A novel approach to Lagrangian sampling of marine boundary layer cloud and aerosol in the northeast Pacific: case studies from CSET
Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The Cloud System Evolution in the Trades (CSET) field campaign took place during July/August 2015 with the purpose of characterizing the cloud, aerosol and thermodynamic properties of the northeast Pacific marine boundary layer. One major science goal of the campaign was to observe a Lagrangian transition from thin stratocumulus (Sc) upwind near California to trade cumulus (Cu) nearer to Hawaii. Cloud properties were observed from the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V research plane (GV) using the HIAPER Cloud Radar (HCR) and the HIAPER Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL), among other instrumentation. Aircraft observations were complemented by a suite of satellite-derived products.
To observe a the evolution of airmasses over the course of two days, upwind regions were sampled on an outbound flight to from Sacramento, CA, to Kona, HI. The sampled airmasses were then tracked using HYSPLIT trajectories based on GFS model forecasts, and the return flight to California was planned to intercept those airmasses, using satellite observation to track cloud evolution in the interim. This approach required that trajectories were reasonably stable up to 3 days prior to final sampling, and also that forecast trajectories were in agreement with post-flight analysis and visual cloud feature tracking. The extent to which this was realised, and hence the validity of this new approach to Lagrangian airmass observation, is assessed here. We also present results showing that a Sc-Cu airmass transition was consistently observed during the CSET study using measurements from research flights and satellite.