News Center

Spiraling Through a Storm
May 26, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
A multi-sensor effort that blends observations from UND Citation aircraft spirals and ground-based ARM scanning precipitation and cloud radars to investigate the signatures associated with riming and aggregation processes.

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On the Impacts of Different Definitions of Maximum Dimension for Nonspherical Cloud Particles
May 25, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
Knowledge of ice crystal particle size distributions (PSDs) is critical for development of microphysical parameterization schemes for numerical models and remote-sensing retrieval algorithms. Two-dimensional in situ images captured by cloud-imaging probes on aircraft are widely used to derive PSDs in term of maximum particle dimension (Dmax). However, inconsistencies in the definition of Dmax used in [...]

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Isoprene Photochemistry over the Amazon Rainforest
May 24, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
Isoprene is a biogenic volatile organic compound that, when oxidized by sunlight, heavily influences atmospheric chemistry over forested areas. Using field measurements from the ground and the air, this paper tracked the fate of isoprene over the central Amazon for eight weeks during the wet season. The main research site, 70 kilometers downwind of the [...]

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Smoke From African Fires: Studying its Impact on Low Clouds
May 23, 2016 [ Feature Stories and Releases ]       
Over a thousand miles off the coast of Angola in West Africa in the South Atlantic Ocean, Ascension Island will be ground zero for the newest field campaign by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility—Layered Atlantic Smoke Interactions with Clouds (LASIC).

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25 Years of ARM Shows Benefits of Having Heads in the Clouds
May 23, 2016 [ Feature Stories and Releases ]       
How ARM transformed the culture of atmospheric science This is the first article in a two part series about the first 25 years of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility. A monograph published online this spring by the American Meteorological Society tells the history—25 years of it so far—of what is now called the Atmospheric [...]

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Nature Geoscience Article: Raindrops Disperse Climate-Critical Organic Particles
May 23, 2016 [ Facility News ]       
ARM site plays a role in a novel finding on rain events and airborne carbonaceous particles On March 26, 2014, a strong rainstorm swept through a region of open farmland around Lamont, Oklahoma. The next day, a scientist looking at an air sample collected during the rain event made an observation that could alter the way [...]

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Young ASR Researcher Receives White House Award
May 22, 2016 [ Facility News ]       
Gijs de Boer commands an Arctic air force of unmanned miniature planes Making an appearance at the White House in early May was 36-year-old Gijs de Boer, who is both an Atmospheric System Research scientist and ARM Climate Research Facility user. He is a prolific researcher with the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science [...]

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HI-SCALE: A View From the Ground and Sky
May 20, 2016 [ Blog, Field Notes, HI-SCALE ]       
Editor’s note: Siegfried Schobesberger, a postdoctoral researcher at University of Washington, sent this update. Two more weeks of measurement flights have gone by since my last update. As of May 16, we have accomplished 14 research flights. Only one had to be cut short due to thunderstorms moving in on our area of operation. We have [...]

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Regime Dependence of Cloud Water Variability Observed at the ARM Sites
May 11, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
Observations from ARM sites across the world have improved our understanding of how the amount of water in clouds varies at small scales. Based on these observations, a new way of describing how cloud water varies with cloud regime has been developed for use in global weather and climate models.

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ACME/ARM/ASR, or AAA, Workshop Report Available on DOE Website
May 10, 2016 [ Facility News, Publications ]       
While the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility and Atmospheric System Research (ASR) and Earth System Modeling (ESM) programs have made considerable contributions to the understanding of the atmospheric component of Earth’s climate system and to development and evaluation of global climate model parameterizations, greater advances may follow [...]

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HI-SCALE: Introduction to the Team and Instruments
May 10, 2016 [ Blog, Field Notes, HI-SCALE ]       
We are into the second week of HI-SCALE, and have completed six research flights with the G-1 aircraft. Several people temporarily left the campaign earlier this week to participate in the ARM/ASR Principal Investigator’s Meeting in DC; however, we are in very capable hands. In addition to the ARM Aerial Facility (AAF) flight crew, we [...]

