Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

Enhanced Soundings for Local Coupling Studies

15 June 2015 - 31 August 2015

Lead Scientist: Craig Ferguson

Observatory: sgp, sgp

Matching observed diurnal cycles is a fundamental yet extremely complex test for models. High temporal resolution measurements of surface turbulent heat fluxes and boundary layer properties are required to evaluate the daytime evolution of the boundary layer and its sensitivity to land-atmosphere coupling. To address this need, researchers carried out one-day intensive observational periods with enhanced radiosonding at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility during summer 2015.

Each intensive observational period included a single launch to correspond with the nighttime overpass of the A-Train of satellites (~0830 UTC) and hourly launches during daytime beginning at 1130 UTC and ending at 2130 UTC. At three-hour intervals (e.g., 1140 UTC, 1440 UTC, 1740 UTC, and 2040 UTC), a duplicate second radiosonde was launched 10 minutes subsequent to launch of the on-hour radiosonde for the purpose of assessing horizontal atmospheric variability. Each intensive observational period had a 14-sounding supplement to the six-hour operational sounding schedule at the SGP main site. The intensive observational periods were decided before sunset on the preceding day, according to the judgment of the principal investigators and taking into consideration daily weather forecasts and the operability of complementary SGP main site instrumentation.

The project sought to address how ARM could better observe land-atmosphere coupling to support the evaluation and refinement of coupled weather and climate models.


Pierre Gentine
Joseph Santanello


  • Child Campaign


Lawston-Parker P, J Santanello, and S Kumar. 2021. "Understanding the Impacts of Land Surface and PBL Observations on the Terrestrial and Atmospheric Legs of Land–Atmosphere Coupling." Journal of Hydrometeorology, 22(9), 10.1175/JHM-D-20-0263.1.


Ferguson CR, JA Santanello, and P Gentine. 2016. Enhanced Soundings for Local Coupling Studies Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-16-023.


Ferguson CR, JA Santanello, and P Gentine. 2014. Enhanced Soundings for Local Coupling Studies: 2015 ARM Climate Research Facility Field Campaign Science Plan. Ed. by Robert Stafford, DOE ARM Climate Research Facility. DOE/SC-ARM-15-035.

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Campaign Data Sets

IOP Participant Data Source Name Final Data
Craig Ferguson Sondes Order Data