Characterization of Upper-Troposphere Water Vapor Measurements during AFWEX Using LASE

Journal Article
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, vol. 21, iss. 12, pp. 1790-1808, 2004
R. A. Ferrare, E. V. Browell, S. Ismail, S. A. Kooi, L. H. Brasseur, V. G. Brackett, M. B. Clayton, J. D. W. Barrick, G. S. Diskin, J. E. M. Goldsmith, B. M. Lesht, J. R. Podolske, G. W. Sachse, F. J. Schmidlin, D. D. Turner, D. N. Whiteman, D. Tobin, L. M. Miloshevich, H. E. Revercomb, B. B. Demoz, P. Di Girolamo
Abstract Water vapor mass mixing ratio profiles from NASA's Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) system acquired during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM)–First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE) Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX) are used as a reference to characterize upper-troposphere water vapor (UTWV) measured by ground-based Raman lidars, radiosondes, and in situ aircraft sensors over the Department of Energy (DOE) ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in northern Oklahoma. LASE was deployed from the NASA DC-8 aircraft and measured water vapor over the ARM SGP Central Facility (CF) site during seven flights between 27 November and 10 December 2000. Initially, the DOE ARM SGP Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) Raman lidar (CARL) UTWV profiles were about 5%–7% wetter than LASE in the upper troposphere, and the Vaisala RS80-H radiosonde profiles were about 10% drier than LASE between 8 and 12 km. Scaling the Vaisala water vapor profiles to match the precipitable water vapor (PWV) measured by the ARM SGP microwave radiometer (MWR) did not change these results significantly. By accounting for an overlap correction of the CARL water vapor profiles and by employing schemes designed to correct the Vaisala RS80-H calibration method and account for the time response of the Vaisala RS80-H water vapor sensor, the average differences between the CARL and Vaisala radiosonde upper-troposphere water vapor profiles are reduced to about 5%, which is within the ARM goal of mean differences of less than 10%. The LASE and DC-8 in situ diode laser hygrometer (DLH) UTWV measurements generally agreed to within about 3%–4%. The DC-8 in situ frost point cryogenic hygrometer and Snow White chilled-mirror measurements were drier than the LASE, Raman lidars, and corrected Vaisala RS80H measurements by about 10%–25% and 10%–15%, respectively. Sippican (formerly VIZ Manufacturing) carbon hygristor radiosondes exhibited large variabilities and poor agreement with the other measurements. PWV derived from the LASE profiles agreed to within about 3% on average with PWV derived from the ARM SGP microwave radiometer. The agreement between the LASE and MWR PWV and the LASE and CARL UTWV measurements supports the hypotheses that MWR measurements of the 22-GHz water vapor line can accurately constrain the total water vapor amount and that the CART Raman lidar, when calibrated using the MWR PWV, can provide an accurate, stable reference for characterizing upper-troposphere water vapor.