Thursday, February 22, 2007

Research Update

Hi Friends, Colleagues, and Readers,

Sorry I've been absent so long. It's been a busy four weeks. After preparing my proposal to the Finnish Academy to study cold fronts using observations from the Helsinki Testbed, real-data 3D simulations, and idealized 2D simulations, it was time to prepare for the week-long intensive course on the Helsinki Testbed. (More on that in a future post.) Then, it was catching up from all the work I let pile up. That work included four reviews for friends and colleagues, double-checking a set of page proofs, and writing/editing two papers I am coauthor on.

These last two papers have been interesting. The first paper is one that I have been waiting for a year or so to see the first draft. This paper is the modeling work on the mammatus clouds with Jerry Straka and Kathy Kanak, and, once published, will be a rather important contribution to the formation of mammatus clouds. Here is a snapshot of what you will see in that paper. It shows the snow-aggregate diameter in colored contours showing the mammatus lobes hanging down on the underside of the cloud, and the white arrows are the circulation vectors in the cross section.

The second paper will be my first with my University of Helsinki/FMI affiliation. Shortly after arriving, I started attending one of the student group meetings at the University on aerosols. One of the students, Leena Jarvi, had written a paper on a microburst that had passed close to one of the high-frequency turbulence and trace-gas observing stations in Finland, blowing down a swath of trees. The instruments measured a 15 m/s downdraft just a few tens of meters above the surface. She gave me a copy of her paper to read, and I made some suggestions to improve the discussion of the convection, as well as the recommendation to calculate the turbulent parameters. We are now working on a revised version of the paper that should be resubmitted to the journal next week. I am proud of my contributions to both of these papers, and I thank Leena for allowing me to participate. She has worked really hard with me and the other coauthors to make sure the details are accurate.


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