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Laurence Coursol
,
Sylvain Heilliette
, and
Pierre Gauthier

Abstract

With hyperspectral instruments measuring radiation emitted by Earth and its atmosphere in the thermal infrared range in multiple channels, several studies were made to select a subset of channels in order to reduce the number of channels to be used in a data assimilation system. An optimal selection of channels based on the information content depends on several factors related to observation and background error statistics and the assimilation system itself. An optimal channel selection for the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) was obtained and then compared to selections made for different NWP systems. For instance, the channel selection of Carminati has 224 channels also present in our optimal selection, which includes 455 channels. However, in terms of analysis error variance, the difference between the two selections is small. Integrated over the whole profile, the relative difference is equal to 15.3% and 4.5% for temperature and humidity, respectively. Also, different observation error covariance matrices were considered to evaluate the impact of this matrix on channel selection. Even though the channels selected optimally were different in terms of which channels were selected for the various R matrices, the results in terms of analysis error are similar.

Significance Statement

Satellites measure radiation from Earth and its atmosphere in the thermal infrared. Those radiance data contain thousands of measurements, called channels, and thus, a selection needs to be done retaining most of the information content since the large number of individual pieces of information is not usable for numerical weather prediction systems. The goal of this paper is to find an optimal selection for the instrument CrIS and to compare this selection with selections made for different numerical weather prediction systems. It was found that even though the channels selected optimally were different in terms of which channels were selected compared to other selections, the results in terms of precision of the analysis are similar and the results in terms of analysis error are similar due to the nature of hyperspectral instruments, which have multiple Jacobians overlapping.

Open access
Tim Cowan
,
Matthew C. Wheeler
,
David H. Cobon
,
John B. Gaughan
,
Andrew G. Marshall
,
Wendy Sharples
,
Jillian McCulloch
, and
Chelsea Jarvis

Abstract

Exposure to weather extremes, such as heatwaves, can cause discomfort, harm, or death in grazing cattle in pastures. While the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issues sheep graziers alerts when there is an exposure risk to chill for livestock, there is no equivalent alert for heat stress for Australian cattle. Before any such alert system can be developed, a robust assessment and comparison of relevant cattle thermal stress indices is required. This study evaluates and compares the multiyear climatology of three cattle thermal heat stress indices across Australia in the warm season months (October–March). The same indices are then used to assess historical Australian heat events where cattle died from heat exposure. These events are based off official records and survey responses from northern Australian graziers. In the seven historical heat events studied, high relative humidity combined with low wind speeds, or high solar exposure combined with high surface temperatures, exacerbated the impact of heat stress on cattle. In the two historic events where multiple compounding weather factors combined (e.g., high humidity, low winds, and high solar exposure), the cattle mortality levels were significantly high. These events were characterized by rainy conditions followed by a rapid warming, meaning cattle were likely unable to acclimatize to such dramatic temperature changes. This study highlights the need for using more than one thermal stress index when verifying cattle heat stress events and, importantly, calls for further research on standardizing the risk classifications of these thermal indices for cattle in Australia’s variable climate.

Significance Statement

Cattle across Australia’s northern tropical and semiarid regions often experience extreme hot and humid conditions in the summer months, which increases the risk of heat stress. This is the first study of its kind to evaluate observations of cattle heat stress across Australia using indices that describe the combined effects of solar exposure, wind speed, relative humidity, and surface temperatures. These cattle heat stress indices can be used to evaluate historical cattle mortality events in feedlots and in grazed pastures. This study lays the groundwork for the development of Australian-wide cattle heat stress forecast products on the 7-day to multiweek time scales.

