Research Summaries

Back Ship-Based Measurements in Santa Ana Wind Study (SAWS)

Fiscal Year 2017
Division Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science
Department Meteorology
Investigator(s) Wang, Qing
Sponsor Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division (Navy)
Summary We propose an observational study associated with the occurrence of Santa Ana Wind (SAW) events in Southern California with the focus on mesoscale forecast model improvements and coastal air-sea interaction and the associated ducting conditions. The southern California region is known for its significant land surface heterogeneity and steep topography that pose a challenge for regional mesoscale models. Although the occurrence of the SAW conditions can be predicted well, the specific details of the offshore wind strength and thermodynamic manifestation show large discrepancies. Meanwhile, the SAW events result in the stable conditions offshore (warm air over cold water), a boundary layer/surface layer condition that is most challenging for mesoscale models, as well as for evaporation duct predictions. Since the occurrence of SAW can be predicted reasonably well, coordinated measurements can be planned to fully characterize the mesoscale environment and the boundary layer turbulence and thermodynamic properties in stably stratified conditions that are otherwise difficult to catch.
We plan to participate as part of the Santa Ana Wind Studies (SAWS) to make ship-based surface layer measurements and land based tower and rawinsonde measurements together with electromagnetic wave propagation measurements in conjunction with a collaborative aircraft measurement component. The aircraft time and EM measurements are supported by collaborative projects. The ship-based measurements will primarily be over the coastal ocean to sample the marine atmospheric boundary layer in coordination with the aircraft. The analyses will focus on the marine atmospheric surface layer and boundary layer characteristics under the influence of intense Santa Ana winds and on evaluation of the COMAPS forecast results. This study should provide an in-depth understanding of the stable marine boundary layer and the surface layer for improved representation of surface fluxes in the mesoscale models and for evaporation and surface-based ducts.
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Data Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal