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Elizabeth Thompson

Senior Meterologist

Email

eliz@apl.uw.edu

Education

B.S. Meterology, Valparaiso University, 2010

M.S. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, 2012

Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, 2016

Publications

2000-present and while at APL-UW

Intense and small freshwater pools from rainfall investigated during SPURS-2 on 9 November 2017 in the eastern tropical Pacific

Reverdin, G., A. Supply, K. Drushka, E.J. Thompson, W.E. Asher, and A. Lourenço, "Intense and small freshwater pools from rainfall investigated during SPURS-2 on 9 November 2017 in the eastern tropical Pacific," J. Geophys. Res., 125, doi:10.1029/2019JC015558, 2020.

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1 Feb 2020

During the second Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS‐2) 2017 tropical Pacific cruise, two drifters were deployed on 9 November. The drifters measured temperature and salinity in the top 36 cm, wave spectra, and the noise of rain drops. During a short nearly circular survey with a 1.8‐km radius around the drifters, the R/V Revelle measured air–sea fluxes, as well as temperature and salinity stratification in the top 1 m from a towed surface salinity profiler (SSP). A C‐band weather radar measuring rain rate within 1‐ to 100‐km range of the ship observed discrete rain cells organized in a system moving from the southeast to the northwest. Some of the intense rain cells were small scale (1 km in diameter or less) with short lifetimes yet dropped more than 5 cm of water in half an hour near the drifters, whereas the ship measured short rain episodes totaling 1.3 cm of rainfall mostly accompanied by very low wind. The data indicate a large spatial heterogeneity in temperature and salinity, with near‐surface freshening of up to 9 psu measured at different times by the two drifters (separated by less than 500 m) and by the SSP. The drifters indicate deepening of the fresh and cool surface layer during the rain, which then thinned during the following 40 min with very low wind speed (<2 m/s). Patchy surface‐trapped cold and fresh layers were also observed by the SSP east of the drifters. The high spatial and temporal variability of rainfall and surface‐trapped fresh pools is discussed.

Estimating rain-generated turbulence at the ocean surface using the active controlled flux technique

Asher, W.E., K. Drushka, A.T. Jessup, E.J. Thompson, and D. Clark, "Estimating rain-generated turbulence at the ocean surface using the active controlled flux technique," Oceanography, 32, 108-115, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2019.218, 2019.

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14 Jun 2019

Rain-generated lenses of fresher water at the ocean surface affect satellite remote sensing of salinity, mixed-layer dynamics, and air-sea exchange of heat, momentum, and gases. Understanding how rain and wind generate turbulence at the ocean surface is important in modeling the generation and evolution of these fresh lenses. This paper discusses the use of the active controlled flux technique (ACFT) to determine relative levels of turbulence in the top centimeter of the ocean surface in the presence of rain. ACFT measurements were made during the 2016 second Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study (SPURS-2) in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. The data show that at wind speeds below 4 m s-1, the turbulence dissipation rate at the ocean surface (as parameterized by the water-side surface renewal time constant) is correlated with the instantaneous rain rate. However, at higher wind speeds, the wind stress dominates turbulence production and rain is not a significant source of turbulence. There is also evidence that internal waves can be a significant source of turbulence at the ocean surface under non-raining conditions when a diurnal warm layer is present.

High-resolution rain maps from an X-band marine radar and their use in understanding ocean freshening

Thompson, E.J., W.E. Asher, A.T. Jessup, and K. Drushka, "High-resolution rain maps from an X-band marine radar and their use in understanding ocean freshening," Oceanography, 32, 58-65, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2019.213, 2019.

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14 Jun 2019

Ship-based X-band radar observations of rain were collected with high spatial resolution during the 2016 and 2017 Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study 2 (SPURS-2) field experiments in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. These observations were collected with a repurposed marine radar that is not typically used for weather monitoring. The radar images captured during SPURS-2 show the spatial extent and variable intensity of rain at a horizontal resolution of 180 m within 30 km of the ship. When analyzed alongside collocated measurements of oceanic and atmospheric properties collected during SPURS-2, the radar-derived rain maps enable a clearer understanding of the impact of spatially and temporally varying freshwater fluxes on ocean salinity. Ocean surface freshening, measured by ship gauges, is found to be affected by local rain accumulation, and also by prior rain accumulation in surrounding locations that was measured by radar. In one example, the X-band marine radar measured rain directly ahead of the ship’s path. The ship then sampled a near-surface freshening signature within the time period expected based on the ship speed, ship heading, and rain area measured by the radar. ­

More Publications

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center
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