Featured in the March 2015 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), the 21-month ARM mobile facility deployment in the Azores was the longest of its type in a non-tropical marine environment. This data set collected during the Clouds, Aerosols, and Precipitation in the Marine Boundary Layer (CAP-MBL) field campaign provided valuable insights into the complex interactions of clouds, aerosols, and precipitation on the remote marine environment of Graciosa Island about 850 miles west of Portugal.
The CAP-MBL study sheds light on some of the key characteristics of the clouds, meteorology, aerosols, and precipitation in the Azores. Results included the seasonal cycle, diverse histories of air masses encountered, strong variability compared with other low-cloud regimes, and important bi-directional interactions between aerosols, clouds, and precipitation.
While low clouds occur most frequently, the broad range of different types of clouds in the area is almost as diverse as those found around the Earth as a whole, making it an excellent location for gathering these measurements. Because of this, the CAP-MBL deployment ultimately led to the establishment of a fixed ARM site on Graciosa Island in late 2013.
Combined with the data from the mobile deployment, the continuing accumulation of data is expected to build on the current understanding and provide an unprecedented data set for evaluating and improving cloud-resolving models.
To learn more about the study, read this ARM Research Highlight.
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The ARM Climate Research Facility is a national scientific user facility funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The ARM Facility is operated by nine Department of Energy national laboratories.