Missions #2 and #3 of the DREAMS Project focused on measuring the environment of the sea breeze. Weak west-southwesterly winds from a high pressure system to our northeast set up a favorable pattern for sea breeze development on both June 20th and 21st. A description of both missions is provided.
|18Z (2 PM) surface analysis from the Weather Prediction Center showing a high pressure system to our northeast with anticyclonic (clockwise) flow around it.|
Mission #2: Sea Breeze Interception
|The pod that was deployed.|
|Map showing locations of students and the DOW.|
At around 1 PM, the DOW relocated to Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) where it set up near the north entrance. There were plenty of cumulus in the sky showing where the convergence of the low-level winds along the sea breeze were causing rising motion. There was no measurable rain associated with these clouds, so this was a very quiet sea breeze event. Not as quiet as Mission #3 as you'll soon discover.
|DOW on Nicolls Rd.|
Not wanting to waste a day with the DOW in town, the forecast for Friday, June 21st showed the possibility of another sea breeze development. The decision was to station the DOW at one location and let the sea breeze come to it. That location was chosen to be at EPCAL so that the data can be compared with that of the previous day. The DOW left Stony Brook University at 9:15 AM and headed east to EPCAL. It set up at the North Entrance and students prepared the pod to take surface measurements and took their own measurements with hand-held instruments to compare. A team of students left the site to travel south along William Floyd (in a car marked with "sea breeze interceptor" in paint on the window!) to take surface measurements and look for signs of the boundary.
By 1 PM EDT, the students were getting excited over the slightest tiny developing cumulus cloud. There were not a lot of clouds along this boundary even though the data being collected by the DOW showed a clear wind shift and higher reflectivity values.
|The DOW with a tiny cumulus.|
|12Z soundings for June 20 (left) and 21 (right).|
No storms fired up along the sea breeze boundaries because there was a large area of high pressure dominating the region and causing the atmosphere to be stable, or resistant, to upward vertical motion. The sea breezes, although they were measured and are very interesting, were a bit on the weak side. This is the nature of field work, however, so it is important for the students to experience first-hand how the atmosphere doesn't always provide exactly what you are looking to measure. Hopefully the missions completed during the second week with the DOW are a lot more exciting! Stay tuned!
- For more information on sea breezes, please visit this site: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/ocean/seabreezes.htm
- For near-realtime updates on the DREAMS Project, please visit this site: http://dreamsproject.weebly.com/schedule.html