ARL Weekly News – January 17, 2020

On January 21st, the OAR Portfolio Team will be holding its inaugural Portfolio Seminar entitled “Subseasonal to Seasonal to Decadal: Extreme Heat” in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Portfolio Seminar Series is designed to improve the communication of the unique capabilities of OAR’s labs and programs and foster collaboration at the lab and program staff level. Dr. Howard Diamond will be making a presentation at that inaugural seminar entitled “ARL’s Role in Monitoring and Characterizing Extreme Heat in the Atmospheric and Marine Components of the Boundary Layer”. Dr. Diamond’s presentation will focus on two areas of heat in the boundary layer on the (1) utilization of U.S. Climate Reference Network data that works to combine heat exposure indices with socioeconomic data to build a heat vulnerability index for the southeast U.S.; and (2) monitoring and characterization of global marine heat waves that are part of Dr. Diamond’s climate global science research work.

Left graphic: 2011 Durham NC Daily Heat Duration (Minutes) depicts minutes about threshold heat index (from 0 to 1000, by 100) and temperatures of greater than or equal to 32.5, 35.0, 37.5, and 40.0 during each month from 1 May to 1 September. Right: Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies for Dec. 2019 in increments of 20 degrees from 0 to 60 degrees South and by 30 degrees from 150 degrees E to 120 degrees W. Color-coded from -2 to +4 degrees.

Images from Dr. Diamond’s presentation depicting heat duration events in 2011 and sea surface temperature anomalies in 2019.

Hyun Cheol Kim co-authored “Fine-scale columnar and surface NOx concentrations over South Korea: Comparison of surface monitors, TROPOMI, CMAQ and CAPSS inventory.” This article was published in Atmosphere on January 15 and is available at

Dr. Jerome “Nick” Heffter, a retired ARL research meteorologist who remains a consultant with the lab, was interviewed as part of NOAA’s 50th Anniversary Oral History Project. The audio and transcript of Heffter’s three-hour interview describe his pioneering work modeling the dispersion of atmospheric pollutants during the Cold War and, in particular, his involvement with tracking the release of nuclear radiation from Chernobyl. They are available via

Bruce Baker is an invited panel discussion member that will be briefing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of the Chief Economist and Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation on January 24 in Washington, D.C. The briefing will focus on possibilities, challenges, and next steps for the USDA Soil Climate Analysis Network and its integration into the framework of the National Soil Moisture Network (NSMN). OAR’s U.S. Climate Reference Network is a key component of the NSMN.

A paper titled “Evaluating Time Domain Reflectometry and Coaxial Impedance Sensors for Soil Observations by the U.S. Climate Reference Network” by Tim Wilson, Howard Diamond, John Kochendorfer, Tilden Meyers, Mark Hall, Nancy Casey, Bruce Baker, Ronald Leeper, and Mike Polecki has been accepted by Vadose Zone Journal. The purpose of the work done in the paper was to evaluate two electromagnetic sensors in measuring soil water content across the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). The 50 MHz HydraProbe was compared with the Acclima 1 GHz Time-Domain Reflectometry (TDR)-315L. Sensor volumetric soil water content and soil temperature at a 0.01 m depth within a soil testbed in Oak Ridge, Tennessee were quite similar. Soil water content measurements were improved with Acclima TDR-315Ls over HydraProbes at USCRN sites with high clay content soils. These results confirm the necessity of using site-specific soil properties for soil sensors like the HydraProbe for estimating soil water content in different soil environments. They also suggest that TDR sensors may provide an opportunity to improve USCRN soil moisture measurements in higher clay content soils.

A manuscript entitled “Mercury accumulation in tree rings: observed trends in quantity and isotopic composition in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia” by Todd M. Scanlon, Ami L. Riscassi, Jason D. Demers, Taylor D. Camper, Temple R. Lee, and Daniel L. Druckenbrod was accepted for publication in Biogeosciences. We used tree-ring data to evaluate decadal trends in mercury in the region and found that mercury trends did not follow trends in global atmospheric mercury but rather that these trends were attributed to a local point source. The study highlights the importance of local point sources to the interpretation of long-term mercury trends and shows that tree rings can aid in the interpretation of long-term atmospheric mercury trends.

