Tuesday, 11 January 2005
Characterization and Visualization of Water Vapor and Atmospheric Stability During the IHOP Field Experiment
Measurements from NASA’s Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) airborne system and the National Weather Service's Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) were collected during the International H2O (IHOP) field experiment and used to create three-dimensional visualizations of water vapor and equivalent potential temperature in order to gain a better understanding of convective initiation events. IHOP was conducted during May and June 2002 to study the influence of water vapor variability on the initiation of deep convection and to improve the quantification and prediction of precipitation associated with these storms. Two days are examined: a day with the occurrence of convective initiation (May 24) and a null case (June 9). For both events, LASE high resolution water vapor profiles are used to derive equivalent potential temperature and relative humidity. The LASE data are used to visualize the vertical variability and the ASOS data are used to examine the horizontal variability. Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and Convective Inhibition (CIN) are derived from LASE data and added to these visualizations. These results are used to assess the depiction of water vapor and thermodynamic stability provided by Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model analyses.