15th Conference on Planned and Inadvertent Weather Modification


Inadvertent modification of coastal cloudiness associated with surface temperature changes


William T. Thompson, NRL, Monterey, CA; and M. A. Wetzel

Increasing variability and long-term trends in surface temperatures and boundary-layer temperature profiles may have a significant impact on coastal weather conditions through changes in cloud cover, precipitation and the net radiation budget. Modification of coastal cloudiness would influence Naval operations as well as air traffic, highway safety, agriculture and residential development along the coastal regions, which are steadily growing in population density. Recently, a field experiment was conducted off the coast of central Oregon in conjunction with model studies of marine boundary layer clouds. The COSAT experiment in August 1999 involved real-time model forecasts of the coastal atmospheric environment using the coupled ocean/atmosphere mesoscale prediction system (COAMPS), research aircraft making in situ measurements of marine stratus, and satellite microphysical retrievals. Analysis of case studies from this field program demonstrate that surface latent and sensible heat fluxes play a significant role in the formation of coastal cloudiness and the initiation of rainfall. In this study, we investigate the influence of SST variations on surface fluxes and the formation of coastal cloud cover, as well as the relationship between surface temperature variability and the vertical temperature and moisture profiles in the marine boundary layer.

Session 6, Application of numerical models to weather modification topics
Thursday, 18 January 2001, 10:30 AM-11:44 AM

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