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This study utilizes in situ measurements and numerical weather prediction forecasts curated during the Coupled Air–Sea Processes Electromagnetic Ducting Research (CASPER) east field campaign to assess how thermodynamic properties in the marine atmospheric surface layer influence evaporation duct shape independent of duct height. More specifically, we investigate evaporation duct shape through a duct shape parameter, a parameter known to affect the propagation of X-band radar signals and is directly related to the curvature of the duct. Relationships between this duct shape parameter and air sea temperature difference (ASTD) reveal that during unstable periods (ASTD < 0), the duct shape parameter is generally larger than in near-neutral or stable atmospheric conditions, indicating tighter curvature of the M-profile. Furthermore, for any specific duct height, a strong linear relationship between the near-surface-specific humidity gradient and the duct shape parameter is found, suggesting that it is primarily driven by near-surface humidity gradients. The results demonstrate that an a priori estimate of duct shape, for a given duct height, is possible if the near-surface humidity gradient is known.

This article was published Open Access through the CCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund. The article was first published in Atmosphere:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.