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New Version of Interpolated Sounding VAP Released
May 09, 2016 [ Data Announcements ]       
A new version of the Interpolated Sounding (INTERPOLATEDSONDE) value-added product (VAP) is released for use with historical data and current production. The INTERPOLATEDSONDE VAP transforms sounding data into continuous daily files on a fixed time-height grid at one-minute time resolution from the surface up to a limit of approximately 40 kilometers. The grid extends to [...]

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MWRRET Version 2 Evaluation Data Available for Southern Great Plains
May 09, 2016 [ Data Announcements ]       
The optimal estimation retrieval of liquid water path (LWP) and precipitable water vapor (PWV) have now been applied to the new 3-channel microwave radiometer at Southern Great Plains (SGP). Data for 2015 are now available as an evaluation product, called the Microwave Radiometer Retrieval version 2 (MWRRETv2), with plans to be an operational VAP within [...]

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Version 2 of the Continuous Large-Scale Forcing Data Now Available
May 09, 2016 [ Data Announcements ]       
Version 2 of the continuous large-scale forcing data value-added product known as VARANAL for the Southern Great Plains has been released for the year 2012 and for June through August 2015. This product includes both the large-scale forcing terms and the evaluation fields, which can be used for driving single-column models and cloud resolving models [...]

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2D ARM Best Estimate Data Sets Updated to Include QCECOR
May 09, 2016 [ Data Announcements ]       
The ARM Best Estimate 2-dimensional Gridded Surface (ARMBE2DGRID) and ARM Best Estimate Station-based Surface (ARMBESTNS) data sets have been updated to include data for year 2011 and extended for year 2012. The ARMBE2DGRID data set merges together key surface measurements at the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site and interpolates—estimates values between two known values—the data to [...]

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New Release of Reprocessed QCECOR Data
May 09, 2016 [ Data Announcements ]       
Quality Controlled Eddy Correlation Flux Measurement (QCECOR) value-added product data were reprocessed for all the stations at Southern Great Plains (SGP) site from year 2003 to the end of year 2015. The QCECOR data provide surface sensible and latent heat flux to ARM user community. Eddy correlation flux measurement systems (ECOR) are used by the ARM [...]

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Microphysical Piggybacking: Understanding the Coupling Between Cloud Dynamics and Microphysics
May 08, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
A novel modeling approach was developed to clearly document the impact of cloud microphysics (i.e., the model representation of growth and fallout of cloud and precipitation particles) on cloud simulations. A traditional approach is to perform parallel simulations with different microphysics schemes or scheme parameters. In such parallel simulations, clearly separating physical impacts from merely [...]

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New Radiative Flux Analysis VAP Now Operational
May 05, 2016 [ Data Announcements ]       
The Radiative Flux Analysis VAP is an implementation of a series of algorithms that estimate clear sky broadband surface irradiances, cloud fraction, optical depth, cloud transmissivity, and cloud radiative effects. This VAP is an updated version of the Shortwave Flux Analysis VAP that includes several improvements and will replace the Shortwave Flux Analysis as the [...]

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HI-SCALE Week 1: It’s a Wrap
May 03, 2016 [ Blog, Field Notes, HI-SCALE ]       
Editor’s note: Siegfried Schobesberger, a postdoctoral researcher at University of Washington, sent this update. After 7 days of hard work, the first week of the HI-SCALE campaign has already passed! We managed a total of four research flights—experiencing a few hiccups, but collected interesting data! Monday, April 25, took our first flight. The G-1 took off from [...]

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Diagnosing Raindrop Evaporation, Breakup, and Coalescence in Vertical Radar Observations
Apr 27, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
In our quest to better understand precipitating cloud systems, we must realize that radars do not directly observe microphysical processes. Rather, radars observe raindrops and the changes in the number and size of those observed raindrops over time and space provide us with clues to the microphysical processes acting upon those raindrops. Thus, evaporation and [...]

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Quasi-Vertical Profiles – a New Way to Look at Polarimetric Radar Data
Apr 26, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
A novel methodology is introduced for processing and presenting polarimetric radar data collected by scanning weather radars. It involves azimuthal averaging of polarimetric radar variables at high antenna elevation and presenting resulting quasi-vertical profiles (QVPs) in a height-versus-time format.

