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Luis A. Gil-Alana
and
Marlon J. Castillo

Abstract

In this paper, we perform a fractional integration analysis of the average monthly temperature and precipitation data in 17 departments of Guatemala. Two analyses are performed, the first with the original data and the second with the anomalies based on the period January 1994–December 1999. The results indicate that there is a significant positive time trend in temperatures in the departments of Guatemala (0.0045°C month−1), Quetzaltenango (0.0040°C month−1), Escuintla (0.0034°C month−1), and Huehuetenango (0.0047°C month−1), whereas in the case of precipitation no time trend was observed. An important relevant result is that the departments of El Progreso, Baja Verapaz, and Guatemala occupy the second, third and fourth highest levels of persistence for both temperatures and precipitation, with Sacatepéquez and Quiché displaying the first places for temperature and precipitation, respectively, thus making these five departments the ones that are most vulnerable to climate change since a shock would take a long time to disappear.

Open access
Mathieu Lachapelle
,
Hadleigh D. Thompson
,
Nicolas R. Leroux
, and
Julie M. Thériault

Abstract

This study aims to characterize the shapes and fall speeds of ice pellets formed in various atmospheric conditions and to investigate the possibility to use a laser-optical disdrometer to distinguish between ice pellets and other types of precipitation. To do so, four ice pellet events were documented using manual observations, macrophotography, and laser-optical disdrometer data. First, various ice pellet fall speeds and shapes, including spherical, bulged, fractured, and irregular particles, were associated with distinct atmospheric conditions. A higher fraction of bulged and fractured ice pellets was observed when solid precipitation was completely melted aloft while more irregular particles were observed during partial melting. These characteristics affected the diameter–fall speed relations measured. Second, the measurements of particles’ fall speed and diameter show that ice pellets could be differentiated from rain or freezing rain. Ice pellets larger than 1.5 mm tend to fall > 0.5 m s−1 slower than raindrops of the same size. In addition, the fall speed of a small fraction of ice pellets was < 2 m s−1 regardless of their size, as compared with a fall speed > 3 m s−1 for ice pellets with diameter > 1.5 mm. Video analysis suggests that these slower particles could be ice pellets passing through the laser-optical disdrometer after colliding with the head of the instrument. Overall, these findings contribute to a better understanding of the microphysics of ice pellets and their measurement using a laser-optical disdrometer.

Significance Statement

Ice pellets are challenging to forecast and to detect automatically. In this study, we documented the fall speed and physical characteristics of ice pellets during various atmospheric conditions using a combination of a laser-optical disdrometer, manual observations, and macrophotography images. Relationships were found between the shape and fall speed of ice pellets. These findings could be used to refine the parameterization of ice pellets in atmospheric models and, consequently, improve the forecast of impactful winter precipitation types such as freezing rain. Furthermore, they will also help to physically interpret laser-optical disdrometer data during ice pellets and freezing rain.

Open access
Kelley M. Murphy
,
Lawrence D. Carey
,
Christopher J. Schultz
,
Nathan Curtis
, and
Kristin M. Calhoun

Abstract

A unique storm identification and tracking method is analyzed in varying storm environments within the United States spanning 273 hours in 2018. The methodology uses a quantity calculated through fusion of radar-based vertically integrated liquid (VIL) and satellite-based GLM flash rate density (FRD) called VILFRD to identify storms in space and time. This research analyzes GLM data use within VILFRD for the first time (method original: O), assesses four modifications to VILFRD implementation to find a more stable storm size with time (method new: N), larger storms (method original dilated: OD), or both (method new dilated: ND), and compares VILFRD methods with storm tracking using the 35-dBZ isosurface at −10°C (method non-VILFRD: NV). A case study analysis from 2019 is included to assess methods on a smaller scale and introduce a “lightning only” (LO) version of VILFRD. Large study results highlight that VILFRD-based storm identification produces smaller storms with more lightning than the NV method, and the NV method produces larger storms with a more stable size over time. Methods N and ND create smaller storm size fluctuations, but size changes more often. Dilation (OD, ND) creates larger storms and almost double the number of storms identified relative to nondilated methods (O, N, NV). The case study results closely resemble the large sample results and show that the LO method identifies storms with more lightning and shorter durations. Overall, these findings can aid in choice of storm tracking method based on desired user application and promote further testing of a lightning-only version of VILFRD.

Restricted access
Jielun Sun
,
Volker Wulfmeyer
,
Florian Späth
,
Holger Vömel
,
William Brown
, and
Steven Oncley

Abstract

The hydrostatic equilibrium addresses the approximate balance between the positive force of the vertical pressure gradient and the negative gravity force and has been widely assumed for atmospheric applications. The hydrostatic imbalance of the mean atmospheric state for the acceleration of vertical motions in the vertical momentum balance is investigated using tower, the global positioning system radiosonde, and Doppler lidar and radar observations throughout the diurnally varying atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) under clear-sky conditions. Because of the negligibly small mean vertical velocity, the acceleration of vertical motions is dominated by vertical variations of vertical turbulent velocity variances. The imbalance is found to be mainly due to the vertical turbulent transport of changing air density as a result of thermal expansion/contraction in response to air temperature changes following surface temperature changes. In contrast, any pressure change associated with air temperature changes is small, and the positive vertical pressure-gradient force is strongly influenced by its background value. The vertical variation of the turbulent velocity variance from its vertical increase in the lower convective boundary layer (CBL) to its vertical decrease in the upper CBL is observed to be associated with the sign change of the imbalance from positive to negative due to the vertical decrease of the positive vertical pressure-gradient force and the relative increase of the negative gravity force as a result of the decreasing upward transport of the low-density air. The imbalance is reduced significantly at night but does not steadily approach zero. Understanding the development of hydrostatic imbalance has important implications for understanding large-scale atmosphere, especially for cloud development.

Significance Statement

It is well known that the hydrostatic imbalance between the positive pressure-gradient force due to the vertical decrease of atmospheric pressure and the negative gravity forces in the vertical momentum balance equation has important impacts on the vertical acceleration of atmospheric vertical motions. Vertical motions for mass, momentum, and energy transfers contribute significantly to changing atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics. This study investigates the often-assumed hydrostatic equilibrium and investigate how the hydrostatic imbalance is developed using field observations in the atmospheric boundary layer under clear-sky conditions. The results reveal that hydrostatic imbalance can develop from the large-eddy turbulent transfer of changing air density in response to the surface diabatic heating/cooling. The overwhelming turbulence in response to large-scale thermal forcing and mechanical work of the vast Earth surface contributes to the hydrostatic imbalance on large spatial and temporal scales in numerical weather forecast and climate models.

Open access
Troy J. Zaremba
,
Robert M. Rauber
,
Larry Di Girolamo
,
Jesse R. Loveridge
, and
Greg M. McFarquhar

Abstract

Recent studies from the Seeded and Natural Orographic Wintertime Clouds: The Idaho Experiment (SNOWIE) demonstrated definitive radar evidence of seeding signatures in winter orographic clouds during three intensive operation periods (IOPs) where the background signal from natural precipitation was weak and a radar signal attributable to seeding could be identified as traceable seeding lines. Except for the three IOPs where seeding was detected, background natural snowfall was present during seeding operations and no clear seeding signatures were detected. This paper provides a quantitative analysis to assess if orographic cloud seeding effects are detectable using radar when background precipitation is present. We show that a 5-dB change in equivalent reflectivity factor Ze is required to stand out against background natural Ze variability. This analysis considers four radar wavelengths, a range of background ice water contents (IWC) from 0.012 to 1.214 g m−3, and additional IWC introduced by seeding ranging from 0.012 to 0.486 g m−3. The upper-limit values of seeded IWC are based on measurements of IWC from the Nevzorov probe employed on the University of Wyoming King Air aircraft during SNOWIE. This analysis implies that seeding effects will be undetectable using radar within background snowfall unless the background IWC is small, and the seeding effects are large. It therefore remains uncertain whether seeding had no effect on cloud microstructure, and therefore produced no signature on radar, or whether seeding did have an effect, but that effect was undetectable against the background reflectivity associated with naturally produced precipitation.

Significance Statement

Operational glaciogenic seeding programs targeting wintertime orographic clouds are funded by a range of stakeholders to increase snowpack. Glaciogenic seeding signatures have been observed by radar when natural background snowfall is weak but never when heavy background precipitation was present. This analysis quantitatively shows that seeding effects will be undetectable using radar reflectivity under conditions of background snowfall unless the background snowfall is weak, and the seeding effects are large. It therefore remains uncertain whether seeding had no effect on cloud microstructure, and therefore produced no signature on radar, or whether seeding did have an effect, but that effect was undetectable against the background reflectivity associated with naturally produced precipitation. Alternative assessment methods such as trace element analysis in snow, aircraft measurements, precipitation measurements, and modeling should be used to determine the efficacy of orographic cloud seeding when heavy background precipitation is present.

