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Modeled Downward Transport of a Passive Tracer over Western North America during an Asian Dust Event in April 1998.

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Title: Modeled Downward Transport of a Passive Tracer over Western North America during an Asian Dust Event in April 1998.
Author: Hacker, Joshua P.; McKendry, Ian G.; Stull, Roland B.
Issue Date: 2001-09
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2011-04-11
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Citation: Hacker, Joshua P., McKendry, Ian G., Stull, Roland B. 2001. Modeled Downward Transport of a Passive Tracer over Western North America during an Asian Dust Event in April 1998. Journal of Applied Meteorology. 40(9) 1617-1628. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0450%282001%29040%3C1617%3AMDTOAP%3E2.0.CO%3B2
Abstract: An intense Gobi Desert dust storm in April 1998 loaded the midtroposphere with dust that was transported across the Pacific to western North America. The Mesoscale Compressible Community (MC2) model was used to investigate mechanisms causing downward transport of the midtropospheric dust and to explain the high concentrations of particulate matter of less than 10-mm diameter measured in the coastal urban areas of Washington and southern British Columbia. The MC2 was initialized with a thin, horizontally homogeneous layer of passive tracer centered at 650 hPa for a simulation from 0000 UTC 26 April to 0000 UTC 30 April 1998. Model results were in qualitative agreement with observed spatial and temporal patterns of particulate matter, indicating that it captured the important meteorological processes responsible for the horizontal and vertical transport over the last few days of the dust event. A second simulation was performed without topography to isolate the effects of topography on downward transport. Results show that the dust was advected well east of the North American coast in southwesterly midtropospheric flow, with negligible dust concentration reaching the surface initially. Vertically propagating mountain waves formed during this stage, and differences between downward and upward velocities in these waves could account for a rapid descent of dust to terrain height, where the dust was entrained into the turbulent planetary boundary layer. A deepening outflow (easterly) layer near the surface transported the tracer westward and created a zonalshear layer that further controlled the tracer advection. Later, the shear layer lifted, leading to a downward hydraulic acceleration along the western slopes, as waves generated in the easterly flow amplified below the shear layer that was just above mountain-crest height. Examination of 10 yr of National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalyses suggests that such events are rare. Copyright 2001 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/2429/33516
Peer Review Status: Reviewed
Scholarly Level: Faculty

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