Meteorology 1979–1982



The Atmospheric Sciences section contains 12 papers; most of the topics have been reviewed in previous reports, though not always in each one. Thus, atmospheric electricity has not been reviewed for the past eight years, and mesoscale meteorology was not reviewed in the last report. Regretably, atmospheric chemistry is not reviewed in this one (but see the six reviews listed at the end of these remarks).

Though the following 12 reviews discuss a broad variety of topics, a common theme emerges in many of them: the significance of new instrumentation or cognate device for making improved measurements of the atmosphere. Balsley and Gage give a systematic discussion of this theme; I will mention only three devices which seem to offer unusual promise: VHF (50 MHz) doppler radar, linear polarization for meteorological radar, and lidar. The VHF radar, particularly the Magnetospheric-Stratospheric-Tropospheric (MST) phased array, is capable of measuring the three-dimensional field of motion with a vertical resolution and temporal sequence far beyond any conventional technique; its configuraton is flexible and is readily portable. Polarization techniques applied to existing meteorological radars are capable of measuring the evolution and distribution of water drops in clouds, and thus, inferring more accurate rainfall rates; the technique may also offer a new means of distinguishing ice and water in clouds. Though lidars have been used in the past to identify and track aerosols, additional options for using lidar to measure winds, temperature, moisture, and trace chemical constituents are now emerging; such measurements may be made from either satellites, aircraft, or the earth's surface.