Observations and Modeling of the Near Surface Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere in the Southern Appalachians during the Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment (IPHEx) Extended Observing Period

Friday, 19 December 2014
Anna M Wilson and Ana Paula Barros, Duke University, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Durham, NC, United States
Accurate, high resolution observations of precipitation accumulations and intensity in regions of complex terrain are largely unavailable, due to a lack of existing in situ observations and obstacles to remote sensing (radar and satellite observations) such as beam blockage and ground clutter. For the past six years, a high-elevation, high-density rain gauge network has been recording precipitation observations along ridgelines in the Pigeon River Basin in the Southern Appalachians. These longer term observations complement the 4-D database of observations, which are being collected in support of the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) during the first field campaign after the launch of the GPM satellite, the Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment (IPHEx). The observations focused on here are those at the near surface, within 2 kilometers of the ground level. The IPHEx extended observation period lasts until the end of 2014. This presentation will focus on ground-based measurements made by MicroRain Radars, disdrometers, radiometers, rain gauges, fog collectors and aerosol spectrometers among others during the spring, summer and fall of 2014. These measurements will be analyzed to provide information on the diurnal cycle of microphysical and dynamical processes and properties in the region, with an emphasis on describing the characteristics of local cloud and fog. These observations will be discussed in the context of previous findings based on observations and model results (stochastic column model and the Advanced Research Weather and Forecasting Model (WRF)). Specifically, this presentation will address whether the IPHEx observations support the hypothesis, validated for specific case studies in previous work, that Bergeron processes govern the enhancement of light rainfall in the Southern Appalachians through increased coalescence efficiency in stratiform rainfall due to the interactions with low level clouds and topography modulated fog. WRF simulations for IPHEx cases will also be discussed.