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Joseph Egger, Luis Blacutt, Flavio Ghezzi, Richard Heinrich, Philip Kolb, Stephan Lämmlein, Martin Leeb, Stephanie Mayer, Eduardo Palenque, Joachim Reuder, Wolfgang Schäper, Jan Schween, Rene Torrez, and Francesco Zaratti

Abstract

In July and August 2003 a field campaign was conducted to explore the diurnal circulation of the Bolivian Altiplano. Vertical soundings by remote-controlled aircraft yielded profiles of temperature, pressure, and humidity at six passes and in a valley. Pilot balloon observations provided wind profiles. Two permanent stations collected additional data. Typically, inflow toward the Altiplano commences a few hours after sunrise at about the time when the stable nocturnal layer near the ground is transformed by the solar heating into an almost neutrally stratified convective boundary layer. The depth of the inflow layer is comparable to but normally less than that of this boundary layer. There are indications of return flow aloft. The inflow continues at least until sunset. Moisture is imported at the passes leading to the Yungas in the east. Strong upvalley flows were found in the valley of the Rio de La Paz, which connects the wide canyon of La Paz with the tropical lowlands to the east. Inflow was absent at one of the passes despite favorable synoptic conditions. Cases of synoptically forced flows are presented as well where the diurnal signal is difficult to separate. A simple flow scheme is presented that fits the observations reasonably well.

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Stephan T. Kral, Joachim Reuder, Timo Vihma, Irene Suomi, Kristine F. Haualand, Gabin H. Urbancic, Brian R. Greene, Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Torge Lorenz, Björn Maronga, Marius O. Jonassen, Hada Ajosenpää, Line Båserud, Phillip B. Chilson, Albert A. M. Holtslag, Alastair D. Jenkins, Rostislav Kouznetsov, Stephanie Mayer, Elizabeth A. Pillar-Little, Alexander Rautenberg, Johannes Schwenkel, Andrew W. Seidl, and Burkhard Wrenger

Abstract

The Innovative Strategies for Observations in the Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer Program (ISOBAR) is a research project investigating stable atmospheric boundary layer (SBL) processes, whose representation still poses significant challenges in state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. In ISOBAR ground-based flux and profile observations are combined with boundary layer remote sensing methods and the extensive usage of different unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). During February 2017 and 2018 we carried out two major field campaigns over the sea ice of the northern Baltic Sea, close to the Finnish island of Hailuoto at 65°N. In total 14 intensive observational periods (IOPs) resulted in extensive SBL datasets with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution, which will form the basis for various numerical modeling experiments. First results from the campaigns indicate numerous very stable boundary layer (VSBL) cases, characterized by strong stratification, weak winds, and clear skies, and give detailed insight in the temporal evolution and vertical structure of the entire SBL. The SBL is subject to rapid changes in its vertical structure, responding to a variety of different processes. In particular, we study cases involving a shear instability associated with a low-level jet, a rapid strong cooling event observed a few meters above ground, and a strong wave-breaking event that triggers intensive near-surface turbulence. Furthermore, we use observations from one IOP to validate three different atmospheric models. The unique finescale observations resulting from the ISOBAR observational approach will aid future research activities, focusing on a better understanding of the SBL and its implementation in numerical models.

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