The Seabreeze 2009 experiment: investigating the impact of ocean and atmospheric processes on radar performance in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Researchers from New Zealand and the USA have successfully completed a two week field experiment, Seabreeze 2009, in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. The aim of this experiment was to observe radar performance during sea breeze/land breeze coastal mesoscale circulations. This experiment used a range of permanent, stationary observatories in the region to gather atmospheric observations. These data were supplemented by diurnal onshore and offshore soundings, a high-density of offshore vertical profiles from kite-mounted sondes, floating sea surface temperature (SST) sensors, weather buoys and an array of meteorological observations collected using the Defence Technology Agency’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system. A total of eight days of simultaneous measurements of one-way 9.4 GHz (X band) radar propagation and environmental parameters affecting refractive conditions were measured in a variety of synoptic conditions. Strong sea breeze signatures were observed on seven days during the measurement period. Seabreeze 2009 forms one of the most detailed investigations of radar performance during coastal mesoscale circulations ever undertaken, and is the only dataset of its kind from the Southern Hemisphere. This research has, therefore, expanded the geographical and temporal range of data currently available to researchers and modelers.