21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change


Surface energy budget and boundary layer cloud development over the United States Mid-Atlantic region

Cassie A. Stearns, Howard University, Beltsville, MD; and E. L. Joseph, J. D. Fuentes, M. L. Robjhon, G. A. Davis, M. Adam, and T. Dejene

The purpose of this study was to assess the degree to which surface-atmosphere exchanges of latent and sensible energy impact the thermodynamic characteristics of the boundary layer and cloud development. Data collected at the Howard University Beltsville research site during summer 2006 and 2007 were analyzed and contrasted. Conditions during summer 2007 were anomalously dry while in summer 2006 conditions followed the climatic normal. During the drought, more of the available surface energy went in to sensible heating in response to limited soil moisture levels. Such conditions also promoted warmer and deeper boundary layers due to greater heat entrainment and surface heating. Compared to 2006 conditions, estimated lifting condensation levels were found at greater altitudes. The implications of these results will be presented and discussed in the context of how atmospheric (e.g., vapor pressure deficit, surface albedo) and biospheric (e.g., canopy conductance to water transfer, amount of plant biomass) processes regulate the transport of energy and water vapor from the surface to the deeper atmospheric layers.

Poster Session 6, Seasonal-interannual variability
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Hall 5

Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page