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Christopher A. Fiebrich, Kevin R. Brinson, Rezaul Mahmood, Stuart A. Foster, Megan Schargorodski, Nathan L. Edwards, Christopher A. Redmond, Jennie R. Atkins, Jeffrey A. Andresen, and Xiaomao Lin

Abstract

Although they share many common qualities in design and operation, mesonetworks across the United States were established independently and organically over the last several decades. In numerous instances, the unique ways each network matured and developed new protocols has led to important lessons learned. These experiences have been shared in informal ways among various network operators over the years to promote reliable operation. As existing networks begin to introduce new sensors and technologies, and as new networks come online, there is a common need for guidance on best practices. This paper aims to formally provide recommendations to improve and harmonize the various aspects of operating a “mesonet,” including siting, sensors, maintenance, quality assurance, and data processing.

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S. Mahagammulla Gamage, R. J. Sica, G. Martucci, and A. Haefele

Abstract

We present a one-dimensional variational (1D Var) retrieval of fifth-generation European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast reanalysis (ERA5) temperature and relative humidity profiles above Payerne, Switzerland, assimilating raw backscatter measurements from the MeteoSwiss Raman Lidar for Meteorological Observations (RALMO). Our reanalysis is called ERA5-reRH. We use an optimal estimation method to perform the 1D Var data retrieval. The forward model combines the Raman lidar equation with the Hyland and Wexler expression for water vapor saturation pressure. The error covariance matrix of ERA5 was derived from the differences between ERA5 and a set of 50 special radiosoundings that have not been assimilated into ERA5. We validate ERA5-reRH, ERA5, and RALMO temperature and relative humidity profiles against the same set of special radiosoundings and found the best agreement was with our reanalysis, with a bias of less than 2% relative humidity with respect to water (%RHw) and a spread of less than 8%RHw below 8 km in terms of relative humidity. Improvements for temperature in our reanalysis are only found in the boundary layer, as ERA5 assimilates a large number of upper-air temperature observations. Our retrieval also provides a full uncertainty budget of the reanalyzed temperature and relative humidity including both random and systematic uncertainties.

Open access
Nathan D. Anderson, Kathleen A. Donohue, Makio C. Honda, Meghan F. Cronin, and Dongxiao Zhang

Abstract

The deep ocean is severely undersampled. Whereas shipboard measurements provide irregular spatial and temporal records, moored records establish deep ocean high-resolution time series, but only at limited locations. Here, highlights and challenges of measuring abyssal temperature and salinity on the Kuroshio Extension Observatory (KEO) mooring (32.3°N, 144.6°E) from 2013 to 2019 are described. Using alternating SeaBird 37-SMP instruments on annual deployments, an apparent fresh drift of 0.03–0.06 psu was observed, with each newly deployed sensor returning to historical norms near 34.685 psu. Recurrent salinity discontinuities were pronounced between the termination of each deployment and the initiation of the next, yet consistent pre- and postdeployment calibrations suggested the freshening was “real.” Because abyssal salinities do not vary by 0.03–0.06 psu between deployment locations, the contradictory salinities during mooring overlap pointed toward a sensor issue that self-corrects prior to postcalibration. A persistent nepheloid layer, unique to KEO and characterized by murky, sediment-filled water, is likely responsible for sediment accretion in the conductivity cell. As sediment (or biofouling) increasingly clogs the instrument, salinity drifts toward a fresh bias. During ascent, the cell is flushed, clearing the clogged instrument. In contrast to salinity, deep ocean temperatures appear to increase from 2013 to 2017 by 0.0059°C, whereas a comparison with historical deep temperature measurements does not support a secular temperature increase in the region. It is suggested that decadal or interannual variability associated with the Kuroshio Extension may have an imprint on deep temperatures. Recommendations are discussed for future abyssal temperature and salinity measurements.

Open access
Takuji Kubota, Shinta Seto, Masaki Satoh, Tomoe Nasuno, Toshio Iguchi, Takeshi Masaki, John M. Kwiatkowski, and Riko Oki

Abstract

An assumption related to clouds is one of uncertain factors in precipitation retrievals by the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on board the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. While an attenuation due to cloud ice is negligibly small for Ku and Ka bands, attenuation by cloud liquid water is larger in the Ka band and estimating precipitation intensity with high accuracy from Ka-band observations can require developing a method to estimate the attenuation due to cloud liquid water content (CLWC). This paper describes a CLWC database used in the DPR level-2 algorithm for the GPM V06A product. In the algorithm, the CLWC value is assumed using the database with inputs of precipitation-related variables, temperature, and geolocation information. A calculation of the database was made using the 3.5-km-mesh global atmospheric simulation derived from the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM) global cloud-system-resolving model. Impacts of current CLWC assumptions for surface precipitation estimates were evaluated by comparisons of precipitation retrieval results between default values and 0 mg m−3 of the CLWC. The impacts were quantified by the normalized mean absolute difference (NMAD) and the NMAD values showed 2.3% for the Ku, 9.9% for the Ka, and 6.5% for the dual-frequency algorithms in global averages, while they were larger in the tropics than in high latitudes. Effects of the precipitation estimates from the CLWC assumption were examined further in terms of retrieval processes affected by the CLWC assumption. This study emphasizes the CLWC assumption provided more effects on the precipitation estimates through estimating path-integrated attenuation due to rain.

