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David M. Schultz
Free access
Neelesh Rampal
,
Andrew Lorrey
, and
Nicolas Fauchereau

Abstract

Weather regimes (WRs), also known as synoptic types, are defined as recurrent patterns that have been used to categorize variability in atmospheric circulation. However, defining the optimal number of patterns can often be arbitrary, and there are common shortcomings when oversimplifying a wide range of synoptic conditions and weather outcomes. We build on previous work that has defined regional WRs and objectively ascribe an optimal number of once-daily weather patterns for Aotearoa New Zealand (ANZ) using affinity propagation combined with K-means clustering. Nine primary WRs for ANZ were classified based on once-daily geopotential height spatial patterns, but these patterns still retained a wide degree of spatial variability. Subsidiary clusters were subsequently defined within each primary WR by applying affinity propagation and K-means clustering to reveal the largest within-cluster differences based on joint daily temperature and precipitation anomalies. Up to three subsidiary patterns in each of the primary regimes were revealed, with a total of 21 unique daily patterns emerging from the two-tier classification. Subsidiary WRs reveal subtle differences in the location and intensity of regional-scale pressure anomalies, pressure gradients, and wind flow over both main islands that lead to large differences in surface weather anomalies. Impacts of atmospheric variability related to each subsidiary WR are exemplified by different spatial outcomes for rainfall and temperature (including intensity of anomalies) at regional and subregional levels. The approach presented in this study has utility for enhancing prediction of weather outcomes, including extreme weather, and can also be applied more widely over a range of time scales to improve understanding of weather and climate linkages.

Open access
Lige Cao
,
Xinrong Wu
,
Guijun Han
,
Wei Li
,
Xiaobo Wu
,
Haowen Wu
,
Chaoliang Li
,
Yundong Li
, and
Gongfu Zhou

Abstract

To effectively reduce model bias and improve assimilation quality, we adopt a hybrid adaptive approach of ensemble adjustment Kalman filter (EAKF) and multigrid analysis (MGA), called EAKF-MGA, to implement parameter optimization as follows. For each assimilation cycle, observations are used to adjust the prior ensembles of both state variables and parameters using the EAKF without inflation. Then, the MGA is adaptively triggered to extract multiscale information from the observational residual to innovate the ensemble mean of the state once again. Results of biased twin experiments consisting of a barotropic spectral model and idealized observation systems show that the proposed EAKF-MGA is insensitive to state variance inflation and localization during the parameter optimization process, compared with the EAKF with adaptive inflation. We also find that computational efficiency is another important advantage of the EAKF-MGA for both state estimation and parameter estimation since extremely small ensemble size is allowed, while the EAKF with adaptive inflation does not work anymore. In essence, the EAKF-MGA is designed to estimate and correct systematic errors jointly with model’s state variables. Through alleviating biases, including the model bias caused by the biased parameter and the analysis bias resulting from the sampling noise given the limited ensemble size, it can be guaranteed that the analysis in the EAKF-MGA will be proceeded onward with the standard assumption of the unbiased model background field in modern data assimilation theory to be met.

Restricted access
Yaping Wang
,
Nusrat Yussouf
,
Christopher A. Kerr
,
Derek R. Stratman
, and
Brian C. Matilla

Abstract

An experimental Warn-on-Forecast System (WoFS) ensemble data assimilation (DA) and prediction system at 1-km grid spacing is developed and tested using two landfalling tropical cyclone (TC) events, one springtime severe thunderstorm event, and one summertime flash flood event. To evaluate the impact of DA at 1-km grid spacing, two experiments are conducted. One experiment, namely, the WoFS-1km, generates 3-h ensemble forecasts from the 1-km WoFS analyses while another experiment, namely, the Downscaled-1km, generates 3-h ensemble forecasts from downscaled 3-km analyses. With 1-km DA, the two landfalling TC events and the summertime event show some improvement in predicting high reflectivity, while the springtime event performs worse. Meanwhile, WoFS-1km is slightly better at predicting heavier precipitation (>20 mm h−1) with lower bias. However, heavy precipitation spatial placement error is only mitigated in one TC event and the summertime event with 1-km DA but is neutral or worse in the other two events. Object-based verification for rotation objects indicates that WoFS-1km performs better in one of the TC events, but worse in the springtime event with lower probability of detection and higher false alarm ratio due to fewer strong rotation objects being generated. The forecast skill of WoFS-1km for the springtime event is degraded mainly because the convective cores do not sufficiently develop as the forecast advances. The conditional benefits from 1-km DA in this study highlights the need for evaluation of a larger sample of convective storm cases and further development of the system.

