Those familiar with the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility might recognize what is on the June 2020 cover of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).
The BAMS cover image is an illustration of clouds over ARM’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) atmospheric observatory. In the issue, readers will find an overview article about the Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation (LASSO) activity at the SGP.
LASSO Principal Investigator William Gustafson, the paper’s lead author, says that the cover image “encapsulates two viewpoints of clouds from the perspectives of real-world observations and discretized modeling.” LASSO, he adds, “blends these two viewpoints to advance the science of clouds.”
Since 2015, LASSO has focused on continental shallow convection over the SGP. By combining ARM observations with LES modeling, LASSO “data bundles” allow researchers to compare routine, high-resolution simulations with what happened over the SGP on a given date.
Case dates from the 2019 season are nearing release, which will bring the total of available LASSO case dates to almost 100. Next up, LASSO will tackle deep convection from ARM’s 2018–2019 Cloud, Aerosol, and Complex Terrain Interactions (CACTI) field campaign in Argentina.
The June 2020 BAMS print issue includes an abridged version of the LASSO paper, which documents the SGP shallow convection scenario. BAMS published the full version of the paper online in April 2020. This is the foundational paper that researchers should cite when using LASSO.
In early July 2020, a BAMS editorial blog, The Front Page, published a Q&A with Gustafson about a range of LASSO-related topics.
“The LASSO project is one attempt to get past limitations sometimes imposed by certain scales,” said Gustafson, an atmospheric scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state, in the Q&A.
Gustafson also shared that ARM has a “wealth of measurements” that can be married with the U.S. Department of Energy’s efforts to improve earth system models and that LASSO enables researchers working with both data sets.
ARM is a DOE Office of Science user facility operated by nine DOE national laboratories.