Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 2.989 IF 2.989
  • IF 5-year<br/> value: 3.489 IF 5-year
  • CiteScore<br/> value: 3.37 CiteScore
  • SNIP value: 1.273 SNIP 1.273
  • SJR value: 2.026 SJR 2.026
  • IPP value: 3.082 IPP 3.082
  • h5-index value: 45 h5-index 45
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
01 Sep 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper for further review has not been submitted.
Vertical Air Motion Retrievals in Deep Convective Clouds using the ARM Scanning Radar Network in Oklahoma during MC3E
Kirk W. North1, Pavlos Kollias1,2, Scott E. Giangrande3, Scott M. Collis4, and Corey K. Potvin5 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA
3Atmospheric Sciences Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, USA
4Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Illinois, USA
5Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and NOAA/OAR/National Severe Storms Laboratory, and School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
Abstract. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program's Southern Great Plains (SGP) site includes a heterogeneous distributed scanning Doppler radar network suitable for collecting coordinated Doppler velocity measurements in deep convective clouds. The surrounding National Weather Service (NWS) Next Generation Weather Surveillance Radar 1988 Doppler (NEXRAD WSR-88D) further supplements this network. Radar velocity measurements are assimilated in a three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) algorithm that retrieves horizontal and vertical air motions over a large analysis domain (100 km x 100 km) at storm-scale resolutions (250 m). For the first time, direct evaluation of retrieved vertical velocities with those from collocated 915-MHz radar wind profilers is performed. Mean absolute and root-mean-square differences between the two methods are on the order of 1 m s−1 and 2 m s−1, respectively. Moderate time-height correlations on the order of 0.5 are also shown to exist between the two methods. An empirical sensitivity analysis is done to determine a range of 3DVAR constraint weights that adequately satisfy both velocity observations and anelastic mass continuity. It is shown that the vertical velocity spread over this range is on the order of 1 m s−1. A similar sensitivity analysis reveals that iterative multi-Doppler techniques have difficulty satisfying velocity observations and mass continuity simultaneously. These results provide a form of assurance in the use of 3DVAR retrieved vertical velocities for evaluating numerical simulations of deep convective clouds.

Citation: North, K. W., Kollias, P., Giangrande, S. E., Collis, S. M., and Potvin, C. K.: Vertical Air Motion Retrievals in Deep Convective Clouds using the ARM Scanning Radar Network in Oklahoma during MC3E, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-269, in review, 2016.
Kirk W. North et al.
Kirk W. North et al.


Total article views: 283 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
192 68 23 283 24 28

Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Sep 2016)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Sep 2016)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 283 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 283 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1



Latest update: 23 Apr 2017
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Vertical air motion retrievals from multiple distributed scanning Doppler radars are compared against collocated profiling radars to characterize their veracity such that their usefulness towards improving parameterizations in cloud resolving and climate models can be further understood. The retrieved vertical air motions are generally within 1–2 m s−1 of agreement with profiling radars, and therefore can be used as a means to improve parameterizations in numerical models moving forward.
Vertical air motion retrievals from multiple distributed scanning Doppler radars are compared...