Surface Layer Stability Transition Research, Minimum Time Delay from Sunrise: 2001 March Case Study

Report No. ARL-TR-2798
Authors: Gail-Tirrell Vaucher, Manny Bustillos, and Alfred Gutierrez
Date/Pages: May 2003; 67 pages
Abstract: Near surface target acquisition and EO propagation significantly improve during the Surface Layer Stability Transition (SLST). Thus, this research expands Army Chief of Staff Shinseki?s vision from ?to see first? to, ?to see better.? The SLST is also the starting and ending points for the atmospheric convection growth phase, an important factor in chemical warfare modeling. In 2001, the Meteorological-sensors Integration Team of the Army Research Laboratory conducted the first of three field tests with the primary purpose of characterizing, modeling and exploiting repeatable patterns in the lower portion of the atmospheric boundary layer. The repeatable patterns investigated were the morning Stability Transitions (ST) or Neutral Events (NE). The 2001 March 20?22 test dates were selected based on a forecasted minimal time interval between the local Sunrise and an Ideal case NE. Two subsequent field tests addressed the maximum (June) and a second minimum (September) Sunrise-to-NE time interval. These latter Tests are documented separately. The Surface Layer Stability Transition research pursued two measurement and analysis methods: Eulerian (Tower data) and quasi-Lagrangian (Rawinsonde data). The results included validation data for the Ideal Neutral Event Forecast Model and a characterization of a desert stable-neutral-unstable morning transition over the Equinox time period. The information documented here serves as a useful building block in support of the primary goal.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2003