Observational Study of a Convective Internal Boundary Layer over Lake Michigan

Sam S. Chang Department of the Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

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Roscoe R. Braham Jr. Department of the Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

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Abstract

Using aircraft data collected during the University of Chicago Lake-Effect Snow Storm project, the results of a case study of the convective thermal internal boundary layer (TIBL) over Lake Michigan are presented. An intense cold air outbreak on 20 January 1984 featured a rapid growth of the convective TIBL thickness and the concurrent development of cloud and snow. The average slope of the TIBL top over a fetch of 123.7 km was 1.0%. Microphysical characteristics of cloud and snow along with the TIBL development are also presented. Results of the TIBL integrated budgets of heat and total water (including cloud and snow water) are given in detail. Over the surface of Lake Michigan the average downward snow flux (snow precipitation rate) was 0.79 mm (water) per day. The average sensible and latent heat fluxes at the water surface were 323 and 248 W m−2, respectively. About 13 percent of the total warming of this cloud-topped TIBL was due to radiation.

Abstract

Using aircraft data collected during the University of Chicago Lake-Effect Snow Storm project, the results of a case study of the convective thermal internal boundary layer (TIBL) over Lake Michigan are presented. An intense cold air outbreak on 20 January 1984 featured a rapid growth of the convective TIBL thickness and the concurrent development of cloud and snow. The average slope of the TIBL top over a fetch of 123.7 km was 1.0%. Microphysical characteristics of cloud and snow along with the TIBL development are also presented. Results of the TIBL integrated budgets of heat and total water (including cloud and snow water) are given in detail. Over the surface of Lake Michigan the average downward snow flux (snow precipitation rate) was 0.79 mm (water) per day. The average sensible and latent heat fluxes at the water surface were 323 and 248 W m−2, respectively. About 13 percent of the total warming of this cloud-topped TIBL was due to radiation.

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