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Genki Katata
,
Ronan Connolly
, and
Peter O’Neill

Abstract

To reduce the amount of nonclimatic biases of air temperature in each weather station’s record by comparing it with neighboring stations, global land surface air temperature datasets are routinely adjusted using statistical homogenization to minimize such biases. However, homogenization can unintentionally introduce new nonclimatic biases due to an often-overlooked statistical problem known as “urban blending” or “aliasing of trend biases.” This issue arises when the homogenization process inadvertently mixes urbanization biases of neighboring stations into the adjustments applied to each station record. As a result, urbanization biases of the original unhomogenized temperature records are spread throughout the homogenized data. To evaluate the extent of this phenomenon, the homogenized temperature data for two countries (Japan and the United States) are analyzed. Using the Japanese stations in the widely used Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) dataset, it is first confirmed that the unhomogenized Japanese temperature data are strongly affected by urbanization bias (possibly ∼60% of the long-term warming). The U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) dataset contains a relatively large amount of long, rural station records and therefore is less affected by urbanization bias. Nonetheless, even for this relatively rural dataset, urbanization bias could account for ∼20% of the long-term warming. It is then shown that urban blending is a major problem for the homogenized data for both countries. The IPCC’s estimate of urbanization bias in the global temperature data based on homogenized temperature records may have been low as a result of urban blending. Recommendations on how future homogenization efforts could be modified to reduce urban blending are discussed.

Significance Statement

Most weather station–based global land temperature datasets currently use a process called “statistical homogenization” to reduce the amount of nonclimatic biases. However, using temperature data from two countries (Japan and the United States), we show that the homogenization process unintentionally introduces new nonclimatic biases into the data as a result of an “urban blending” problem. Urban blending arises when the homogenization process inadvertently mixes the urbanization (warming) bias of the neighboring stations into the adjustments applied to each station record. As a result, the urbanization biases of the unhomogenized temperature records are spread throughout all of the homogenized data. The net effect tends to artificially add warming to rural stations and subtract warming from urban stations until all stations have about the same amount of urbanization bias.

Open access
Jiangping Zhu
,
Aihong Xie
,
Xiang Qin
,
Shimeng Wang
,
Bing Xu
, and
YiCheng Wang

Abstract

Global warming has been accelerating the frequency and intensity of climate extremes, and has had an immense influence on the economy and society, but attention is seldom paid to future Antarctic temperature extremes. This study investigates five surface extreme temperature indices derived from the multimodel ensemble mean (MMEM) based on 14 models from phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) under the shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) of SSP1-2.6, SSP2-4.5, SSP3-7.0, and SSP5-8.5. In Antarctica, the variations in extreme temperature indices exhibit regional and seasonal differences. The diurnal temperature range (DTR) usually illustrates a downward trend, particularly for the Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic coast, and the strongest change occurs in austral summer. In all cases, the annual highest minimum/maximum temperature (TNx/TXx) increases faster in inland Antarctica. Antarctic amplification of extreme temperature indices is detected and is strongest at the lowest maximum temperature (TXn). At the Antarctic Peninsula, TXx amplification only appears in winter. Great DTR amplification appears along the Antarctic coast and is strongest in summer and weakest in winter. The changes in extreme temperature indices indicate the accelerated Antarctic warming in future scenarios.

