Campus Units

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Agronomy

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

8-1997

Journal or Book Title

Monthly Weather Review

Volume

125

Issue

8

First Page

1954

Last Page

1963

DOI

10.1175/1520-0493(1997)125<1954:WVLISF>2.0.CO;2

Abstract

The STORM-FEST (Fronts Experiment Systems Test) rawinsonde data were analyzed to determine the abundance and characteristics of moist layers within the troposphere. A moist layer was defined as a local maximum in relative humidity with lower relative humidity air above and below. Moist layers under the criteria occur in over half the soundings with an average location between 600 and 500 mb and an average thickness of approximately 120 mb. The layers also appeared to be more nearly aligned with isentropic, rather than isobaric, surfaces. Compositing of relative humidity profiles with a layer at approximately the same level showed an increase in lapse rate at the top of moist layers indicating that the layers are contained by dynamic mechanisms. In addition, there was no diurnal cycle to the characteristics of the layers. These factors suggest a close relationship between the layers and large-scale dynamics. An examination of spatial continuity suggests a horizontal scale of a few hundred kilometers. Their appearance poses a challenge for numerical modeling of atmospheric water vapor. Furthermore, limitations of the two types of rawinsonde instruments used in STORM-FEST are apparent in some characteristics of the layers, thus indicating instrumentation challenges posed by these structures for observing the atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle.

Comments

This article is published as Iselin, John P., and William J. Gutowski Jr. "Water vapor layers in STORM-FEST rawinsonde observations." Monthly Weather Review 125, no. 8 (1997): 1954-1963. doi: 10.1175/1520-0493(1997)1252.0.CO;2" target="_blank">2.0.CO;2" >10.1175/1520-0493(1997)1252.0.CO;2. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Meteorological Society

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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