ARL-wide Involvement in the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Annual Meeting in Boston:
Patrick C. Campbell, Barry Baker, Rick Saylor, Daniel Tong, Youhua Tang, and Pius Lee, “Initial Development of a NOAA Emissions and eXchange Unified System (NEXUS)
Temple R. Lee, Michael Buban, Tilden Meyers, and Bruce Baker, “Evaluation of the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Model Using Near-Surface Meteorological and Flux Observations
Michael S. Buban, Temple Lee, Bruce Baker, and Tilden Meyers, “Using the U.S. Climate Reference Network to develop gridded soil moisture products over the conterminous U.S.
Allison Ring, Alice Crawford, and Barbara Stunder, “Volcanic Ash Forecast Verification Using HYSPLIT and Satellite Ash Observations Identified by VOLCAT
Rick D. Saylor, Barry Baker, and Daniel Tong, “Description and Evaluation of the FENGSHA Dust Emission Model in FV3GFS-Chem
Alice Crawford, Mark Cohen, Fong Ngan, Jerome Heffter, Barry Baker, Winston Luke, and Ariel Stein, “A Tracer of Opportunity Dataset for Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Model Evaluation
Fong Ngan, Alice Crawford, Mark Cohen, Christopher Loughner, and Ariel Stein, “Evaluation of Turbulent Mixing in HYSPLIT Using a Tracer of Opportunity Dataset
Christopher Loughner and Ariel Stein, “Evaluation of STILT Features Incorporated into HYSPLIT
John Kochendorfer, Tilden Meyers, Mark Hall, and Bruce Baker, “A New and Improved Wind Shield for the Measurement of Solid Precipitation
Tianfeng Chai, Xinrong Ren, Mark Cohen, Allison Ring, Alice Crawford, Christopher Loughner, Ariel Stein, Fong Ngan, Winston Luke, and Paul Kelley, “HYSPLIT inverse modeling using flight observations to estimate SO2, CO2, and NOx point source emissions
Allison Ring and Xinrong Ren, “Anthropogenic VOCs in the Long Island Sound, New York, Airshed and Their Role in Ozone Production
Michael Buban and Temple Lee, “Evaluation of New Monin-Obukhov and Bulk Richardson Parameterizations of the surface layer in Large Eddy Simulations
Temple R. Lee and Michael Buban, “Development and evaluation of new Monin-Obukhov and bulk Richardson parameterizations to improve the representation of surface-atmosphere exchange in weather forecasting models
Alice Crawford, “HYSPLIT – forecasting the transport of material in the atmosphere”
Rick Saylor, “Description and Evaluation of the FENGSHA Dust Emission Model in FV3GFS”
• C. D. Smith, A. Ross, J. Kochendorfer, M. Earle, M. Wolff, S. Buisan, Y. A. Roulet, and T. Laine, “Evaluation of the WMO-SPICE Transfer Functions for Adjusting the Wind Bias in Solid Precipitation Measurements”
• Jenio, B., S. Brooks, T. Lee, M. Buban, and E. Dumas, “Flight testing fixed-wing and rotary-wing UAVs for atmospheric boundary layer research”
• Pal, S. and T. R. Lee, “The Role of the 2019 Mississippi and Missouri River Valley flooding on boundary layer dynamics over the Great Plains”
• Clark, N., S. Pal, and T. R. Lee, “Frontal modification of atmospheric boundary layer dynamics over land in mid-latitude
• Samantha Kramer, B. Kirtman, P. Zuidema, and F. Ngan, “Predictability of Extreme Dust Events in South Florida”
• David John Gagne, Tyler C. McCandless, Branko Kosovic, Amy DeCastro, Rich D. Loft, Sue Ellen Haupt, and Bai Yang, “Machine Learning Parameterization of the Surface Layer: Integration with WRF”
Daniel Tong, Pius Lee, Youhua Tang, Barry Baker, Patrick Campbell, Rick Saylor, Tianfeng Chai, Li Lamsal, N. Krotkov., C. Li, Shobha Kondragunta, Greg Carmichael, D. Henze, Jeff McQueen, Jianping Huang, and Ivanka Stajner, “Advancing national air quality forecasts through emission data assimilation”
• Georg Grell, Li Zhang, Stu McKeen, Rafaelle Montuoro, Partha Bhattacharjee, Shobha Kondragunta, Li Pan, J. Henderson, Greg Frost, X. Zhang, Jeff McQueen, Ravan Ahmadov, F. Li, Wang, J., Baker, B., and Saylor, R., “Development and application of global aerosol forecasts using the online coupled GEFS-Aerosol model”
• Bhattacharjee, P. S., Zhang, L., Grell, G., Pan, L., Baker, B., McQueen, J., Saylor, R., Frost, G., and Stajner, I., “Forecast and evaluation of high aerosol events using Global Forecast model at NOAA/National Weather Service”

Session Co-Chairs:
20th Symposium on Meteorological Observation and Instrumentation
• Temple Lee chaired Session 1: Remote Sensing – Ceilometer, Microwave Radiometer, and Radiative Transfer Applications and Session 10: Utilizing UAS Systems for Weather Observations. Part II.
• John Kochendorfer chaired Session 12: Solid Precipitation Measurements
21st Joint Conference on the Applications of Air Pollution Meteorology with the A&WMA
• Tianfeng Chai co-chaired Session 13A: Source Inversion and Atmospheric Dispersion Model Validation Topics

Collage of 10 images: 7 with individual staff members presenting behind a podium, 1 presenter in NOAA's booth, 1 presenter with his poster, and 1 selfie in front of a large-scale display of AMS100.

ARL staff at AMS 100. Credit: NOAA