Observations from the NOAA P-3 aircraft during ATOMIC Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. This paper describes observations obtained during the Atlantic Tradewind Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Interaction Campaign (ATOMIC) by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Lockheed WP-3D Orion research aircraft based on the island of Barbados during the period Jan 17–Feb 11 2020. The aircraft obtained 95 hours of observations over eleven flights, many of which were coordinated with the NOAA research ship R/V Ronald H. Brown and autonomous platforms deployed from the ship. Each flight contained a mixture of sampling strategies including: high-altitude circles with frequent dropsonde deployment to characterize the large-scale environment; slow descents and ascents to measure the distribution of water vapor and its isotopic composition; stacked legs aimed at sampling the microphysical and thermodynamic state of the boundary layer; and offset straight flight legs for observing clouds and the ocean surface with remote sensing instruments and the thermal structure of the ocean with in situ sensors dropped from the plane. The characteristics of the it in situ observations, expendable devices, and remote sensing instrumentation are described, as is the processing used in deriving estimates of physical quantities. Data archived at the National Center for Environmental Information include flight-level data such as aircraft navigation and basic thermodynamic information (https://doi.org/10.25921/7jf5-wv54); high-accuracy measurements of water vapor concentration from an isotope analyzer (https://doi.org/10.25921/c5yx-7w29); profiles of sea water temperature made with Airborne eXpendable BathyThermographs (AXBTs, https://doi.org/10.25921/pe39-sx75); profiles of radar reflectivity, Doppler velocity, and spectrum width from a nadir-looking W-band (94 GHz) radar (https://doi.org/10.25921/n1hc-dc30); estimates of cloud presence, the cloud top location, and the cloud-top radar reflectivity and temperature, along with estimates of 10-m wind speed obtained from remote sensing instruments operating in the microwave and thermal infrared spectral regions (https://doi.org/10.25921/x9q5-9745); and ocean surface wave characteristics from a Wide Swath Radar Altimeter (https://doi.org/10.25921/qm06-qx04). Data are provided as netCDF files following Climate and Forecast conventions.;

publication date

  • February 2, 2021

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • February 17, 2021 11:39 AM

Full Author List

  • Pincus R; Fairall CW; Bailey A; Chen H; Chuang PY; de Boer G; Feingold G; Henze D; Kalen QT; Kazil J

author count

  • 21

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