Restricted access
Doyi Kim
,
Hee-Jae Kim
, and
Yong-Sang Choi

Abstract

Understanding the growth of tropical convective clouds (TCCs) is of vital importance for the early detection of heavy rainfall. This study explores the properties of TCCs that can cause them to develop into clouds with a high probability of precipitation. Remotely sensed cloud properties, such as cloud-top temperature (CTT), cloud optical thickness (COT), and cloud effective radius (CER) as measured by a geostationary satellite are trained by a neural network. First, the image segmentation algorithm identifies TCC objects with different cloud properties. Second, a self-organizing map (SOM) algorithm clusters TCC objects with similar cloud microphysical properties. Third, the precipitation probability (PP) for each cluster of TCCs is calculated based on the proportion of precipitating TCCs among the total number of TCCs. Precipitating TCCs can be distinguished from nonprecipitating TCCs using Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement precipitation data. Results show that SOM clusters with a high PP (>70%) satisfy a certain range of cloud properties: CER ≥ 20 μm and CTT < 230 K. PP generally increases with increasing COT, but COT cannot be a clear cloud property to confirm a high PP. For relatively thin clouds (COT < 30), however, CER should be much larger than 20 μm to have a high PP. More importantly, these TCC conditions associated with a PP ≥ 70% are consistent across regions and periods. We expect our results will be useful for satellite nowcasting of tropical precipitation using geostationary satellite cloud properties.

Significance Statement

We aim to identify the properties of tropical convective clouds (TCCs) that have a high precipitation probability. We designed a two-step framework to identify TCC objects and the conditions of cloud properties for TCCs to have a high precipitation probability. The TCCs with a precipitation probability > 70% tend to have a low cloud-top temperature and a cloud particle effective radius ≥ 20 μm. Cloud optical thicknesses are distributed over a wide range, but thinning requires a particle radius larger than 20 μm. These conditions of cloud properties appear to be unchanged under various spatial–temporal conditions over the tropics. This important observational finding advances our understanding of the cloud–precipitation relationship in TCCs and can be applied to satellite nowcasting of precipitation in the tropics, where numerical weather forecasts are limited.

Open access
Frédéric Fabry
,
Joseph Samuel
, and
Véronique Meunier

Abstract

In a future world where most of the energy must come from intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind or solar energy, it would be more efficient if, for each demand area, we could determine the locations for which the output of an energy source would naturally match the demand fluctuations from that area. In parallel, meteorological weather systems such as midlatitude cyclones are often organized in a way that naturally shapes where areas of greater energy need (e.g., regions with more cold air) are with respect to windier or sunnier areas, and these are generally not collocated. As a result, the best places to generate renewable energy may not be near consumption sites; these may be determined, however, by common meteorological patterns. Using data from a reanalysis of six decades of past weather, we determined the complementarity between different sources of energy as well as the relationships between renewable supply and demand at daily averaged time scales for several North American cities. In general, demand and solar power tend to be slightly positively correlated at nearby locations away from the Rocky Mountains; however, wind power often must be obtained from greater distances and at altitude for energy production to be better timed with consumption.

Significance Statement

Weather patterns such as high and low pressure systems shape where and when energy is needed for warming or cooling; they also shape how much renewable energy from winds and the sun can be produced. Hence, they determine the regions where more energy is likely to be available in periods of unusually high need for each demand location. Finding where those areas are may result in more timely renewable energy production in the future to help reduce fossil fuel use for energy production.

Open access
Yuekui Yang
,
Daniel Kiv
,
Surendra Bhatta
,
Manisha Ganeshan
,
Xiaomei Lu
, and
Stephen Palm

Abstract

This paper presents work using a machine learning model to diagnose Antarctic blowing snow (BLSN) properties with the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2), data. We adopt the random forest classifier for BLSN identification and the random forest regressor for BLSN optical depth and height diagnosis. BLSN properties observed from the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) are used as the truth for training the model. Using MERRA-2 fields such as snow age, surface elevation and pressure, temperature, specific humidity, and temperature gradient at the 2-m level, and wind speed at the 10-m level as input, reasonable results are achieved. Hourly blowing snow property diagnostics are generated with the trained model. Using 2010 as an example, it is shown that the Antarctic BLSN frequency is much higher over East than West Antarctica. High-frequency months are from April to September, during which BLSN frequency exceeds 20% over East Antarctica. For May 2010, the BLSN snow frequency in the region is as high as 37%. Due to the suppression by strong surface-based inversions, larger values of BLSN height and optical depth are usually limited to the coastal regions, wherein the strength of surface-based inversions is weaker.

