Regional Atmospheric Measurement Modeling and Prediction Program (RAMMPP)

Summer 2001 Aircraft Research Update for: May 25

We are pleased to announce a new addition this week to the aircraft flight crew, Ms. Emily Tenenbaum. Emmy is an undergraduate chemistry major at Pomona College, CA, crewing with us for the summer.

Due to an unexpected break in the overcast weather coupled with moderating winds the University of Maryland aircraft flew Thursday May 24 (RF-09). The objectives of this flight were to:
1. Evaluate MM5 forecasts produced here at METO/UMCP
2. Evaluate upper-air wind data from the MDE profiler/RASS at Fort Meade, MD
3. Characterize differences aloft in the vicinity of the Chesapeake Bay under mild springtime conditions (later to be compared with summertime).

The flight pattern detail is tabulated as RF-09 in the research flight summary for 2001, and may be briefly summarized as follows:
RF-09: take off at 1446 EDT/1846 UT from College Park, MD (CGS) and spirals performed within the Baltimore-Washington corridor at Fort Meade, MD (FME); near Annapolis, MD (ANP); over the middle of the northern reach of the Chesapeake Bay (Jetta); and over the MD Eastern Shore at Easton, MD (ESN), before returning to CGS around 1700 EDT/2100 UT. This effectively easterly vertical transect was designed to characterize changes in vertical structure of the lower atmospheric column due to differences in surface albedo, including one of the wider reaches of the upper Chesapeake Bay. Ozone was observed at seasonal levels (60-80 ppbv) throughout with highest values observed at around 1,000 ft over ANP. Humidity content near the surface was low (40-50%), increasing to 80% at 5,500 ft west of the Bay. Haze was moderate throughout the flight area, loosely capped by a relatively weak subsidence inversion above 4,000 ft.

With a springtime pattern intensifying Friday May 25 and continuing through the Memorial Day holiday weekend, flight operations have been suspended at least until the synoptic situation is re-evaluated early next week.

Enjoy your long weekend... you can bet we will. Expect further updates after the holiday.