Open access
Saranya Sasidharan
,
V. K. Anandan
, and
Sourin Mukhopadhyay

Abstract

This paper describes the rainfall and microphysical structure of precipitation associated with Tropical Cyclone Ockhi using polarimetric Doppler weather radar (PDWR) products. The study reports the statistical analysis of precipitation types of tropical cyclone cloud systems over the north Indian Ocean, by combining the observations of the PDWR and disdrometer for the first time. There are few studies that mention initial DWR observations of TC over this low-latitude region below 23.5°N. We tried to further carry out a statistical analysis of precipitating clouds in a cyclone from its depression stage to severe cyclonic stage. This study tries to classify and quantify the contribution of convective and stratiform rain to the total TC rainfall. Precipitating clouds have been classified into convective and stratiform based on reflectivity measurements. The vertical profiles (VPRs) of the radar reflectivity Z and the differential reflectivity Z DR obtained for the stratiform and the convective events are compared. A study of the VPR of the convective events reveals that the Z and Z DR parameters tend to increase as the raindrops descend toward the ground owing to enhanced collision–coalescence processes. The VPR of stratiform rain shows signatures of the bright band (BB). The drop size distribution (DSD) parameters and rainfall rate pertaining to the two different precipitation regimes are estimated from the radar data and have been compared. The Joss–Waldvogel Disdrometer measurements have been used to derive DSD parameters and polarimetric rain-rate relation.

Restricted access
Neil F. Laird
,
Caitlin C. Crossett
,
Catherine J. Britt
,
Nicholas D. Metz
,
Kelly Carmer
, and
Braedyn D. McBroom

Abstract

An investigation of lake effect (LE) and the associated synoptic environment is presented for days when all five lakes in the Great Lakes (GL) region had LE bands [five-lake days (5LDs)]. The study utilized an expanded database of observed LE clouds over the GL during 25 cold seasons (October–March) from 1997/98 to 2021/22. LE bands occurred on 2870 days (64% of all cold-season days). Nearly a third of all LE bands occurred during 5LDs, although 5LDs consisted of just 17.1% of LE days. A majority of 5LDs (56.5%) had lake-to-lake (L2L) bands, and these days comprised 43.5% of all L2L occurrences. 5LDs occurred with a mean of 26.1 (SD = 6.2) days per cold season until 2008/09 and then decreased to a mean of 13.8 (SD = 5.5) days during subsequent cold seasons. January and February had the largest number of consecutive LE days in the GL with a mean of 5.7 and 5.4 days, respectively. As the number of consecutive LE days increases, both the number of 5LDs and the occurrence of consecutive 5LD increase. This translates to an increased potential of heavy snowfall impacts in multiple, localized areas of the GL for extended time periods. The mean composite synoptic pattern of 5LDs exhibited characteristics consistent with lake-aggregate disturbances and showed similarity to synoptic patterns favorable for LE over one or two of the GL found by previous studies. The results demonstrate that several additional areas of the GL are often experiencing LE bands when a localized area has active LE bands occurring.

Restricted access
Hiroyuki Kusaka
,
Yuma Imai
,
Hiroki Kobayashi
,
Quang-Van Doan
, and
Thanh Ngo-Duc

Abstract

North-central Vietnam often experiences high temperatures. Foehn winds originating from the Truong Son Mountains (also known as Laos winds) are believed to contribute to abnormally high temperatures; however, no quantitative research has focused on foehn warming in Vietnam. In this study, we conducted numerical simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model to investigate the contribution of foehn warming to abnormally high temperatures in north-central Vietnam in early June 2017. Generally, May–June is the monsoon period in Vietnam. Consequently, foehn warming during this season is thought to be mainly caused by latent heating and precipitation mechanism. However, the primary factor in the cases covered in this study was foehn warming with an isentropic drawdown mechanism. Diabatic heating with turbulent diffusion and sensible heat flux from mountain slopes also plays significant roles. The warming effect of the foehn winds on the temperatures during the events was approximately 2°–3°C. It was concluded that the high temperature events from 31 May to 5 June 2017 were caused by synoptic-scale warm advection and foehn warming. Sensitivity experiments were conducted on the WRF Model, utilizing three atmospheric boundary layer turbulence schemes (YSU, ACM2, and MYNN), consistently yielding results for simulated temperature and relative humidity. The wind speed bias for the MYNN scheme was found to be lower than that of the other schemes. However, this study did not delve into the underlying reasons for these differences. The optimal performance of each scheme remains an open question.

Significance Statement

It was hypothesized that north-central Vietnam often experiences high temperatures owing to foehn winds (also known as Laos winds) descending from the Truong Son Mountains. This study conducted numerical experiments to validate this hypothesis and investigate the associated mechanisms of foehn winds in this region. Surprisingly, despite the monsoon season, the isentropic drawdown mechanism without precipitation effects provides the primary explanation for the high temperatures caused by foehn winds in north-central Vietnam, and not the latent heating and precipitation mechanism with precipitation effects that researchers expected. The results of this study contribute to better prediction of high temperatures in this region and improve our understanding of foehn winds in tropical monsoon climate zones.

