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Title: Water Vapor Turbulence Profiles in Stationary Continental Convective Mixed Layers

The U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program’s Raman lidar at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in north-central Oklahoma has collected water vapor mixing ratio (q) profile data more than 90% of the time since October 2004. Three hundred (300) cases were identified where the convective boundary layer was quasi-stationary and well-mixed for a 2-hour period, and q mean, variance, third order moment, and skewness profiles were derived from the 10-s, 75-m resolution data. These cases span the entire calendar year, and demonstrate that the q variance profiles at the mixed layer (ML) top changes seasonally, but is more related to the gradient of q across the interfacial layer. The q variance at the top of the ML shows only weak correlations (r < 0.3) with sensible heat flux, Deardorff convective velocity scale, and turbulence kinetic energy measured at the surface. The median q skewness profile is most negative at 0.85 zi, zero at approximately zi, and positive above zi, where zi is the depth of the convective ML. The spread in the q skewness profiles is smallest between 0.95 zi and zi. The q skewness at altitudes between 0.6 zi and 1.2 zi is correlatedmore » with the magnitude of the q variance at zi, with increasingly negative values of skewness observed lower down in the ML as the variance at zi increases, suggesting that in cases with larger variance at zi there is deeper penetration of the warm, dry free tropospheric air into the ML.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 119(19):11,151–11,165
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States