Restricted access
Jingyi Niu
,
Ping Xie
,
Yan-Fang Sang
,
Liping Zhang
,
Linqian Wu
,
Yanxin Zhu
,
Bellie Sivakumar
,
Jingqun Huo
, and
Deliang Chen

Abstract

Accurate evaluation of the long-range dependence in hydroclimatic time series is important for understanding its inherent characteristics. However, the reliability of its evaluation may be questioned, since different methods may yield various outcomes. In this study, we evaluate the performances of seven widely used methods for estimating long-range dependence: absolute moment estimation, difference variance estimation, residuals variance estimation, rescaled range estimation, periodogram estimation, wavelet estimation (WLE), and discrete second derivative estimation (DSDE). We examine the influences of six major factors: data length, mean value, three nonstationary components (trend, jump, and periodicity), and one stationary component (short-range dependence). Results from the Monte Carlo experiments show that WLE and DSDE have greater credibility than the other five methods. They also reveal that data length, as well as stationary and nonstationary components, have notable influences on the evaluation of long-range dependence. Following it, we use the WLE and DSDE methods to evaluate the long-range dependence of precipitation during 1961–2015 on the Tibetan Plateau. The results indicate that the precipitation variability mirrors the long-range dependence of the Indian summer monsoon but with obvious spatial difference. This result is consistent with the observations made by previous studies, further confirming the superiority of the WLE and DSDE methods. The outcomes from this study have important implications for modeling and prediction of hydroclimatic time series.

Restricted access
Shanchuan Xiao
,
Di Cheng
,
Ning Hu
,
Yongwei Wang
,
Huilin Zhang
,
Yuwang Gou
,
Xiang Li
, and
Zhenglin Lv

Abstract

The use of high-albedo roof materials is a simple and effective way to reduce roof temperature, conserve electricity required for air conditioning, and ease power shortages. In this study, three common cooling roof materials, namely, white elastomeric acrylic (AC) paint, a white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane, and an aluminum foil composite film–covered styrene–butadiene–styrene bituminous (SBS) membranes, were chosen to conduct a nearly 4-yr experiment in Nanjing, China, to study the difference in surface temperatures (ΔTs ) between the cooling roof materials and concrete. The results showed that even during heatwaves, ΔTs was only 2.1°C (AC), 3.8°C (TPO), and 7.0°C (SBS) on average and 6.9°–18.2°C to the greatest extent, which was far less than those reported by many studies. The intensity of solar radiation where the cooling roof material is used and the roof material’s albedo contribute to the difference in ΔTs . The initial albedo of the AC was 0.53 and dropped to 0.16 due to rapid aging, which is close to that of concrete, in less than 3 months. The albedo of TPO and SBS dropped to 0.16 after 9 and 4.7 years, respectively. Further, SBS is the optimal choice in terms of cost and performance, costing only USD 0.67 m−2 yr−1. However, its albedo exhibits seasonal fluctuations and is significantly affected by air pollution. In particular, particulate matter settles on the surface, thereby decreasing the albedo. Nevertheless, manual cleaning can recover the albedo, extend service life, and further reduce costs.

Open access
Rouyi Jiang
,
Xiaopeng Cui
,
Jian Lin
, and
Jia Tian

Abstract

Southwest China (SWC) possesses complicated topography with frequent geological activities, where heavy precipitation occurs frequently in warm seasons. Few previous studies on extreme precipitation were carried out at hourly scales. In this study, spatiotemporal variations of the extreme hourly precipitation (EHP) over SWC during the warm season of 1981–2020 and the involved mechanisms are investigated. Results show that the threshold and intensity of EHP present similar spatial distribution—lower (higher) in the west (east) part of SWC, while the EHP frequency is opposite. The long-term trend of EHP amount shows a more significant positive tendency than that of hourly precipitation (HP) amount due to synchronous increases in intensity and frequency. The significant increasing trend of EHP occurs in areas above 500-m terrain height, with a weak increasing trend below 500 m (e.g., Chongqing and eastern Sichuan). EHP appears mainly from June to August and exhibits a bimodal distribution in diurnal variation. The mechanism analysis demonstrates that occurrences of EHP are generally accompanied by positive anomalies of temperature, humidity, and geopotential height. Anomalous cyclonic circulation can also be found in the low-level wind field. The westward and northward extension of the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH) as well as temperature rise may be the primary reason for the increase of EHP. For Chongqing and eastern Sichuan, the anticyclone circulation in low-level and the significantly weakened water vapor flux convergence cause poor moisture and dynamic conditions, inhibiting the growth of EHP.