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Saggy Bright Bands
Apr 26, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
A new technique for viewing radar observations allows for analyzing the evolution of the melting layer “bright band,” a signature associated with melting snowflakes. Radar and aircraft data demonstrate that transient bright band sagging provides information about the ice particles falling into the layer from above.

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HI-SCALE Day 1: Calm Before the Storm
Apr 25, 2016 [ Blog, Field Notes, HI-SCALE ]       
Sunday, April 24, 2016, the HI-SCALE campaign (part 1) officially started. The Gulfstream-159 (G-1) aircraft made its way from Pasco, Washington, to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, just yesterday—on board were the pilots, mechanics, and a few Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists. The flight at 19,000 feet was bumpy (mainly due to the Rocky Mountains not far below), [...]

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The Truth About Shallow Clouds: Science Goes Airborne in Oklahoma
Apr 18, 2016 [ Feature Stories and Releases ]       
Starting in late April, and then again in August, researchers will conduct two separate month-long periods of intensive observation at ARM's Southern Great Plains megasite to gather detailed measurements of processes affecting the life cycle of shallow cumulus clouds for the Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems, or HI-SCALE, in an aerial campaign.

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ARM’s Archive Manager About to Retire
Apr 18, 2016 [ Facility News ]       
Raymond McCord, long-time Archive Manager, retires at the end of May One of Raymond McCord's last acts at Archive Manager for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility will be to attend the ARM/Atmospheric System Research Joint User Group/Principal Investigator Meeting in Tysons Corner, Virginia, from May 2 to 5. This will provide a fitting opportunity for [...]

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Atmospheric Modeling Advisory Group Assembled
Apr 17, 2016 [ Facility News ]       
ARM recently formed the Atmospheric Modeling Advisory Group to represent research community interests and provide feedback to the LES ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation Workflow (LASSO) modeling project. This group consists of six scientists, spanning the range of specialties that will benefit from LASSO, plus ARM Technical Director, Jim Mather; LASSO principal investigator, William Gustafson; [...]

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Dependence of Entrainment in Shallow Cumulus Convection on Vertical Velocity and Distance to Cloud Edge
Apr 17, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
How entrainment rates of shallow cumuli depend on environmental conditions is quantified by applying a novel Lagrangian tracking analysis on the response of shallow cumuli to an imposed small large-scale temperature perturbation, leading to a simple formulation that relates entrainment rates to vertical velocity and distance to cloud edge (or cloud size).

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The Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)
Apr 11, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
The DOE ARM Climate Research Facility and the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission collaborated for the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) to collect ground- and aircraft-based measurements characterizing the four-dimensional properties of convective storms at the Southern Great Plains. Over the course of the six-week campaign, a number of storms were [...]

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Birth and Growth of an Aerosol
Apr 06, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
Tiny atmospheric aerosols are some of the most highly studied particles connected with Planet Earth, yet questions remain on how they are formed and how they affect climate. Now Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists have developed new approaches to accurately model the birth and growth of these important aerosols. "Most atmospheric climate models either neglect [...]

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Cloud Droplet Spectral Shape Sheds New Light on Aerosol-Cloud-Interaction Regimes
Mar 24, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
Despite decades of research, aerosol indirect effects remain among the most uncertain climate forcings according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Furthermore, climate models tend to overestimate the cooling of aerosol indirect effects and are more susceptible than observations to aerosols. Two microphysical factors have been proposed to be partially responsible for [...]

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Back to Basics: Theoretical Studies on Storm Clouds and Implications for Modeling
Mar 24, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
Storms associated with deep convection are a key component of weather and climate. For example, they produce a large share of precipitation that falls to the Earth’s surface, and their anvil shields act as a thermal blanket on the planet.

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An Ensemble-Constrained Variational Analysis of Atmospheric Forcing Data and Its Application
Mar 15, 2016 [ Research Highlights ]       
Clouds represent one of the largest uncertainties in current General Circulation Models (GCM) simulations. Studies have shown that the model discrepancies can come from deficiencies in the physical parameterization and uncertainties in the large-scale atmospheric condition. However, it is still unclear how each of them contributes to the model errors. The ensemble ARM [...]

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