Restricted access
Alfredo Peña
,
Jeffrey D. Mirocha
, and
M. Paul van der Laan

Abstract

Wind-farm parameterizations in weather models can be used to predict both the power output and farm effects on the flow; however, their correctness has not been thoroughly assessed. We evaluate the wind-farm parameterization of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model with large-eddy simulations (LES) of the wake performed with the same model. We study the impact on the velocity and turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) of inflow velocity, roughness, resolution, number of turbines (one or two), and inversion height and strength. We compare the mesoscale with the LES by spatially averaging the LES within areas correspondent to the mesoscale horizontal spacing: one covering the turbine area and two downwind. We find an excellent agreement of the velocity within the turbine area between the two types of simulations. However, within the same area, we find the largest TKE discrepancies because in mesoscale simulations, the turbine-added TKE has to be highest at the turbine position to be advected downwind. Within the downwind areas, differences between velocities increase as the wake recovers faster in the LES, whereas for the TKE both types of simulations show similar levels. From the various configurations, the impact of inversion height and strength is small for these heights and inversion levels. The highest impact for the one-turbine simulations appears under the low-speed case due to the higher thrust, whereas the impact of resolution is low for the large-eddy simulations but high for the mesoscale simulations. Our findings demonstrate that higher-fidelity simulations are needed to validate wind-farm parameterizations.

Open access
Taiga Tsukada
and
Takeshi Horinouchi

Abstract

Estimation of the radius of maximum wind (RMW) of tropical cyclone (TC) is helpful for the disaster prevention and mitigation. If RMWs are estimated from infrared (IR) imagery taken by geostationary meteorological satellites, their estimation is available densely in time, regardless of the ocean basin. Kossin and coauthors showed that when TCs have clear eyes, the eye radii estimated from IR images have a high correlation with the RMW estimated from aircraft reconnaissance. The regression of the former onto that latter was shown to have a mean absolute error (MAE) of 4.7 km. We revisit the IR-based RMW estimation by using C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sea surface wind estimates. The criteria for selecting clear-eye cases are simplified. The MAE of the Kossin et al. method is found to be smaller than previously suggested: 3.1 km when the proposed relation is used and 2.7 km when the regression is revised with the SAR-measured RMWs. We further propose an improvement of the IR-based method to estimate the eye radii. The resultant MAE is shown to be 1.7 km, which indicates that the IR-based RMW estimation is more accurate than has been suggested.

A strong correlation between eyewall slope and eye size is confirmed. We also investigated cloud features in the eye that may be closely related to RMW and wind structure around RMW. Potential applications of highly accurate RMW estimation are discussed.

Restricted access
Andrew Brown
,
Andrew Dowdy
,
Todd P. Lane
, and
Stacey Hitchcock

Abstract

Severe winds associated with thunderstorms and convection are a hazard affecting key aspects of society, including emergency management and infrastructure design. Several studies around the world have shown that severe convective winds (SCWs) can occur due to several different processes, in a range of atmospheric environments, with significant regional and temporal variations. However, in eastern Australia, the types of SCWs and their variability have not been assessed outside of individual case studies. Here, a combination of reanalysis, lightning, radar and station data are used to characterise a set of 36 SCW events in four locations in eastern Australia. These events are objectively chosen based on the strongest measured wind gusts from station data (greater than 25 m/s) over a 14-year period, with 6-hourly lightning data and a 30 dBZ radar reflectivity threshold used to infer moist convective processes. Radar data analysis suggests that these SCW events are produced by several different types of parent thunderstorms, with station observations suggesting a range of temporal characteristics for these different event types. A clustering algorithm applied to environmental data is used to suggest three dominant types of events, based on low-level moisture, low-level temperature lapse rate, and deep-layer mean wind speed and vertical shear. Based on the distribution of synoptic conditions and thunderstorm properties for each environmental cluster, it is suggested that these three event types correspond to: 1) shallow vertical transport of strong synoptic-scale winds to the surface, 2) downbursts driven by sub-cloud evaporation, and 3) intense thunderstorms including supercells.

