Today was a beautiful day on the North Slope! Low clouds formed over Oliktok Point, replacing the clear weather we’d seen yesterday. This set up a very interesting scene, with the clouds supported by an air layer that was not the same one as was being observed at the surface. A perfect reason to deploy some unmanned aircraft and a tethered balloon to see what’s going on up there! We didn’t waste the opportunity, and sampled the atmosphere from sun up until well after sunset. It was a very long day, so for the time being I’ll let the photos do the talking!
The tethered balloon getting ready for flight, as seen from a morning DataHawk flight.
Dancing among the clouds — A DataHawk samples the cloud base environment high over Oliktok Point.
Temperature profiles from today’s flights, showing the evolution of the surface and cloud-driven layers.
The newly forming sea ice, as seen from 20 meters altitude during a DataHawk flight this afternoon.
The tethered balloon during a good snow squall. It looks as though Carl’s VIPS instrument was able to sample some significant snowfall today.
Eric, a member of the tethered balloon crew, bringing the POPS (top) and VIPS (bottom) instruments back in after a long day of sampling.
Al, Carl and Matt working to get the last few meters of tether in at the end of the day. All smiles — thanks to everyone for helping to get some great measurements today!