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Observation of Atmospheric Fronts Using Raman Lidar Moisture Measurements

S. H. MelfiNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Atmospheres, Greenbelt, Maryland

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D. WhitemanNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Oceans, Greenbelt, Maryland

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R. FerrareNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Atmospheres, Greenbelt, Maryland, and University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of a field program using a ground-based Raman lidar system to observe changes in moisture profiles as a cold and a warm front passed over the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The lidar operating only during darkness is capable of providing continuous high vertical resolution profiles of water vapor mixing ratio and aerosol scattering ratio from near the surface to about 7 km altitude. The lidar data acquired on three consecutive nights from shortly after sunset to shortly before sunrise, along with upper air data from specially launched rawinsondes, have provided a unique visualization of the detailed structure of the two fronts.

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a field program using a ground-based Raman lidar system to observe changes in moisture profiles as a cold and a warm front passed over the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The lidar operating only during darkness is capable of providing continuous high vertical resolution profiles of water vapor mixing ratio and aerosol scattering ratio from near the surface to about 7 km altitude. The lidar data acquired on three consecutive nights from shortly after sunset to shortly before sunrise, along with upper air data from specially launched rawinsondes, have provided a unique visualization of the detailed structure of the two fronts.

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