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Use of an Adjoint Model for Finding Triggers for Alpine Lee Cyclogenesis

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

The authors propose a new procedure. designated the adjoint-based genesis diagnostic (AGD) procedure, for studying triggering mechanism and the subsequent genesis of the synoptic phenomena of interest. This procedure makes use of a numerical model sensitivity to initial conditions and the nonlinear evolution of the initial perturbations that are designed using this sensitivity. The model sensitivity is evaluated using the associated adjoint model. This study uses the dry version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Adjoint Modeling System (MAMS) for the numerical experiments. The authors apply the AGD procedure to two cases of Alpine lee cyclogenesis that were observed during the Alpine Experiment special observation period. The results show that the sensitivity fields that are produced by the adjoint model and the associated initial perturbations are readily related to the probable triggering mechanisms for these cyclones. Additionally, the nonlinear evolution of these initial perturbations points toward the physical processes involved in the lee cyclone formation. The AGD experiments for a weak cyclone case indicate that the MAMS forecast model has an underrepresented topographic forcing due to the sigma vertical coordinate and that this model error can be compensated by adjustments in the initial conditions that are related to the triggering mechanism, which is not associated with the topographic blocking mechanism.

Abstract

The authors propose a new procedure. designated the adjoint-based genesis diagnostic (AGD) procedure, for studying triggering mechanism and the subsequent genesis of the synoptic phenomena of interest. This procedure makes use of a numerical model sensitivity to initial conditions and the nonlinear evolution of the initial perturbations that are designed using this sensitivity. The model sensitivity is evaluated using the associated adjoint model. This study uses the dry version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Adjoint Modeling System (MAMS) for the numerical experiments. The authors apply the AGD procedure to two cases of Alpine lee cyclogenesis that were observed during the Alpine Experiment special observation period. The results show that the sensitivity fields that are produced by the adjoint model and the associated initial perturbations are readily related to the probable triggering mechanisms for these cyclones. Additionally, the nonlinear evolution of these initial perturbations points toward the physical processes involved in the lee cyclone formation. The AGD experiments for a weak cyclone case indicate that the MAMS forecast model has an underrepresented topographic forcing due to the sigma vertical coordinate and that this model error can be compensated by adjustments in the initial conditions that are related to the triggering mechanism, which is not associated with the topographic blocking mechanism.

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