Open access
Gregory Sinnett, Kristen A. Davis, Andrew J. Lucas, Sarah N. Giddings, Emma Reid, Madeleine E. Harvey, and Ian Stokes

Abstract

Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) uses Raman scatter from laser light pulsed through an optical fiber to observe temperature along a cable. Temperature resolution across broad scales (seconds to many months, and centimeters to kilometers) make DTS an attractive oceanographic tool. Although DTS is an established technology, oceanographic DTS observations are rare since significant deployment, calibration, and operational challenges exist in dynamic oceanographic environments. Here, results from an experiment designed to address likely oceanographic DTS configuration, calibration, and data processing challenges provide guidance for oceanographic DTS applications. Temperature error due to suboptimal calibration under difficult deployment conditions is quantified for several common scenarios. Alternative calibration, analysis, and deployment techniques that help mitigate this error and facilitate successful DTS application in dynamic ocean conditions are discussed.

Open access
Graig Sutherland, Nancy Soontiens, Fraser Davidson, Gregory C. Smith, Natacha Bernier, Hauke Blanken, Douglas Schillinger, Guillaume Marcotte, Johannes Röhrs, Knut-Frode Dagestad, Kai H. Christensen, and Øyvind Breivik

Abstract

The water following characteristics of six different drifter types are investigated using two different operational marine environmental prediction systems: one produced by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the other produced by MET Norway (METNO). These marine prediction systems include ocean circulation models, atmospheric models, and surface wave models. Two leeway models are tested for use in drift object prediction: an implicit leeway model where the Stokes drift is implicit in the leeway coefficient, and an explicit leeway model where the Stokes drift is provided by the wave model. Both leeway coefficients are allowed to vary in direction and time in order to perfectly reproduce the observed drifter trajectory. This creates a time series of the leeway coefficients that exactly reproduce the observed drifter trajectories. Mean values for the leeway coefficients are consistent with previous studies that utilized direct observations of the leeway. For all drifters and models, the largest source of variance in the leeway coefficient occurs at the inertial frequency and the evidence suggests it is related to uncertainties in the ocean inertial currents.

Open access
Sabrina Schnitt, Ulrich Löhnert, and René Preusker

Abstract

High-resolution boundary layer water vapor profile observations are essential for understanding the interplay between shallow convection, cloudiness, and climate in the trade wind atmosphere. As current observation techniques can be limited by low spatial or temporal resolution, the synergistic benefit of combining ground-based microwave radiometer (MWR) and dual-frequency radar is investigated by analyzing the retrieval information content and uncertainty. Synthetic MWR brightness temperatures, as well as simulated dual-wavelength ratios of two radar frequencies are generated for a combination of Ka and W band (KaW), as well as differential absorption radar (DAR) G-band frequencies (167 and 174.8 GHz, G2). The synergy analysis is based on an optimal estimation scheme by varying the configuration of the observation vector. Combining MWR and KaW only marginally increases the retrieval information content. The synergy of MWR with G2 radar is more beneficial due to increasing degrees of freedom (4.5), decreasing retrieval errors, and a more realistic retrieved profile within the cloud layer. The information and profile below and within the cloud is driven by the radar observations, whereas the synergistic benefit is largest above the cloud layer, where information content is enhanced compared to an MWR-only or DAR-only setup. For full synergistic benefits, however, G-band radar sensitivities need to allow full-cloud profiling; in this case, the results suggest that a combined retrieval of MWR and G-band DAR can help close the observational gap of current techniques.

Open access
Luca Baldini and William Emery
Open access
Jothiram Vivekanandan, Virendra P. Ghate, Jorgen B. Jensen, Scott M. Ellis, and M. Christian Schwartz

Abstract

This paper describes a technique for estimating the liquid water content (LWC) and a characteristic particle diameter in stratocumulus clouds using radar and lidar observations. The uncertainty in LWC estimate from radar and lidar measurements is significantly reduced once the characteristic particle diameter is known. The technique is independent of the drop size distribution. It is applicable for a broad range of W-band reflectivity Z between −30 and 0 dBZ and all values of lidar backscatter β observations. No partitioning of cloud or drizzle is required on the basis of an arbitrary threshold of Z as in prior studies. A method for estimating droplet diameter and LWC was derived from the electromagnetic simulations of radar and lidar observations. In situ stratocumulus cloud and drizzle probe spectra were input to the electromagnetic simulation. The retrieved droplet diameter and LWC were validated using in situ measurements from the southeastern Pacific Ocean. The retrieval method was applied to radar and lidar measurements from the northeastern Pacific. Uncertainty in the retrieved droplet diameter and LWC that are due to the measurement errors in radar and lidar backscatter measurements are 7% and 14%, respectively. The retrieved LWC was validated using the concurrent G-band radiometer estimates of the liquid water path.

Open access
Andrew Mahre, Tian-You Yu, and David J. Bodine

Abstract

As the existing NEXRAD network nears the end of its life cycle, intense study and planning are underway to design a viable replacement system. Ideally, such a system would offer improved temporal resolution compared to NEXRAD, without a loss in data quality. In this study, scan speedup techniques—such as beam multiplexing (BMX) and radar imaging—are tested to assess their viability in obtaining high-quality rapid updates for a simulated long-range weather radar. The results of this study—which uses a Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model–simulated supercell case—show that BMX generally improves data quality for a given scan time or can provide a speedup factor of 1.69–2.85 compared to NEXRAD while maintaining the same level of data quality. Additionally, radar imaging is shown to improve data quality and/or decrease scan time when selectively used; however, deleterious effects are observed when imaging is used in regions with sharp reflectivity gradients parallel to the beam spoiling direction. Consideration must be given to the subsequent loss of sensitivity and beam broadening. Finally, imaging is shown to have an effect on the radar-derived mesocyclone strength (ΔV) of a simulated supercell. Because BMX and radar imaging are most easily achieved with an all-digital phased array radar (PAR), these results make a strong argument for the use of all-digital PAR for high-resolution weather observations. It is believed that the results from this study can inform decisions about possible scanning strategies and design of a NEXRAD replacement system for high-resolution weather radar data.

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