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Teddy Holt
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

Marine boundary-layer structure and circulation is documented for the 24 February 1986 case of offshore redevelopment of a cyclone during the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment (GALE) Intensive Observing Period (IOP) 9. Mesoscale and satellite information emphasize that the onshore cyclone is not well organized as it moves offshore to the cold shelf waters with redevelopment occurring later over the Gulf Stream region. Within hours of redevelopment, low-level aircraft data were obtained in the region.

Vertical aircraft profiles down by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) King Air in the vicinity of redevelopment over the Gulf Stream, as well as the midshelf front region and cold shelf waters, reveal two distinct boundary layers. Over the Gulf Stream region approximately 50 km south-southwest of the redeveloping cyclone, the near-neutral marine boundary layer (−h/L = 6.6) capped by layered stratocumulus is characterized by a low cloud base (360 m), relatively thick stratocumulus cloud layer (800–1200 m) and strong subcloud-layer winds (8–9 m s-1). Associated with the developing cyclone near the Gulf Stream is shallow cyclonic flow with convergence and subsequent acceleration of the wind near the western edge.

Closer to the coast over the cold shelf waters and the midshelf front region, the relatively cloud-free boundary layer (h/L = 44.4) is characterized by a slightly shallower, new-neutral boundary layer (h = 700 to 755 m) with very light and variable winds. Boundary layer flow is strongly divergent west of the midshelf front. Them two regions are approximately 150–200 km west of the Gulf Stream region or redevelopment.

Flux profiles agree with results from other marine boundary layers under similar cloud and stability conditions and emphasize the warming and moistening of the subcloud layer from new the western edge of the Gulf Stream eastward. Temperature and moisture turbulence structure appear less well organized. The mean momentum budget emphasizes the strong baroclinicity in the MABL and the importance of horizontal advection near the western edge of the Gulf Stream. Comparison turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budgets over the Gulf Stream and over the midshelf front show shear production and dissipation to dominate over the Gulf Stream with strong winds. Turbulent transport over the Gulf Stream is a significant term due primarily to the flux of horizontal velocity variance, which is approximately 5 times that of the flux of vertical velocity variance. Over the midshelf front, all normalized terms in the TKE budget are less active in producing, dissipating and transferring TKE for a given heat flux as compared to the Gulf Stream region, where the effects of the developing cyclone are evident.

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Hao Jin
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

This paper presents a study on air pollutant dispersion from an elevated accidental release from the space shuttle tower at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida under the influence of a stratified onshore flow. The temperature difference between land and ocean can generate a local sea-land circulation and a thermal internal boundary layer. Both play a significant role in the coastal dispersion. Results from a Gaussian dispersion model and those from numerical simulations show that the concentrations obtained from these two distinctly different methods are of the same order of magnitude and have similar patterns. Numerical simulations were performed by combining the Advanced Regional Prediction System with an Eulerian pollutant dispersion model. Numerical sensitivity experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of upwind stability, coastal topography, and calm wind condition. Numerical results also show that the dispersion pattern from a continuous release is significantly different from that of a finite release.

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Yihua Wu
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

Land-use patterns are a major factor that causes land surface heterogeneities, which in turn influence the development of mesoscale circulations. In the present study, effects of land-use patterns on the formation and structure of mesoscale circulations were investigated using the North Carolina State University mesoscale model linked with the soil–vegetation system. The Midwest type of low-level jet (LLJ) was successfully generated in the model simulation. Characteristics of the LLJ generated in the numerical experiments are consistent with observations. The results suggest that land surface heterogeneities could have significant impacts on the formation and the maintenance of the LLJ.

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Teddy Holt
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

Radiosondes from Soviet ships along with dropsondes and mean and turbulence data from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Electra gust probe aircraft are analyzed to infer the structure of the monsoon marine boundary layer during MONEX 79. Results of mean wind profiles indicate the existence of a jetlike structure in the upper part of the boundary layer during the more suppressed “monsoon-break” conditions. The thermal structure of the monsoon boundary layer during these break conditions is characterized by near-neutral to slightly unstable conditions. There was an approximate balance of form in the monsoon boundary layer between advective acceleration, friction and geostrophic departure. Advective acceleration was found to be a significant term, especially in the lower levels of the boundary layer. This contrasts with typical trade-wind boundary layers in which acceleration is generally negligible.

