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Water Vapor Variability in the Tropics Observed by Airborne Lidar and Modelling

Kiemle, Christoph (2019) Water Vapor Variability in the Tropics Observed by Airborne Lidar and Modelling. 11th International Symposium on Tropospheric Profiling, 20.-24.5.2019, Toulouse, France.

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Thanks to the capability of profiling simultaneously atmospheric backscatter and water vapor in regions of particular interest, an airborne water vapor lidar can help elucidate the key role of water vapor in the tropics, where its distribution is closely connected to the appearance of shallow and deep convection, interacts with the circulation through radiation, and affects the intensity of cloud feedbacks. The DLR water vapor differential absorption lidar WALES was operated on board the German research aircraft HALO during the NARVAL campaigns in December 2013 and in August 2016 in the Northern Tropical Atlantic east of Barbados. High horizontal and vertical water vapor variability is omnipresent and poses challenges to climate and weather models. It is caused by water vapor updrafts in both shallow and deep convective clouds with subsequent horizontal outflow at elevated levels. Out of the wealth of about 30 winter and 60 summer flight hours totaling 75,000 km of NARVAL lidar data, several lidar curtains from different flights are presented together with satellite cloud imagery and dropsonde profiles. With a vertical resolution of 300 m the lidar is able to detect small-scale vertical water vapor gradients and thin dry layers. It has the capability to obtain profiles within cloud gaps of 3 km minimum size. These characteristics allow unprecedented insights into water vapor distributions in the vicinity of shallow (trade clouds) and deep convection (ITCZ). The lidar data are compared with results from ICON model runs that are available at several grid spacings down to 300 m and include the area and period of the flight domains. For optimum interpretation, the comparisons are undertaken in the “moisture space” where all lidar and model water vapor profiles are sorted from the driest water vapor path to the moistest, and where cloud cover can be represented as an additional parameter. Across model grid spacing from 300 m to 2.5 km, ICON shows a good skill in reproducing lidar measurements of water vapor variability and distribution in the tropics.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/135009/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Water Vapor Variability in the Tropics Observed by Airborne Lidar and Modelling
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Kiemle, ChristophDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1231-2813
Date:May 2019
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:shallow convection, trade clouds, water vapor lidar
Event Title:11th International Symposium on Tropospheric Profiling
Event Location:Toulouse, France
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:20.-24.5.2019
Organizer:Meteo France
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - LIDAR research and development
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Kiemle, Dr.rer.nat. Christoph
Deposited On:20 May 2020 15:28
Last Modified:20 May 2020 15:28

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