29 Apr 2024
 | 29 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Mid-Atlantic Nocturnal Low-Level Jet Characteristics: A machine learning analysis of radar wind profiles

Maurice Roots, John T. Sullivan, and Belay Demoz

Abstract. This paper introduces a machine-learning-driven approach for automated Nocturnal Low-Level Jet (NLLJ) identification using observations of wind profiles from a Radar Wind Profiler (RWP). The work discussed here is an effort to lay the groundwork for a systematic study of the Mid-Atlantic NLLJ’s formation mechanisms and their influence on nocturnal and diurnal air quality in major urban regions by establishing a general framework of NLLJ features and characteristics with an identification algorithm. Leveraging a comprehensive wind profile dataset maintained by the Maryland Department of Environment’s RWP network, our methodology employs supervised machine learning techniques to isolate the features of the south-westerly NLLJ. This methodology was developed to illuminate spatiotemporal patterns and nuanced characteristics of NLLJ events, unveiling their significant role in shaping the planetary boundary layer. This paper discusses the construction of this methodology, its performance against known NLLJs in the current literature, intended usage, and a preliminary statistical analysis. First light results from this analysis have identified a total of 90 south-westerly NLLJs from May–September of 2017–2021 as captured by the RWP stationed in Beltsville, MD (39.05°, -76.87°, 135 m ASL). A composite of these 90 jets is presented to better illustrate many of the bulk parameters, such as core height, duration, and maximum wind speed, associated with the onset and decay of the Mid-Atlantic NLLJ. We hope our study equips researchers and policymakers with further means to monitor, predict, and address these nocturnal dynamics phenomena that frequently influence boundary layer composition and air quality in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions.

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Maurice Roots, John T. Sullivan, and Belay Demoz

Status: open (until 03 Jun 2024)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2024-37', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 May 2024 reply
Maurice Roots, John T. Sullivan, and Belay Demoz
Maurice Roots, John T. Sullivan, and Belay Demoz


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Short summary
This paper introduces a machine-learning approach to automatically isolate Nocturnal Low-Level Jets (NLLJs) using observations from Maryland’s Radar Wind Profiler (RWP) network. Initial findings identify 90 south-westerly NLLJs from May to September 2017–2021, showcasing core parameters and jet morphology. The research aims to establish a foundation for understanding the formation mechanisms of Mid-Atlantic NLLJs and their impact on air quality.