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Pramod Kumar Jangir
,
Kevin C. Ewans
, and
Ian R. Young

Abstract

Accurate ocean wave measurements are needed for the safe design and operation of offshore facilities, but despite many ocean wave measurements, the accuracy of wave measurement systems remains an ongoing issue. Of paramount importance are measurements during extreme sea states. This paper examines wave measurements made with an Optech Laser (Laser), a Rosemount WaveRadar (Radar), and a Datawell Waverider buoy at North Rankin A (NRA) platform, Australia; Ekofisk, North Sea; and several South China Sea locations. We evaluate the relative performance of these instruments based upon various frequency domain comparisons, including comparisons of their 1D frequency spectra using spectrograms, spectral moments, high-frequency tail slopes, and significant wave heights derived from their wave spectra. A spectral relationship (transfer function) in terms of mean spectral ratio of the instruments is developed, which can be used for spectral calibration. On average, Laser and Waverider spectral estimates agree well at all sea states. However, at low wind speeds, the higher-frequency spectral levels of the Laser are relatively high and noisy compared with the other two instruments. Radar higher-frequency spectral estimates are relatively low compared to the other two instruments, particularly at lower sea states. In addition, the higher-frequency tail slopes of all three instruments vary between f −4 and f −5. However, at higher sea states, the Waverider tail slopes become steeper than f −5. The Radar produces the lowest significant wave heights (Hm 0) compared to the Laser and Waverider, but its second-moment period (Tm 02) estimates are longer than the Laser and Waverider.

Free access
Igor R. Ivić

Abstract

The existence of significant cross-polar antenna patterns, as well as the scan-dependent measurement biases, inherent to the polarimetric phased array radar (PPAR), are among the most important risk factors for using this technology in weather observations. The cross-polar patterns on receive induce cross coupling between returns from the two orthogonal fields causing biases in polarimetric variable estimates. Furthermore, the electromagnetic coupling in hardware may exacerbate the cross-coupling effects. To address this problem, a pulse-to-pulse phase coding in either the horizontal or vertical ports of the transmission elements has been proposed. However, it does not affect the scan-dependent system biases in PPAR estimates, which require corrections via calibration mechanisms. Further, the cross-coupling signals are proportional to the cross-polar pattern power levels, rendering mitigation effective only at steering angles where these levels are sufficiently low (e.g., approximately less than −25 dB). In that regard, any approach that augments the number of such steering angles benefits the cross-coupling mitigation effectiveness. Herein, a simple approach that has a potential to achieve this via antenna tilt is presented.

Significance Statement

The issue of biases caused by cross coupling (due to significant cross-polar patterns in PPARs) is one of the biggest challenges for their weather observation applications. Numerous approaches have been proposed to address this issue, but none has been comprehensive. This suggests that the solution to the cross-coupling issue should be a combination of various mitigation approaches. In that regard, it is suggested in this work that a small antenna tilt can aid in the mitigation of the cross-coupling issue.

Free access
John M. Lyman
and
Gregory C. Johnson

Abstract

The ocean, with its low albedo and vast thermal inertia, plays key roles in the climate system, including absorbing massive amounts of heat as atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations rise. While the Argo array of profiling floats has vastly improved sampling of ocean temperature in the upper half of the global ocean volume since the mid-2000s, they are not sufficient in number to resolve eddy scales in the oceans. However, satellite sea surface temperature (SST) and sea surface height (SSH) measurements do resolve these scales. Here we use random forest regressions to map ocean heat content anomalies (OHCA) using in situ training data from Argo and other sources on a 7-day × 1/4° × 1/4° grid with latitude, longitude, time, SSH, and SST as predictors. The maps display substantial patterns on eddy scales, resolving variations of ocean currents and fronts. During the well-sampled Argo period, global integrals of these maps reduce noise relative to estimates based on objective mapping of in situ data alone by roughly a factor of 3 when compared to time series of CERES (satellite data) top-of-the-atmosphere energy flux measurements and improve correlations of anomalies with CERES on annual time scales. Prior to and early on in the Argo period, when in situ data were sparser, global integrals of these maps retain low variance, and do not relax back to a climatological mean, avoiding potential deficiencies of various methods for infilling data-sparse regions with objective maps by exploiting temporal and spatial patterns of OHCA and its correlations with SST and SSH.

