloud extending radially outward from upstream deep convection in mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). A high-resolution convection permitting model is used to simulate bands of this type observed on 17 June 2005. The timing, location, and orientation of these simulated bands are similar to those in satellite imagery for this case. The 10–20-km horizontal spacing between the bands is also similar to typical spacing found in a recent satellite-based climatology of MCS-induced radial outflow bands.

The simulated bands result from shallow convection in the near-neutral to weakly unstable MCS outer anvil. The weak stratification of the anvil, the ratio of band horizontal wavelength to the depth of the near-neutral anvil layer (5:1 to 10:1), and band orientation approximately parallel to the vertical shear within the same layer are similar to corresponding aspects of horizontal convective rolls in the atmospheric boundary layer, which result from thermal instability. The vertical shear in the MCS outflow is important not only in influencing the orientation of the radial bands but also for its role, through differential temperature advection, in helping to thermodynamically destabilize the environment in which they originate.

High-frequency gravity waves emanating from the parent deep convection are trapped in a layer of strong static stability and vertical wind shear beneath the near-neutral anvil and, consistent with satellite studies, are oriented approximately normal to the developing radial bands. The wave-generated vertical displacements near the anvil base may aid band formation in the layer above.

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Y. P. Meillier, R. G. Frehlich, R. M. Jones, and B. B. Balsley

Abstract

Constant altitude measurements of temperature and velocity in the residual layer of the nocturnal boundary layer, collected by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Tethered Lifting System (TLS), exhibit fluctuations identified by previous work (Fritts et al.) as the signature of ducted gravity waves. The concurrent high-resolution TLS turbulence measurements (temperature structure constant C 2 T and turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate ε) reveal the presence of patches of enhanced turbulence activity that are roughly synchronized with the troughs of the temperature and velocity fluctuations. To investigate the potentially dominant role ducted gravity waves might play on the modulation of atmospheric stability and therefore, on turbulence, time series of the wave-modulated gradient Richardson number (Ri) and of the vertical gradient of potential temperature ∂θ/∂z(t) are computed numerically and compared to the TLS small-scale turbulence measurements. The results of this study agree with the predictions of previous theoretical studies (i.e., wave-generated fluctuations of temperature and velocity modulate the gradient Richardson number), resulting in periodic enhancements of turbulence at Ri minima. The patches of turbulence observed in the TLS dataset are subsequently identified as convective instabilities generated locally within the unstable phase of the wave.

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B. T. Lottman, R. G. Frehlich, S. M. Hannon and, and S. W. Henderson

Abstract

This paper summarizes high-resolution measurements of the vertical wind fields near and inside a cloud deck from a ground-based 2-μm solid state coherent Doppler lidar. Results include physical characterization of the deck and wind field statistics near and inside the cloud. The data suggest the possibility of wave conditions, which is supported by the corresponding National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration profiler data. The temporal spectra of the vertical velocity estimates inside the cloud have a −5/3 power-law dependence, and estimates for the spatial structure function and energy dissipation rate are computed. Spectra are investigated for rain conditions where two spectral peaks are observed: one for aerosol target and one for rain.

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B. B. Balsley, R. G. Frehlich, M. L. Jensen, and Y. Meillier

Abstract

Some 50 separate high-resolution profiles of small-scale turbulence defined by the energy dissipation rate (ε), horizontal wind speed, and temperature from near the surface, through the nighttime stable boundary layer (SBL), and well into the residual layer are used to compare the various definitions of SBL height during nighttime stable conditions. These profiles were obtained during postmidnight periods on three separate nights using the Tethered Lifting System (TLS) during the Cooperative Atmosphere–Surface Exchange Study (CASES-99) campaign in east-central Kansas, October 1999. Although the number of profiles is insufficient to make any definitive conclusions, the results suggest that, under most conditions, the boundary layer top can be reasonably estimated in terms of a very significant decrease in the energy dissipation rate (i.e., the mixing height) with height. In the majority of instances this height lies slightly below the height of a pronounced minimum in wind shear and slightly above a maximum in N2, where N is the Brunt–Väisälä frequency. When combined with flux measurements and vertical velocity variance data obtained from the nearby 55-m tower, the results provide additional insights into SBL processes, even when the boundary layer, by any definition, extends to heights well above the top of the tower. Both the TLS profiles and tower data are then used for preliminary high-resolution studies into various categories of SBL structure, including the so-called upside-down boundary layer.

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