New Paper Zeroes In on HI-SCALE Campaign

Published: 19 February 2019
in air over southern great plains
Taking place around ARM’s Southern Great Plains atmospheric observatory, the HI-SCALE campaign gathered airborne and ground-based data on meteorological, cloud, and aerosol properties.

A new article published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) draws on a wealth of data from a recent Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility field campaign to demonstrate how land use and soil properties influence temperature and humidity with unexpected strength.

ARM conducted the Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems (HI-SCALE) field campaign around its Southern Great Plains (SGP) atmospheric observatory in Oklahoma during the spring and summer of 2016. Some of the aerosol measurements during HI-SCALE were supported by the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), which, like ARM, is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility. Research using the HI-SCALE data has primarily been funded by DOE’s Atmospheric System Research program.

HI-SCALE’s immediate objective was retrieving new measurements to better understand and model shallow convective clouds and their relationships with land-atmosphere interactions, boundary layer turbulence, and the life cycle of aerosols (tiny particles in the air). The longer-term goal is improving the accuracy of shallow cloud parameterizations that drive modeling predictions of the onset of deep convection and precipitation.

ARM users from DOE national laboratories, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and American and European universities combined their expertise to come to grips with the life cycle of shallow convection at the SGP. The area is a known hotspot of land-atmosphere interactions where coupling between surface processes and precipitation is especially strong.

Jerome Fast of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, was HI-SCALE’s principal investigator and lead author of the paper. The research team deployed airborne and ground instruments during two four-week intensive operational periods to reap coincident measurements of meteorological, cloud, and aerosol properties.

Ongoing data analysis is sure to reveal more important insights about land-atmosphere relationships, so stay tuned for more from HI-SCALE.

# # #

ARM is a DOE Office of Science user facility operated by nine DOE national laboratories.