Significance Statement

We use a simple machine learning technique to improve maps of subsurface ocean warming by exploiting the relationships between subsurface ocean temperature both sea surface temperature and sea level. Mapping ocean warming is important because it contributes to sea level rise through thermal expansion; impacts marine life through marine heatwaves and changes in mixing, oxygen, and carbon dioxide levels; increases energy available to tropical cyclones; and stores most of the energy building up in Earth’s climate system owing to the accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Our new estimates generally have lower noise energy and higher correlations than other products when compared with global energy fluxes at the top of the atmosphere measured by satellite.

Free access
Rupayan Saha
and
Firat Y. Testik

Abstract

This study was to assess the raindrop fall speed measurement capabilities of OTT Parsivel2 disdrometer through comparisons with measurements of a collocated High-speed Optical Disdrometer (HOD). Raindrop fall speed is often assumed to be terminal in relevant hydrological and meteorological applications, and generally predicted using terminal speed–raindrop size relationships obtained from laboratory observations. Nevertheless, recent field studies have revealed that other factors (e.g., wind, turbulence, raindrop oscillations, and collisions) significantly influence raindrop fall speed, necessitating accurate fall speed measurements for many applications instead of reliance on laboratory-based terminal speed predictions. Field observations in this study covered rainfall events with a variety of environmental conditions, including light, moderate, and heavy rainfall events. This study also involved rigorous laboratory experiments to faithfully identify the internal filtering and calculation algorithm of OTT Parsivel2. Our assessments revealed that, for the smaller diameter bins, Parsivel2 filters out many of the observed raindrops that fall faster than predicted terminal speeds, bringing down the mean fall speed for those size bins without observational evidence. Furthermore, Parsivel2 fall speed measurements exhibited notable artificial bell-shaped deviations from the predicted terminal speeds toward subterminal fall starting at around 1 mm diameter raindrops with peak deviations around 1.625 mm diameter bin. Such bell-shaped fall speed deviation patterns were not present in collocated HOD measurements. Assessment results along with the faithfully identified Parsivel2 algorithm are presented with discussions on implications on reported raindrop size distributions (DSD) and rainfall kinetic energy.

Free access
Guo Lin
,
Zhien Wang
,
Conrad Ziegler
,
Xiao-Ming Hu
,
Ming Xue
,
Bart Geerts
, and
Yufei Chu

Abstract

The magnitude of water vapor content within the near-storm inflow can either support or deter the storm’s upscale growth and maintenance. However, the heterogeneity of the moisture field near storms remains poorly understood because the operational observation network lacks detail. This observational study illustrates that near-storm inflow water vapor environments are both significantly heterogeneous and different than the far-inflow storm environment. This study also depicts the importance of temporal variation of water vapor mixing ratio (WVMR) to instability during the peak tornadic seasons in the U.S. Southeast and Great Plains regions during the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment Southeast 2018 (VSE18) campaign and the Targeted Observation by Radar and UAS of Supercells (TORUS) campaign, respectively. VSE18 results suggest that the surface processes control WVMR variation significantly in lower levels, with the highest WVMR mainly located near the surface in inflows in the southeast region. In contrast, TORUS results show more vertically homogeneous WVMR profiles and rather uniform water vapor distribution variation occurring in deep, moist stratified inflows in the Great Plains region. Temporal water vapor variations within 5-min periods could lead to over 1000 J kg−1 CAPE changes in both VSE18 and TORUS, which represent significant potential buoyancy perturbations for storms to intensify or decay. These temporal water vapor and instability evolutions of moving storms remain difficult to capture via radiosondes and fixed in situ or profiling instrumentation, yet may exert a strong impact on storm evolution. This study suggests that improving observations of the variability of near-storm inflow moisture can accurately refine a potential severe weather threat.