Results indicate that turbulence statistics associated with wind speed components and temperature in the monsoon boundary layer during MONEX 79 are generally large. Profiles of momentum and virtual temperature flux change sign at altitudes as low as 30 to 50% of the boundary layer height. The turbulent kinetic energy budget indicates that buoyancy is not a dominant source term above, roughly, one-third the boundary layer height. Viscous energy dissipation and turbulent transport are the important sink terms in the lowest one-half of the boundary layer.

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Ching-Yuang Huang
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

Cold air advection over the Gulf Stream off the Carolinas and the Appalachian Mountains is studied using idealized two-dimensional cases for the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment (GALE) lop 2 conditions. An anelastic hydrostatic mesoscale model is used. Turbulent transfer in the planetary boundary layer, diurnal heating, cloud dynamics, atmospheric longwave and shortwave radiation and subgrid cumulus parameterization are included in the model.

Model results show that the geometry of the oceanic and coastal rainbands depends on the direction of the ambient flow (onshore or offshore). For onshore flows, the rainbands remain in the vicinity of the oceanic baroclinic zone. The rainbands become, transient and migrate downwind of the Gulf Stream front for offshore flows. Depths of the marine boundary layer (MBL) and the cloud (or rain) bands depend more on the ambient flow speed than its direction. The rainbands develop primarily in response to the strong low level convergence.

As expected, southward winds are produced at the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains for onshore conditions. A significant amount of the turning, however, results from the baroclinic zone over the ocean. Upstream influence of the mountain intensifies the updrafts'in the MBL and moves the oceanic rainbands further offshore. The effects of the atmospheric longwave and shortwave radiation, subgrid cloud heating and diurnal ground heating are of secondary importance in influencing the structure of the MBL as compared to the surface turbulent beat fluxes. Diurnal effects can change the coastal inland flow regime considerably, resulting in a local breeze and the formation of another cloud (or rain) band.

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Randall J. Alliss
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

This paper documents evidence of a diurnal variability in cloudiness over the Gulf Stream locale. The Gulf Stream locale (GSL) is defined as the region covering 31°–38°N, 82°–71°W. The Gulf Stream, which occupies a portion of the GSL, is a warm current of water that flows south to north along the east coast of the United States and provides conditions conducive for the development of cloudiness. Cloud heights derived from the GOES VISSR (Visible-infrared Spin Scan Radiometer) Atmospheric Sounder (VAS) are obtained and used to produce a 7-yr climatology of the diurnal variation in the frequency of low-, middle-,and high-level cloudiness. The climatology is segregated into summer and winter seasons.

Diurnal variations are found during the summer and winter. Satellite observations over land indicate a maximum in the frequency of low cloudiness during daytime and a minimum at night. In addition, high cloudiness is found to increase significantly late in the afternoon and evening. Over the Gulf Stream region, high cloudiness is found most frequently in the mid- to late morning hours. A midafternoon maximum in low cloudiness is found along the coastline of Georgia and South Carolina and north of the Gulf Stream east of Virginia. Nocturnal minimums in low cloudiness are reported in these regions. Results suggest that summertime low and high cloudiness over the GSL are related to prevalent convective activity. An analysis of the diurnally oscillating pattern of boundary layer convergence, derived from analyses from the National Meteorological Center's step coordinate model, indicates a strong relationship to the presence of high cloudiness. The strong correspondence between the timing of these two parameters suggests that atmosphere dynamics play a significant role in the diurnal cycle in high cloudiness.

In winter, when convective activity is suppressed there is less detectable response of the atmosphere to the 24-h solar cycle manifest in the diurnal variations of clouds. Nevertheless low- and midlevel cloudiness are found most frequently in the predawn hours, except over the Gulf Stream where low clouds exhibit an afternoon maximum and a nocturnal minimum. Surface observations of cloudiness support the diurnal variations reported by VAS.

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Randall J. Alliss
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

Fields of cloudiness derived from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite VISSR (Visible–Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer) Atmospheric Sounder are analyzed over the Gulf Stream locale (GSL) to investigate seasonal and geographical variations. The GSL in this study is defined as the region bounded from 31° to 38°N and 82° to 66°W. This region covers an area that includes the United States mid-Atlantic coast states, the Gulf Stream, and portions of the Sargasso Sea. Clouds over the GSL are found approximately three-quarters of the time between 1985 and 1993. However, large seasonal variations in the frequency of cloudiness exist. These seasonal variations show a distinct relationship to gradients in sea surface temperature (SST). For example, during winter when large SST gradients are present, large gradients in cloudiness are found. Clouds are observed least often during summer over the ocean portion of the GSL. This minimum coincides with an increase in atmospheric stability due to large-scale subsidence. Cloudiness is also found over the GSL in response to mesoscale convergence areas induced by sea surface temperature gradients. Geographical variations in cloudiness are found to be related to the meteorology of the region. During periods of cold-air advection, which are found most frequently in winter, clouds are found less often between the coastline and the core of the Gulf Stream and more often over the Sargasso Sea. During cyclogenesis, large cloud shields often develop and cover the entire domain.