Restricted access
Calvin M. Elkins
and
Deanna A. Hence

Abstract

Frequent deep convective thunderstorms and mesoscale convective systems make the Córdoba region, near the Sierras de Córdoba mountain range, one of the most active areas on Earth for hail activity. Analysis of hail observations from trained observers and social media reports cross-referenced with operational radar observations identified the convective characteristics of hail-producing convective systems in central Argentina over a 6-month period divided into early (October–December 2018) and late seasons (January–March 2019). Reflectivity and dual-polarization characteristics from the Córdoba operational radar [Radar Meteorológico Argentina (RMA1)] were used to identify the convective modes of convective cells at time of positive hail indicators. Analysis of ERA5 upper-air and surface data examined convective environments of hail events and identified representative dynamic and thermodynamic environments. A majority of early season hail-producing cells were classified as discrete convection, while discrete and multicell occurrence evened out in the late season. Most hail-producing cells initiated directly adjacent to the Sierras in the late season, while cell initiation and hail production is further spread out in the early season. Dividing convective events into dynamic/thermodynamic regimes based on values of 1000 J kg−1 of CAPE and vertical wind shear of 20 m s−1 results in most early season events reflecting shear-dominant characteristics (low CAPE, high shear) and most late-season events exhibiting CAPE-dominant characteristics (high CAPE, low shear). Strength and placement of low-level temperature and moisture anomalies/advection and upper-level jets largely defined the differences in the dominant regimes.

Significance Statement

This study used regional radar data alongside hail reports from trained observers and social media to better understand the types and timing of storms identified as producing hail, given the lower resolution of satellite studies. Dividing the hail season (October–December; January–March) showed that within hail season, early season storms tended to be singular storms that formed across the region in environments with strong vertical winds and weak instability. Late-season storms were a mix of singular storms and multicellular storm systems focused on the mountains in weak vertical winds and strong instability. These results show differences from satellite studies and identify key representative hail-producing radar features and environmental regimes for this region, which could guide hail risk analysis within the severe-weather season.

Open access
Shoobhangi Tyagi
,
Sandeep Sahany
,
Dharmendra Saraswat
,
Saroj Kanta Mishra
,
Amlendu Dubey
, and
Dev Niyogi

Abstract

The 2015 Paris Agreement outlined limiting global warming to 1.5°C relative to the preindustrial levels, necessitating the development of regional climate adaptation strategies. This requires a comprehensive understanding of how the 1.5°C rise in global temperature would translate across different regions. However, its implications on critical agricultural components, particularly blue and green water, remains understudied. This study investigates these changes using a rice-growing semiarid region in central India. The aim of this study is to initiate a discussion on the regional response of blue–green water at specific warming levels. Using different global climate models (GCMs) and shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs), the study estimated the time frame for reaching the 1.5°C warming level and subsequently investigated changes in regional precipitation, temperature, surface runoff, and blue–green water. The results reveal projected reductions in precipitation and surface runoff by approximately 5%–15% and 10%–35%, respectively, along with decrease in green and blue water by approximately 12%–1% and 40%–10%, respectively, across different GCMs and SSPs. These findings highlight 1) the susceptibility of blue–green water to the 1.5°C global warming level, 2) the narrow time frame available for the region to develop the adaptive strategies, 3) the influence of warm semiarid climate on the blue–green water dynamics, and 4) the uncertainty associated with regional assessment of a specific warming level. This study provides new insights for shaping food security strategies over highly vulnerable semiarid regions and is expected to serve as a reference for other regional blue/green water assessment studies.

Significance Statement

This study helps to drive home the message that a global agreement to limit the warming level to 1.5°C does not mean local-scale temperature (and associated hydrological) impacts would be limited to those levels. The regional changes can be more exaggerated and uncertain, and they also depend on the choice of the climate model and region. Therefore, local-scale vulnerability assessments must focus on the multidimensional assessment of a 1.5°C warmer world involving different climate models, climate-sensitive components, and regions. This information is relevant for managing vulnerable agricultural systems. This study is among the first to investigate the critical agricultural components such as the blue–green water over a semiarid Indian region, and the findings and methodology are expected to be transferable for performing regional-scale assessments elsewhere.

