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Nature of the Mesoscale Boundary Layer Height and Water Vapor Variability Observed 14 June 2002 during the IHOP_2002 Campaign

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Title: Nature of the Mesoscale Boundary Layer Height and Water Vapor Variability Observed 14 June 2002 during the IHOP_2002 Campaign
Author: Couvreux, F.; Guichard, F.; Austin, Philip H.; Chen, F.
Issue Date: 2009-01
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2011-03-25
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Citation: Couvreux, F., Guichard, F., Austin, Phil H., Chen, F. 2009. Nature of the Mesoscale Boundary Layer Height and Water Vapor Variability Observed 14 June 2002 during the IHOP_2002 Campaign. Monthly Weather Review 137(1) 414–432. dx.doi.org/10.1175/2008MWR2367.1
Abstract: Mesoscale water vapor heterogeneities in the boundary layer are studied within the context of the International H2O Project (IHOP_2002). A significant portion of the water vapor variability in the IHOP_2002 occurs at the mesoscale, with the spatial pattern and the magnitude of the variability changing from day to day. On 14 June 2002, an atypical mesoscale gradient is observed, which is the reverse of the climatological gradient over this area. The factors causing this water vapor variability are investigated using complementary platforms (e.g., aircraft, satellite, and in situ) and models. The impact of surface flux heterogeneities and atmospheric variability are evaluated separately using a 1D boundary layer model, which uses surface fluxes from the High-Resolution Land Data Assimilation System (HRLDAS) and early-morning atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles from a mesoscale model. This methodology, based on the use of robust modeling components, allows the authors to tackle the question of the nature of the observed mesoscale variability. The impact of horizontal advection is inferred from a careful analysis of available observations. By isolating the individual contributions to mesoscale water vapor variability, it is shown that the observed moisture variability cannot be explained by a single process, but rather involves a combination of different factors: the boundary layer height, which is strongly controlled by the surface buoyancy flux, the surface latent heat flux, the early-morning heterogeneity of the atmosphere, horizontal advection, and the radiative impact of clouds. Copyright 2009 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyright@ametsoc.org.
Affiliation: Earth and Ocean Sciences, Dept. of (EOS), Dept of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/32937
Peer Review Status: Reviewed
Scholarly Level: Faculty

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