Significance Statement

It has long been recognized that better observations of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) inflow near convective storms are needed to improve severe weather forecasting. The current operational networks essentially do not provide profile measurements of the PBL, except for the sparsely spaced 12-hourly sounding network. More frequent geostationary satellite observations do not provide adequately high vertical resolution in the PBL. This study uses airborne lidar profiler measurements to examine moisture in the inflow region of convective storms in the Great Plains and the southeastern United States during their respective tornadic seasons. Rapid PBL water vapor variations on a ∼5 min time scale can lead to CAPE perturbations exceeding 1000 J kg−1, representing significant perturbations that could promote storm intensification or decay. Severe thunderstorms may generate high-impact weather phenomena, such as tornadoes, high winds, hail, and heavy rainfall, which have substantial socioeconomic impacts. Ultimately, by contrasting characteristics of the convective storm inflow in the two regions, this study may lead to a more accurate assessment of severe weather threats.

Free access
Yuxin Zhao
,
Hengde Zhao
, and
Xiong Deng

Abstract

While numerical models have been developed for several years, some of these have been applied to ocean-state sampling. Adaptive sampling deploys limited assets using prior information; then, observation assets are concentrated in areas of greater sampling value, which is very suitable for an extensive and dynamic marine environment. The improved resolution allows numerical models to be used on mobile platforms. However, the existing adaptive sampling framework for mobile platforms lacks regular interaction with the numerical model. And the observation scheme is easy to deviate from the optimal. This study sets up a closed-loop adaptive sampling framework for mobile platforms that realizes the optimization of model → sampling → model. Linking a coupled model with the sampling points of the mobile platforms, the adaptive method configures key sampling locations to determine when and where the sampling schemes are adjusted. With the aid of a coupled model, we selected an optimization algorithm for the framework and simulated the process under the twin experimental framework. This research provides theoretical technical support for the combination of model and mobile sampling platforms.

Significance Statement

The ocean is very difficult to observe because it is so vast. How to deploy observing assets is a question worth investigating. We designed an adaptive sampling framework for mobile observing platforms to improve the prediction accuracy of numerical models. This framework uses the prediction to design the observation scheme, then the observation to update the prediction, and then the updated prediction to adjust the sampling scheme, which achieves closed-loop optimization. We first selected an optimization algorithm for this framework by comparing experiments. Based on the optimization algorithm, we simulated the closed-loop optimization process. Simulation results show that this framework can significantly increase the efficiency of long-term ocean observations with mobile devices.

Free access
J. E. Jack Reeves Eyre
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Dongxiao Zhang
,
Elizabeth J. Thompson
,
Christopher W. Fairall
, and
James B. Edson

Abstract

High-frequency wind measurements from Saildrone autonomous surface vehicles are used to calculate wind stress in the tropical east Pacific. Comparison between direct covariance (DC) and bulk wind stress estimates demonstrates very good agreement. Building on previous work that showed the bulk input data were reliable, our results lend credibility to the DC estimates. Wind flow distortion by Saildrones is comparable to or smaller than other platforms. Motion correction results in realistic wind spectra, albeit with signatures of swell-coherent wind fluctuations that may be unrealistically strong. Fractional differences between DC and bulk wind stress magnitude are largest at wind speeds below 4 m s−1. The size of this effect, however, depends on choice of stress direction assumptions. Past work has shown the importance of using current-relative (instead of Earth-relative) winds to achieve accurate wind stress magnitude. We show that it is also important for wind stress direction.

Significance Statement

We use data from Saildrone uncrewed oceanographic research vehicles to investigate the horizontal forces applied to the surface of the ocean by the action of the wind. We compare two methods to calculate the forces: one uses several simplifying assumptions, and the other makes fewer assumptions but is error prone if the data are incorrectly processed. The two methods agree well, suggesting that Saildrone vehicles are suitable for both methods and that the data processing methods work. Our results show that it is important to consider ocean currents, as well as winds, in order to achieve accurate magnitude and direction of the surface forces.

