Convective Gravity Waves in the Stratosphere

07/06/2023 - 07/28/2024
Project Location
Omaha, NE
CGWaveS Logo

CGWaveS will seek to measure and quantify gravity waves excited by deep convection ranging from single cells to frontal systems and squall lines and their propagation and dissipation throughout the stratosphere. This will be accomplished by HIAPER lidar measurements using the Rayleigh and Na resonance lidars built and employed aboard the HIAPER for the DEEPWAVE flight program in New Zealand in 2014. The Rayleigh lidar will measure temperatures above the HIAPER from 25-60 km; the Na resonance lidar will measure radial winds along the HIAPER flight tracks from which horizontal winds can be derived at altitudes from ~15-25 km. Successive E-W and N-S flight segments over the convective target, and perhaps other measurement strategies, such as box flight paths around the convection, will define the convective gravity wave responses to specific sources, their propagation to high altitudes, their refraction and dissipation, and their evolutions in time.

A requested allocation of 90 research flight hours will allow ~10-12 flights sampling a variety of events for up to ~8 hours each beginning at sundown. Radiosondes and NEXRAD data will provide guidance in the gravity wave propagation environments, and character and intensity of convective forcing. High resolution modeling (WRF and a very high-resolution local compressible model) will address these events to aid in their interpretation and quantification of consequences for gravity wave forcing and responses extending throughout the stratosphere. Together, we anticipate answering key questions regarding:

  1. gravity wave responses to convection properties such as plume scales, strengths, and rotation,
  2. consequences of convective clusters and frontal systems,
  3. gravity wave propagation and dissipation in variable stratospheric winds, and 3) implications of dissipation for energy and momentum deposition, mean forcing and mixing, and influences on gravity wave propagation to higher altitudes.

Principal Investigators
David Fritts, GATS
David Nolan, University of Miami
Melville E. Nicholls, University of Colorado, Boulder
Christopher Heale, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Project Manager
Pavel Romashkin, NCAR/EOL/RAF

Data Manager
EOL Data Archive, NCAR/EOL/DMS