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Investigating The Impacts of Daytime Boundary Layer Clouds On Surface Energy Fluxes and Boundary Layer Structure During CHEESEHEAD19


Studies of land-atmosphere interactions under clear sky and low cumulus cloud conditions are common from long-term observatories like at the southern great plains (SGP). How well the relationships and responses of surface radiative and turbulent heat fluxes determined from these investigations hold for more heterogeneous surfaces in other climate regimes, however, is uncertain. In this study, detailed observations of the surface energy budget and daytime boundary layer properties are analyzed using measurements from the CHEESEHEAD19 field campaign, July-October 2019, across a heterogeneous forested landscape of northern Wisconsin. A cloud regime framework is employed to classify consecutive periods of clear skies from lower atmosphere stratiform and cumulus clouds. A seasonal transition from low cumulus to low stratiform periods occurred, together with a diurnal pattern in cloudy or clear sky period dominance. Radiative forcing was highly dependent on sky condition, leading to changes in the redistribution efficiency of radiative energy by the surface turbulent heat fluxes. During CHEESEHEAD19, small Bowen ratios dominated with daytime latent heat fluxes three times as large as sensible heat fluxes for all sky conditions studied; the forested region therefore falls within an energy-limited regime. The depth of the daytime mixed layer depended upon the sky condition and thermodynamic setting; deeper mixed layers occurred during periods of low cumulus and not clear skies. Profiles of vertical velocity were found to have enhanced variance under low cumulus compared to clear sky periods, suggesting potential for cloud feedbacks on boundary layer structure and surface energy fluxes.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Early Online Release
February 24, 2022
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres
Publisher Name
American Geophysical Union
Submitted On
October 18, 2021


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.