Open access
Trevor W. Harrison
,
Nate Clemett
,
Brian Polagye
, and
Jim Thomson

Abstract

Tidal currents, particularly in narrow channels, can be challenging to characterize due to high current speeds (>1 m s−1), strong spatial gradients, and relatively short synoptic windows. To assess tidal currents in Agate Pass, Washington, we cross evaluated data products from an array of acoustically tracked underwater floats and from acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) in both station-keeping and drifting modes. While increasingly used in basin-scale science, underwater floats have seen limited use in coastal environments. This study presents the first application of a float array toward small-scale (<1 km), high-resolution (<5 m) measurements of mean currents in energetic tidal channel and utilizes a new prototype float, the μFloat, designed specifically for sampling in dynamic coastal waters. We show that a float array (20 floats) can provide data with similar quality to ADCPs, with measurements of horizontal velocity differing by less than 10% of nominal velocity, except during periods of low flow (0.1 m s−1). Additionally, floats provided measurements of the three-dimensional temperature field, demonstrating their unique ability to simultaneously resolve in situ properties that cannot be remotely observed.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this research was to validate measurements of tidal currents in a fast-flowing tidal channel using a prototype technology composed of 20 drifting underwater sensors called μFloats (“microFloats”) and five surface buoys against standard devices (acoustic Doppler current profilers). Float measurements matched those from the standard devices within 10% of the mean water speed and simultaneously provided three-dimensional mapping of temperature in the test region. Results demonstrate how moderate numbers of simultaneously deployed μFloats can provide high-resolution sensing capacity that will improve our understanding of physical, chemical, and biological processes in coastal waters.

Free access
Yibo Zhang
,
Shengyi Jiao
,
Yuzhe Wang
,
Yonggang Wang
, and
Xianqing Lv

Abstract

The Chebyshev polynomial fitting (CPF) method has been proved to be effective to construct reliable cotidal charts for the eight major tidal constituents (M2, S2, K1, O1, N2, K2, P1, and Q1) and six minor tidal constituents (2N2, J1, L2, Mu2, Nu2, and T2) near Hawaii in Part I and Part II, respectively. In this paper, this method is extended to estimate the harmonic constants of four long-period tidal constituents (Mf, Mm, Sa, and Ssa). The harmonic constants obtained by this method were compared with those from the TPXO9, Finite Element Solutions 2014 (FES2014), and Empirical Ocean Tide 20 (EOT20) models, using benchmark data from satellite altimeters and eight tide gauges. The accuracies of the Mf and Mm constituents derived from the CPF method are comparable to those from the models, but the accuracies of the Sa and Ssa constituents are significantly higher than those from the FES2014 and EOT20 models. The results indicate that the CPF method is also effective for estimating harmonic constants of long-period tidal constituents. Furthermore, since the CPF method relies only on satellite altimeter data, it is an easier-to-use method than these ocean tide models.

Free access
Brian J. Fitzgerald
,
J. Broccolo
, and
K. Garrett

Abstract

The Mount Washington Observatory Regional Mesonet (MWRM) is a network of 18 remote meteorological monitoring stations (as of 2022), including the Auto Road Vertical Profile (ARVP), located across the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire. Each station measures temperature and relative humidity, with additional variables at many locations. All stations need to withstand the frequent combination of intense cold, high precipitation amounts, icing, and hurricane-force winds in a mountain environment. Due to these challenges, the MWRM employs rugged instrumentation, an innovative radio-communications relay approach, and carefully selected sites that balance ideal measuring environments with station survivability. Data collected from the MWRM are used operationally by forecasters (including Mount Washington Observatory and National Weather Service staff) to validate model guidance, by alpine and climate scientists, by recreationalists accessing conditions in the backcountry, by groups operating on the mountain (Cog Railway, toll Auto Road), and by search and rescue organizations. This paper provides a detailed description of the network, with emphasis on how the challenging climate and terrain of this mountain region impacts sensor selection, site maintenance, and overall operation.

Significance Statement

The mountain environment is a heterogeneous landscape, and interactions between the atmosphere and terrain can cause a wide variety of conditions across time and space. Our network of remote stations at different elevations across the White Mountains allows data users to understand how the weather varies spatially across the mountain range where conditions on higher peaks can be drastically, and dangerously, different. Sharing information about the MWRM can help other groups establish networks in similar challenging environments, and broaden our understanding of weather and climate in mountainous regions.

Free access