Satellite estimates of cloudiness are found to be least reliable over land at night during the cold months. In these situations, the cloud retrieval algorithm often mistakes clear sky for low clouds. Satellite-derived cloudiness over land is compared with daytime surface observations of cloudiness. Results indicate that retrieved cloudiness agrees well with surface observations. Relative humidity fields taken from global analyses are compared with satellite cloud heights at three levels in the atmosphere. Cloudiness observed at these levels is found at relative humidities in the 75%–100% range but is also observed at humidities as low as 26%.

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Randall J. Alliss
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

Cloudiness derived from surface observations and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite VISSR (Visible–Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer) Atmospheric Sounder (VAS) are compared with thermodynamic properties derived from upper-air soundings over the Gulf Stream locale during a developing winter storm. The Gulf Stream locale covers the United States mid-Atlantic coastal states, the Gulf Stream, and portions of the Sargasso Sea. Cloudiness is found quite frequently in this region. Cloud-top pressures are derived from VAS using the CO2 slicing technique and a simple threshold procedure. Cloud-base heights and cloud fractions are obtained from National Weather Service hourly reporting stations. The saturation pressure differences, defined as the difference between air parcel pressure and saturation-level pressure (lifted condensation level), are derived from upper-air soundings. Collocated comparisons with VAS and surface observations are also made. Results indicate that cloudiness is observed nearly all of the time during the 6-day period, well above the 8-yr mean. High, middle, and low opaque cloudiness are found approximately equally. Furthermore, of the high- and midlevel cloudiness observed, a considerable amount is determined to be semitransparent to terrestrial radiation. Comparisons of satellite-inferred cloudiness with surface observations indicate that the satellite can complement surface observations of cloud cover, particularly above 700 mb.

Surface-observed cloudiness is segregated according to a composite cloud fraction and compared to the mean saturation pressure difference for a 1000–600-mb layer. The analysis suggests that this conserved variable may be a good indicator for estimating cloud fraction. Large negative values of saturation pressure difference correlate highly with clear skies, while those approaching zero correlate with overcast conditions. Scattered and broken cloud fractions are associated with increasing values of the saturation pressure difference. Furthermore, cloud fractions observed in this study are considerably higher than those reported in similar studies and by other cloud fraction formulations.

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Devdutta S. Niyogi
and
Sethu Raman

Abstract

Stomatal resistance (R s ) calculation has a major impact on the surface energy partitioning that influences diverse boundary layer processes. Present operational limited area or mesoscale models have the Jarvis-type parameterization, whereas the microscale and the climate simulation models prefer physiological schemes for estimating R s . The pivotal question regarding operational mesoscale models is whether an iterative physiological scheme needs to be adopted ahead of the analytical Jarvis-type formulation.

This question is addressed by comparing the ability of three physiological schemes along with a typical Jarvis-type scheme for predicting R s using observations made during FIFE. The data used is typical of a C4-type vegetation, predominant in regions of high convective activity such as the semiarid Tropics and the southern United States grasslands. Data from three different intensive field campaigns are analyzed to account for vegetation and hydrological diversity.

It is found that the Jarvis-type approach has low variance in the outcome due to a poor feedback for the ambient changes. The physiological models, on the other hand, are found to be quite responsive to the external environment. All three physiological schemes have a similar performance qualitatively, which suggests that the vapor pressure deficit approach or the relative humidity descriptor used in the physiological schemes may not yield different results for routine meteorological applications. For the data considered, the physiological schemes had a consistently better performance compared to the Jarvis-type scheme in predicting R s outcome. All four schemes can, however, provide a reasonable estimate of the ensemble mean of the samples considered. A significant influence of the seasonal change in the minimum R s in the Jarvis-type scheme was also noticed, which suggests the use of nitrogen-based information for improving the performance of the Jarvis-type scheme. A possible interactive influence of soil moisture on the capabilities of the four schemes is also discussed. Overall, the physiological schemes performed better under higher moisture availability.

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