Restricted access
Robert G. Nystrom
,
Chris Snyder
, and
Mohamad El Gharamti

Abstract

In this study, a one-step-ahead ensemble Kalman smoother (EnKS) is introduced for the purposes of parameter estimation. The potential for this system to provide new constraints on the surface-exchange coefficients of momentum (Cd ) and enthalpy (Ck ) is then explored using a series of observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs). The surface-exchange coefficients to be estimated within the data assimilation system are highly uncertain, especially at high wind speeds, and are well-known to be important model parameters influencing the intensity and structure of tropical cyclones in numerical simulations. One major benefit of the developed one-step-ahead EnKS is that it allows for simultaneous updates of the rapidly evolving model state variables found in tropical cyclones using a short assimilation window and a long smoother window for the parameter updates, granting sufficient time for sensitivity to the parameters to develop. Overall, OSSEs demonstrate potential for this approach to accurately constrain parameters controlling the amplitudes of Cd and Ck , but the degree of success in recovering the truth model parameters varies throughout the tropical cyclone lifecycle. During the rapid intensification phase, rapidly growing errors in the model state project onto the parameter updates and result in an overcorrection of the parameters. After the rapid intensification phase, however, the parameters are correctly adjusted back toward the truth values. Lastly, the relative success of parameter estimation in recovering the truth model parameter values also has sensitivity to the ensemble size and smoothing forecast length, each of which are explored.

Restricted access
Hsiao-Chun Lin
,
Juanzhen Sun
,
Tammy M. Weckwerth
,
Everette Joseph
, and
Junkyung Kay

Abstract

The New York State Mesonet (NYSM) has provided continuous in situ and remote sensing observations near the surface and within the lower troposphere since 2017. The dense observing network can capture the evolution of mesoscale motions with high temporal and spatial resolution. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the assimilation of NYSM observations into numerical weather prediction (NWP) models could be beneficial for improving model analysis and short-term weather prediction. The study was conducted using a convective event that occurred in New York on 21 June 2021. A line of severe thunderstorms developed, decayed, and then re-intensified as it propagated eastward across the state. Several data assimilation (DA) experiments were conducted to investigate the impact of NYSM data using the operational DA system Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) with rapid update cycles. The assimilated datasets included National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Automated Data Processing (ADP) global upper-air and surface observations, NYSM surface observations, Doppler lidar wind retrievals and microwave radiometer (MWR) thermodynamic retrievals at NYSM profiler sites. In comparison with the control experiment that assimilated only conventional data, the timing and location of the convection reintensification was significantly improved by assimilating NYSM data, especially the Doppler lidar wind data. Our analysis indicated that the improvement could be attributed to improved simulation of the Mohawk-Hudson Convergence. We also found that the MWR DA resulted in degraded forecasts, likely due to large errors in the MWR temperature retrievals. Overall, this case study suggested the positive impact of assimilating NYSM surface and profiler data on forecasting summertime severe weather.

Restricted access
Wansuo Duan
,
Junjie Ma
, and
Stéphane Vannitsem

Abstract

In this paper, a new nonlinear forcing singular vector (NFSV) approach is proposed to provide mutually independent optimally combined modes of initial perturbations and model perturbations (C-NFSVs) in ensemble forecasts. The C-NFSVs are a group of optimally growing structures that take into account the impact of the interaction between the initial errors and the model errors effectively, generalizing the original NFSV for simulations of the impact of the model errors. The C-NFSVs method is tested in the context of the Lorenz-96 model to demonstrate its potential to improve ensemble forecast skills. This method is compared with the orthogonal conditional nonlinear optimal perturbations (O-CNOPs) method for estimating only the initial uncertainties and the orthogonal NFSVs (O-NFSVs) for estimating only the model uncertainties. The results demonstrate that when both the initial perturbations and model perturbations are introduced in the forecasting system, the C-NFSVs are much more capable of achieving higher ensemble forecasting skills. The use of a deep learning approach as a remedy for the expensive computational costs of the C-NFSVs is evaluated. The results show that learning the impact of the C-NFSVs on the ensemble provides a useful and efficient alternative for the operational implementation of C-NFSVs in forecasting suites dealing with the combined effects of the initial errors and the model errors.

Significance Statement

A new ensemble forecasting method for dealing with combined effects of initial errors and model errors, i.e., the C-NFSVs, is proposed, which is an extension of the NFSV approach for simulating the model error effects in ensemble forecasts. The C-NFSVs provide mutually independent optimally combined modes of initial perturbations and model perturbations. This new method is tested for generating ensemble forecasts in the context of the Lorenz-96 model, and there are indications that the optimally growing structures may provide reliable ensemble forecasts. Furthermore, it is found that a hybrid dynamical–deep learning approach could be a potential avenue for real-time ensemble forecasting systems when perturbations combine the impact of the initial and the model errors.

Restricted access