The structure of the atmospheric boundary layer in the coastal equatorial Pacific during January and February of FGGE.

J. K. Firestone, B. A. Albrecht

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Abstract

The structure of the atmospheric boundary layer for a region between Hawaii and the equator is studied using dropwindsonde data (c900 soundings) collected in January and February 1979 as part of the First GARP Global Experiment. These data were used to establish the longitudinal variations in the thermodynamic and wind structure of the boundary layer and describe differences in the structure for convectively active and inactive conditions. Low-level inversions (at a pressure of approximately 850 mb) were found to be an important feature of the structure of the boundary layer for undisturbed conditions. Although the frequency of low-level inversions decreased equatorward from Hawaii, the average height of the inversions observed in these regions did not vary significantly in the north-south direction. For convectively undisturbed conditions, low-level inversions are on the average of sufficient strength to suppress deep convection. However, it is shown they could easily be modified by upward vertical motion to give a boundary layer structure similar to that observed in areas where deep convection was observed. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2219-2231
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume114
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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