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Clouds, Aerosols, and Precipitation in the Marine Boundary Layer: An Arm Mobile Facility Deployment Public Deposited

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  • The Clouds, Aerosol, and Precipitation in the Marine Boundary Layer (CAP-MBL) deployment at Graciosa Island in the Azores generated a 21-month (April 2009–December 2010) comprehensive dataset documenting clouds, aerosols, and precipitation using the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Mobile Facility (AMF). The scientific aim of the deployment is to gain improved understanding of the interactions of clouds, aerosols, and precipitation in the marine boundary layer. Graciosa Island straddles the boundary between the subtropics and midlatitudes in the northeast Atlantic Ocean and consequently experiences a great diversity of meteorological and cloudiness conditions. Low clouds are the dominant cloud type, with stratocumulus and cumulus occurring regularly. Approximately half of all clouds contained precipitation detectable as radar echoes below the cloud base. Radar and satellite observations show that clouds with tops from 1 to 11 km contribute more or less equally to surface-measured precipitation at Graciosa. A wide range of aerosol conditions was sampled during the deployment consistent with the diversity of sources as indicated by back-trajectory analysis. Preliminary findings suggest important two-way interactions between aerosols and clouds at Graciosa, with aerosols affecting light precipitation and cloud radiative properties while being controlled in part by precipitation scavenging. The data from Graciosa are being compared with short-range forecasts made with a variety of models. A pilot analysis with two climate and two weather forecast models shows that they reproduce the observed time-varying vertical structure of lower-tropospheric cloud fairly well but the cloud-nucleating aerosol concentrations less well. The Graciosa site has been chosen to be a permanent fixed ARM site that became operational in October 2013.
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  • Wood, R., Wyant, M., Bretherton, C. S., Rémillard, J., Kollias, P., Fletcher, J., ... & Lin, Y. (2015). Clouds, Aerosols, and Precipitation in the Marine Boundary Layer: An Arm Mobile Facility Deployment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 96(3), 419-439. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00180.1
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  • 96
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  • 3
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  • The CAP-MBL deployment of the ARM Mobile Facility was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Climate Research Facility and the DOE Atmospheric Sciences Program. We are indebted to the scientists and staff who made this work possible by taking and quality controlling the measurements. Data were obtained from the ARM archive, sponsored by DOE, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research Environmental Science Division. This work was supported by DOE Grants DE-SC0006865MOD0002 (PI Robert Wood), DE-SC0008468 (PI Xiquan Dong), DE-SC0006736 (PI David Mechem), DE-SC0000991 (PI Patrick Minnis), DESC0006712 (PI George Tselioudis), DE-SC0007233 (PI Christine Chiu), and DE-SC0006701 (PI Sandra Yuter).
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