Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 9:15 AM
Evaluation of boundary layer parameters estimated from 3 years of observational data collected in the Gulf of Mexico using an algorithm developed during the Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere Coupled-Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment
There has always been great uncertainty concerning the vertical and horizontal variability of the atmospheric boundary layer in the Gulf of Mexico. Fortunately, new boundary layer observations from oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are now available. Six meteorological stations in the Gulf area collect observations of the atmospheric boundary layer by using 915-MHZ radar wind profilers, 2-KHZ Radio Acoustic Sounding Systems (RASS), and surface meteorological units. These new data, in addition to the traditional data collected at buoys, have been analyzed to investigate the over-water surface energy balance and boundary layer structure using the near-surface observations for steady-state horizontally-homogeneous conditions and for conditions variable in time and space. A 3 year collection of fundamental boundary layer scaling parameters such as the surface roughness length, zo, the friction velocity, u*, the scaling temperature, T*, the scaling water vapor mixing ratio, q*, and the Monin-Obukhov length, L, in addition to latent and sensible heat flux, has been calculated using an algorithm developed during the Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere Coupled-Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). From these parameters, the mixing depth, h, and the vertical profiles of wind speed, temperature, and water vapor mixing ratio have been estimated. In addition to the climatology, the output of the COARE program (the boundary layer scaling parameters and the energy fluxes) and the estimated profiles have been compared to data collected by the radar profilers and RASS and ETA model data.