Open access
Dazhi Xi
,
Ning Lin
,
Norberto C. Nadal-Caraballo
, and
Madison C. Yawn

Abstract

In this study, we design a statistical method to couple observations with a physics-based tropical cyclone (TC) rainfall model (TCR) and engineered-synthetic storms for assessing TC rainfall hazard. We first propose a bias-correction method to minimize the errors induced by TCR via matching the probability distribution of TCR-simulated historical TC rainfall with gauge observations. Then we assign occurrence probabilities to engineered-synthetic storms to reflect local climatology, through a resampling method that matches the probability distribution of a newly proposed storm parameter named rainfall potential (POT) in the synthetic dataset with that in the observation. POT is constructed to include several important storm parameters for TC rainfall such as TC intensity, duration, and distance and environmental humidity near landfall, and it is shown to be correlated with TCR-simulated rainfall. The proposed method has a satisfactory performance in reproducing the rainfall hazard curve in various locations in the continental United States; it is an improvement over the traditional joint probability method (JPM) for TC rainfall hazard assessment.

Open access
Sergey Y. Matrosov

Abstract

Vertically pointing Ka-band radar measurements are used to derive fall velocity–reflectivity factor ( V t = a Z e b ) relations for frozen hydrometeor populations of different habits during snowfall events observed at Oliktok Point, Alaska, and at the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC). Case study events range from snowfall with highly rimed particles observed during periods with large amounts of supercooled liquid water path (LWP > 320 g m−2) to unrimed snowflakes including instances when pristine planar crystals were the dominant frozen hydrometeor habit. The prefactor a and the exponent b in the observed Vt Ze relations scaled to the sea level vary in the approximate ranges 0.5–1.4 and 0.03–0.13, respectively (reflectivities are in mm6 m−3 and velocities are in m s−1). The coefficient a values are the smallest for planar crystals (a ∼ 0.5) and the largest (a > 1.2) for particles under severe riming conditions with high LWP. There is no clear distinction between b values for high and low LWP conditions. The range of the observed Vt Ze relation coefficients is in general agreement with results of modeling using fall velocity–size (υt = αDβ ) relations for individual particles found in literature for hydrometeors of different habits, though there is significant variability in α and β coefficients from different studies even for a same particle habit. Correspondences among coefficients in the Vt Ze relations for particle populations and in the individual particle υt D relations are analyzed. These correspondences and the observed Vt Ze relations can be used for evaluating different frozen hydrometeor fall velocity parameterizations in models.

Significance Statement

Frozen hydrometeor fall velocities influence cloud life cycles and the moisture transport in the atmosphere. The knowledge of these velocities is also needed to enhance remote sensing of snowfall parameters. In this study, the relations between fall velocities and radar reflectivities of snowflakes of different types and shapes are quantitively analyzed using observations with vertically pointing radars.

Restricted access
René Bodjrenou
,
Jean-Martial Cohard
,
Basile Hector
,
Emmanuel Agnidé Lawin
,
Guillaume Chagnaud
,
Derrick Kwadwo Danso
,
Yekambessoun N’tcha M’po
,
Félicien Badou
, and
Bernard Ahamide