Significance Statement

Heavy precipitation occurs frequently during the warm season in Southwest China (SWC), often causing severe impacts on human safety and economic property. This study analyses spatiotemporal variations of the extreme hourly precipitation (EHP) over SWC during the warm season of 1981–2020 and the involved mechanisms. The increasing trend of EHP far exceeds that of hourly precipitation (HP), especially in areas above 500 m. The westward and northward extension of the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH) and temperature rise may be the main reason for the increase of EHP. For areas below 500 m (e.g., Chongqing and eastern Sichuan), poor moisture and dynamic conditions inhibited the growth of EHP.

Restricted access
Megan S. Mallard
,
Kevin D. Talgo
,
Tanya L. Spero
,
Jared H. Bowden
, and
Christopher G. Nolte

Abstract

Phenological indicators (PI) are used to study changes to animal and plant behavior in response to seasonal cycles, and they can be useful to quantify the potential impacts of climate change on ecosystems. Here, multiple global climate models and emission scenarios are used to drive dynamically downscaled simulations using the WRF Model over the contiguous United States (CONUS). The wintertime dormancy of plants [chilling units (CU)], timing of spring onset [extended spring indices (SI)], and frequency of proceeding false springs are calculated from regional climate simulations covering historical (1995–2005) and future periods (2025–2100). Southern parts of the CONUS show projected CU decreases (inhibiting some plants from flowering or fruiting), while the northern CONUS experiences an increase (possibly causing plants to break dormancy too early, becoming vulnerable to disease or freezing). Spring advancement (earlier SI dates) is projected, with decadal trends ranging from approximately 1–4 days per decade over the CONUS, comparable to or exceeding those found in observational studies. Projected changes in risk of false spring (hard freezes following spring onset) vary across members of the ensemble and regions of the CONUS, but generally western parts of the CONUS are projected to experience increased risk of false springs. These projected changes to PI connote significant effects on cycles of plants, animals, and ecosystems, highlighting the importance of examining temperature changes during transitional seasons.

Significance Statement

This study examines how phenological indicators, which track the life cycles of plants and animals, could change from 2025 to 2100 as simulated in a regional climate model over the contiguous United States. Chilling units quantify the presence of cooler weather that can benefit plants prior to their growing season. They are projected to decrease in the southern United States, possibly inhibiting agricultural production. Spring onset is projected to occur earlier in the year, advancing by 1–4 days on average over each future decade. Risk of false springs (damaging hard freezes after spring onset) increases in the western United States. Our findings highlight the need to understand effects of climate change during transitional seasons, which can impact agriculture and ecosystems.

Restricted access
Darryn W. Waugh
,
Benjamin Zaitchik
,
Anna A. Scott
,
Peter C. Ibsen
,
G. Darrel Jenerette
,
Jason Schatz
, and
Christopher J. Kucharik

Abstract

Monitoring and understanding the variability of heat within cities is important for urban planning and public health, and the number of studies measuring intraurban temperature variability is growing. Recognizing that the physiological effects of heat depend on humidity as well as temperature, measurement campaigns have included measurements of relative humidity alongside temperature. However, the role the spatial structure in humidity, independent from temperature, plays in intraurban heat variability is unknown. Here we use summer temperature and humidity from networks of stationary sensors in multiple cities in the United States to show spatial variations in the absolute humidity within these cities are weak. This variability in absolute humidity plays an insignificant role in the spatial variability of the heat index and humidity index (humidex), and the spatial variability of the heat metrics is dominated by temperature variability. Thus, results from previous studies that considered only intraurban variability in temperature will carry over to intraurban heat variability. Also, this suggests increases in humidity from green infrastructure interventions designed to reduce temperature will be minimal. In addition, a network of sensors that only measures temperature is sufficient to quantify the spatial variability of heat across these cities when combined with humidity measured at a single location, allowing for lower-cost heat monitoring networks.

Significance Statement

Monitoring the variability of heat within cities is important for urban planning and public health. While the physiological effects of heat depend on temperature and humidity, it is shown that there are only weak spatial variations in the absolute humidity within nine U.S. cities, and the spatial variability of heat metrics is dominated by temperature variability. This suggests increases in humidity will be minimal resulting from green infrastructure interventions designed to reduce temperature. It also means a network of sensors that only measure temperature is sufficient to quantify the spatial variability of heat across these cities when combined with humidity measured at a single location.

Restricted access