Restricted access
Christopher J. Schultz
,
Phillip M. Bitzer
,
Michael Antia
,
Jonathan L. Case
, and
Christopher R. Hain

Abstract

Twenty-six years of lightning data were paired with over 68 000 lightning-initiated wildfire (LIW) reports to understand lightning flash characteristics responsible for ignition in between 1995 and 2020. Results indicate that 92% of LIW were started by negative cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes and 57% were single stroke flashes. Moreover, 62% of LIW reports did not have a positive CG within 10 km of the start location, contrary to the science literature’s suggestion that positive CG flashes are a dominant fire-starting mechanism. Nearly ⅓ of wildfire events were holdovers, meaning 1 or more days elapsed between lightning occurrence and fire report. However, fires that were reported less than a day after lightning occurrence statistically burned more acreage. Peak current was not found to be a statistically significant delineator between fire starters and non–fire starters for negative CGs but was for positive CGs. Results highlighted the need for reassessing the role of positive CG lightning and subsequently long-continuing current in wildfire ignition started by lightning. One potential outcome of this study’s results is the development of real-time tools to identify ignition potential during lightning events to aid in fire mitigation efforts.

Restricted access
Lu Yang
,
Linye Song
,
Mingxuan Chen
, and
Conglan Cheng

Abstract

While previous work on the climatology of Northern China has focused on mean wind speed, wind gusts have received comparatively less attention but are equally important to various users. In this paper, an observed hourly maximum gust wind speeds (HMGS) dataset across North China has been created by using time series from 174 meteorological stations. The dataset offers superior quality, high spatiotemporal near-surface HMGS series for North China spanning from 2015 to 2022. The objective of this study is first to improve our understanding of the spatiotemporal gusts climatology in North China by analyzing the observed gust data. Second, we aim to supplement the observational data by using gust analysis and forecast data with a high spatial–temporal resolution from model simulations. The spatial characteristics of the seasonal cycle of the simulated analysis of mean HMGS and the performance in predicting gusts based on the geographical locations and elevations of the validation stations were investigated by comparing it with the observations. Results indicate the following: 1) Wind direction and intensity are affected by the terrain and climate conditions of different weather stations. Stations situated along the Bohai Bay coastal region and at higher-elevation areas of North China exhibit a higher mean HMGS than those located in the coastal and inland plains. 2) The probability density function curves for wind speed and wind direction exhibit notable variations across different elevation intervals. The contribution of moderate and strong gust wind speeds increases gradually with increasing altitude, while the gust directions in mountainous areas exhibit relatively consistent patterns due to the increased exposure to synoptic-scale forcing at higher elevations. 3) The nowcasting prediction system analysis of mean HMGS provides a higher horizontal resolution that is capable of capturing the contrasts between land and sea, as well as the influence of high HMGS associated with large-scale circulations in high-elevation regions.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study is to better understand the spatiotemporal gust climatology in North China and the performance of the model-simulated gust analysis and forecast data. This is important because gusts conditions differ due to varying topographic and climatic conditions of different weather stations. Our results provide a valuable insight into the climatological variations of HMGS, their drivers, and identify the deficiencies in the model-simulation gusts.

Restricted access
Ricardo C. Muñoz
and
Laurence Armi

Abstract

Raco is a local wind occurring in central Chile where the Maipo River Canyon exits into the Santiago valley. The intensification of the easterly down-canyon flow starts at any time during some cold season nights, accompanied by increases in temperature and drops in humidity. The hypothesis of the raco being a gap wind controlled by the narrowest section in the 12-km canyon exit corridor is tested with data from two events in July 2018 and July 2019. The data are analyzed in the framework of hydraulic theory, and a subcritical-to-supercritical transition is documented to occur at the narrows of the gap where the Froude number is close to unity, confirmed by radiosondes launched in the narrows in 2019. For the raco flow, the sum of potential and kinetic energy is conserved upstream of the narrows, while the acceleration occurring farther downstream loses a large fraction of energy to frictional dissipation. The raco events occur under the influence of regional subsidence, but a differential nocturnal warming of the in-canyon air mass is responsible for a pressure gradient driving the raco. In the 2019 case, a ceilometer mounted on an instrumented pickup truck documented the structure and movement of the interface between the raco air and the cold-air pool (CAP) existing over the valley to the west. Together with a radiosonde launched near the CAP–raco surface front, the observations reveal the intense shear-driven mixing taking place at the interface and the factors supporting the establishment of a stationary front.

Open access