Abstract

In West Africa, climatic data issues, especially availability and quality, remain a significant constraint to the development and application of distributed hydrological modeling. As alternatives to ground-based observations, reanalysis products have received increasing attention in recent years. This study aims to evaluate three reanalysis products, namely, ERA5, Water and Global Change (WATCH) Forcing Data (WFD) ERA5 (WFDE5), and MERRA-2, from 1981 to 2019 to determine their ability to represent four hydrological climates variables over a range of space and time scales in Benin. The variables from the reanalysis products are compared with point station databased metrics Kling–Gupta efficiency (KGE), mean absolute error (MAE), correlation, and relative error in precipitation annual (REPA). The results show that ERA5 presents a better correlation for annual mean temperature (between 0.74 and 0.90) than do WFDE5 (0.63–0.78) and MERRA-2 (0.25–0.65). Both ERA5 and WFDE5 are able to reproduce the observed upward trend of temperature (0.2°C decade−1) in the region. We noted a systematic cold bias of ∼1.3°C in all reanalyses except WFDE5 (∼0.1°C). On the monthly time scale, the temperature of the region is better reproduced by ERA5 and WFDE5 (KGE ≥ 0.80) than by MERRA-2 (KGE < 0.5). At all time scales, WFDE5 produces the best MAE scores for longwave (LW) and shortwave (SW) radiation, followed by ERA5. WFDE5 also provides the best estimates for the annual precipitation (REPA ∈ ]−25, 25[ and KGE ≥ 50% at most stations). ERA5 produces similar results, but MERRA-2 performs poorly in all the metrics. In addition, ERA5 and WFDE5 reproduce the bimodal rainfall regime in southern Benin, unlike MERRA-2, but all products have too many small rainfall events.

Restricted access
Magnus Lindskog
,
Roohollah Azad
,
Siebren de Haan
,
Jesper Blomster
, and
Martin Ridal

Abstract

Meteorological Cooperation on Operational Numeric Weather Prediction (MetCoOp) is a northern European collaboration on operational numerical weather prediction based on a common limited-area, kilometer-scale ensemble system. The initial states of this model are produced using a three-dimensional, variational, data assimilation scheme utilizing a large number of observations from conventional in situ measurements, weather radars, global navigation satellite systems, advanced scatterometer data, and satellite radiances. Since 2019, the MetCoOp system was enhanced by utilization of observations based on selective mode (Mode-S) enhanced surveillance (EHS) reports that are broadcast by aircraft in response to interrogation from air traffic control radar. These observations, obtained from the European Meteorological Aircraft Derived Data Center, are used to derive indirect information of atmospheric wind speed and temperature. The use of these observations compensated for the considerably reduced number of direct aircraft observations encountered as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MetCoOp observation handling system is described, with emphasis on Mode-S EHS data. The quality of these observations is evaluated, and we show that they are suitable to be used in MetCoOp data assimilation. The impact on average forecast verification scores of the additional Mode-S EHS data is slightly positive. The benefit of using Mode-S EHS was demonstrated for an individual case and also a demonstration of utilizing the Stockholm Arlanda receiver data in assimilation has been performed.

Restricted access
Xinyue Zhan
and
Lei Chen

Abstract

An objective detection and tracking algorithm based on relative vorticity at 850 hPa using National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) Reanalysis-1 data was applied to track cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere during austral winters from 1948 to 2017. The climatological characteristics of extratropical cyclones, including track density, frequency, intensity, lifetime, and their related variabilities, are discussed. The frequency and average lifetime of cyclones have substantially decreased. The average maximum intensity of cyclones has shown an increasing trend over the 70-yr study period. The cyclone track density shows a decreasing trend in lower latitudes, consistent with the region where the upper-troposphere zonal wind weakens. Baroclinicity can explain the increase in cyclone intensity: when a cyclone moves to higher latitudes and enters the region with greater baroclinicity, it strengthens. As there is no discernible increase in cyclogenesis in the medium latitudes (45°–70°S), but significantly less cyclogenesis in lower and higher latitudes, it is hypothesized that there is no clear poleward cyclogenesis shift over the Southern Hemisphere.

Significance Statement

While much is known about the Northern Hemisphere cyclones, few studies have examined how extratropical cyclones have changed in the Southern Hemisphere. We used an automatic tracking algorithm to study the climatological characteristics of extratropical cyclones over the past 70 years and found that the frequency of winter extratropical cyclones has decreased significantly in most parts of the Southern Hemisphere, with the number of intense cyclones increasing. Under global warming conditions, variability in regional low-level baroclinicity and a weakened upper-troposphere jet are likely to be responsible for this change. Future studies may focus on how the increasing autumn sea ice around Antarctica affects polar cyclone activities.

Restricted access