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J. Galloway, A. Pazmany, J. Mead, R. E. McIntosh, D. Leon, J. French, S. Haimov, R. Kelly, and G. Vali


Investigation of precipitation formation requires measurements of the drop size distribution in a cloud. These measurements have usually been made using ground-based radar systems or aircraft in situ probes. Difficulties encountered in practice using these systems include accounting for the air motion at points remote from the radar systems and small sample volumes measured using the aircraft probes. An airborne W-band radar system provides a measurement from a much larger sample volume, close to the aircraft, with a correction for air motion possible using the data from the aircraft inertial navigation system. The Coastal Stratus Experiment conducted off the coast of Oregon in late 1995 provided W-band radar and microphysical probe data sampled from much of the same region of a marine stratus cloud. The unique combination of cloud probes and W-band radar on board the University of Wyoming King Air allowed the radar sampling to be only 60 m away from the probe sampling region. Doppler spectrum data from the W-band radar were used to produce estimates of the drop size spectrum density N(D). These estimates were compared to measurements of N(D) taken by the Particle Measuring Systems forward scattering spectrometer, 1D, and 2DC probes. This comparison suggests that a vertically pointing airborne W-band radar is a viable remote sensing tool for measuring N(D) in clouds and precipitation. This radar provides information on drop size distribution variation on a much smaller horizontal scale than the probes as a result of the much higher sample rate and larger measurement sample volume.

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R. Damiani, J. Zehnder, B. Geerts, J. Demko, S. Haimov, J. Petti, G. S. Poulos, A. Razdan, J. Hu, M. Leuthold, and J. French

The finescale structure and dynamics of cumulus, evolving from shallow to deep convection, and the accompanying changes in the environment and boundary layer over mountainous terrain were the subjects of a field campaign in July–August 2006. Few measurements exist of the transport of boundary layer air into the deep troposphere by the orographic toroidal circulation and orographic convection. The campaign was conducted over the Santa Catalina Mountains in southern Arizona, a natural laboratory to study convection, given the spatially and temporally regular development of cumulus driven by elevated heating and convergent boundary layer flow. Cumuli and their environment were sampled via coordinated observations from the surface, radiosonde balloons, and aircraft, along with airborne radar data and stereophotogrammetry from two angles.

The collected dataset is expected to yield new insights in the boundary layer processes leading to orographic convection, in the cumulus-induced transport of boundary layer air into the troposphere, and in fundamental cumulus dynamics. This article summarizes the motivations, objectives, experimental strategies, preliminary findings, and the potential research paths stirred by the project.

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Bjorn Stevens, Donald H. Lenschow, Gabor Vali, Hermann Gerber, A. Bandy, B. Blomquist, J. -L. Brenguier, C. S. Bretherton, F. Burnet, T. Campos, S. Chai, I. Faloona, D. Friesen, S. Haimov, K. Laursen, D. K. Lilly, S. M. Loehrer, Szymon P. Malinowski, B. Morley, M. D. Petters, D. C. Rogers, L. Russell, V. Savic-Jovcic, J. R. Snider, D. Straub, Marcin J. Szumowski, H. Takagi, D. C. Thornton, M. Tschudi, C. Twohy, M. Wetzel, and M. C. van Zanten

The second Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus (DYCOMS-II) field study is described. The field program consisted of nine flights in marine stratocumulus west-southwest of San Diego, California. The objective of the program was to better understand the physics a n d dynamics of marine stratocumulus. Toward this end special flight strategies, including predominantly nocturnal flights, were employed to optimize estimates of entrainment velocities at cloud-top, large-scale divergence within the boundary layer, drizzle processes in the cloud, cloud microstructure, and aerosol–cloud interactions. Cloud conditions during DYCOMS-II were excellent with almost every flight having uniformly overcast clouds topping a well-mixed boundary layer. Although the emphasis of the manuscript is on the goals and methodologies of DYCOMS-II, some preliminary findings are also presented—the most significant being that the cloud layers appear to entrain less and drizzle more than previous theoretical work led investigators to expect.

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