P1.55 Relationships between soil moisture surface energy budget and boundary layer cloud development over United States Mid-Atlantic region

Thursday, 12 November 2009
Cassie A. Stearns, Howard University, Beltsville, MD; and E. Joseph, J. D. Fuentes, M. Robjohn, G. A. Davis, T. Dejene, F. Nzeffe, and M. Adam

The partitioning of the available energy between turbulent heat and water vapor fluxes is controlled by many factors such as soil moisture, vapor pressure deficit, and net radiation. The degree to which these factors and their turbulent flux responses at the surface-atmosphere interface impacts boundary layer cloud development, also referred to as soil moisture feedback, is still not well understood despite a recent gain of attention, especially in context of urbanization. In this study, components of the surface energy budget and atmospheric boundary layer properties were examined under contrasting moisture regimes to understand how surface conditions affect energy partitioning and cloud formation in the boundary layer at the site. Mixed-layer height, lifting condensation level, and cloud base height were observed at the Howard University Beltsville research site during the summer seasons of 2006 and 2007. The 2007 season was characterized by an extended drought over the Mid-Atlantic compared to 2006. Preliminary results showed deeper lifting condensation level and larger Bowen ratio associated with the drier 2007 summer season compared to the previous year of 2006.
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