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Eun-Tae Kim
,
Jung-Hoon Kim
,
Soo-Hyun Kim
, and
Cyril Morcrette

Abstract

In this study, we developed and evaluated the Korean Forecast Icing Potential (K-FIP), an in-flight icing forecast system for the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) based on the simplified forecast icing potential (SFIP) algorithm. The SFIP is an algorithm used to postprocess numerical weather prediction (NWP) model forecasts for predicting potential areas of icing based on the fuzzy logic formulations of four membership functions: temperature, relative humidity, vertical velocity, and cloud liquid water content. In this study, we optimized the original version of the SFIP for the global NWP model of the KMA through three important updates using 34 months of pilot reports for icing as follows: using total cloud condensates, reconstructing membership functions, and determining the best weight combination for input variables. The use of all cloud condensates and the reconstruction of these membership functions resulted in a significant improvement in the algorithm compared with the original. The weight combinations for the KMA’s global model were determined based on the performance scores. While several sets of weights performed equally well, this process identified the most effective weight combination for the KMA model, which is referred to as the K-FIP. The K-FIP demonstrated the ability to successfully predict icing over the Korean Peninsula using observations made by research aircraft from the National Institute of Meteorological Sciences of the KMA. Eventually, the K-FIP icing forecasts will provide better forecasts of icing potentials for safe and efficient aviation operations in South Korea.

Significance Statement

In-flight aircraft icing has posed a threat to safe flights for decades. With advances in computing resources and an improvement in the spatiotemporal resolutions of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, icing algorithms have been developed using NWP model outputs associated with supercooled liquid water. This study evaluated and optimized the simplified forecast icing potential, an NWP model–based icing algorithm, for the global model of the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) using a long-term observational dataset to improve its prediction skills. The improvements shown in this study and the SFIP implemented in the KMA will provide more informative predictions for safe and efficient air travel.

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Gregory J. Stumpf
and
Sarah M. Stough

Abstract

Legacy National Weather Service verification techniques, when applied to current static severe convective warnings, exhibit limitations, particularly in accounting for the precise spatial and temporal aspects of warnings and severe convective events. Consequently, they are not particularly well-suited for application to some proposed future National Weather Service warning delivery methods considered under the Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs) initiative. These methods include Threats-In-Motion (TIM), wherein warning polygons move nearly continuously with convective hazards, and Probabilistic Hazard Information (PHI), a concept that involves augmenting warnings with rapidly updating probabilistic plumes.

A new geospatial verification method was developed and evaluated, by which warnings and observations are placed on equivalent grids within a common reference frame, with each grid cell being represented as a hit, miss, false alarm, or correct null for each minute. New measures are computed, including false alarm area, and location-specific lead time, departure time, and false alarm time.

Using the 27 April 2011 tornado event, we applied the TIM and PHI warning techniques to demonstrate the benefits of rapidly updating warning areas, showcase the application of the geospatial verification method within this novel warning framework, and highlight the impact of varying probabilistic warning thresholds on warning performance. Additionally, the geospatial verification method was tested on a storm-based warning dataset (2008-2022) to derive annual, monthly, and hourly statistics.

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Katherine E. McKeown
,
Casey E. Davenport
,
Matthew D. Eastin
,
Sarah M. Purpura
, and
Roger R. Riggin IV

Abstract

The evolution of supercell thunderstorms traversing complex terrain is not well understood and remains a short-term forecast challenge across the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. Although case studies have been conducted, there has been no large multi-case observational analysis focusing on the central and southern Appalachians. To address this gap, we analyzed 62 isolated warm-season supercells that occurred in this region. Each supercell was categorized as either crossing (∼40%) or noncrossing (∼60%) based on their maintenance of supercellular structure while traversing prominent terrain. The structural evolution of each storm was analyzed via operationally relevant parameters extracted from WSR-88D radar data. The most significant differences in radar-observed structure among storm categories were associated with the mesocyclone; crossing storms exhibited stronger, wider, and deeper mesocyclones, along with more prominent and persistent hook echoes. Crossing storms also moved faster. Among the supercells that crossed the most prominent peaks and ridges, significant increases in base reflectivity, vertically integrated liquid, echo tops, and mesocyclone intensity/depth were observed, in conjunction with more frequent large hail and tornado reports, as the storms ascended windward slopes. Then, as the supercells descended leeward slopes, significant increases in mesocyclone depth and tornado frequency were observed. Such results reinforce the notion that supercell evolution can be modulated substantially by passage through and over complex terrain.

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Burkely T. Gallo
,
Adam J. Clark
,
Israel Jirak
,
David Imy
,
Brett Roberts
,
Jacob Vancil
,
Kent Knopfmeier
, and
Patrick Burke

Abstract

During the 2021 Spring Forecasting Experiment (SFE), the usefulness of the experimental Warn-on-Forecast System (WoFS) ensemble guidance was tested with the issuance of short-term probabilistic hazard forecasts. One group of participants used the WoFS guidance, while another group did not. Individual forecasts issued by two NWS participants in each group were evaluated alongside a consensus forecast from the remaining participants. Participant forecasts of tornadoes, hail, and wind at lead times of ∼2–3 h and valid at 2200–2300, 2300–0000, and 0000–0100 UTC were evaluated subjectively during the SFE by participants the day after issuance, and objectively after the SFE concluded. These forecasts exist between the watch and the warning time frame, where WoFS is anticipated to be particularly impactful. The hourly probabilistic forecasts were skillful according to objective metrics like the fractions skill score. While the tornado forecasts were more reliable than the other hazards, there was no clear indication of any one hazard scoring highest across all metrics. WoFS availability improved the hourly probabilistic forecasts as measured by the subjective ratings and several objective metrics, including increased POD and decreased FAR at high probability thresholds. Generally, expert forecasts performed better than consensus forecasts, though expert forecasts overforecasted. Finally, this work explored the appropriate construction of practically perfect fields used during subjective verification, which participants frequently found to be too small and precise. Using a Gaussian smoother with σ = 70 km is recommended to create hourly practically perfect fields in future experiments.

Significance Statement

This work explores the impact of cutting-edge numerical weather prediction ensemble guidance (the Warn-on-Forecast System) on severe thunderstorm hazard outlooks at watch-to-warning time scales, typically between 1 and 6 h of lead time. Real-time forecast products in this time frame are currently provided on an as-needed basis, and the transition to continuous probabilistic forecast products across scales requires targeted research. Results showed that hourly probabilistic participant forecasts were skillful subjectively and statistically, and that the experimental guidance improved the forecasts. These results are promising for the implementation and value of the Warn-on-Forecast System to provide improved hazard timing and location guidance within severe weather watches. Suggestions are made to aid future subjective evaluations of watch-to-warning-scale probabilistic forecasts.

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Benjamin M. Kiel
and
Brian A. Colle

Abstract

Several clustering approaches are evaluated for 1–9-day forecasts using a multimodel ensemble that includes the GEFS, ECMWF, and Canadian ensembles. Six clustering algorithms and three clustering spaces are evaluated using mean sea level pressure (MSLP) and 12-h accumulated precipitation (APCP) for cool-season extratropical cyclones across the Northeast United States. Using the MSLP cluster membership to obtain the APCP clusters is also evaluated, along with applying clustering determined at one lead time to cluster forecasts at a different lead time. Five scenarios from each clustering algorithm are evaluated using displacement and intensity/amount errors from the scenario nearest to the MSLP and 12-h APCP analyses in the NCEP GFS and ERA5, respectively. Most clustering strategies yield similar improvements over the full ensemble mean and are similar in probabilistic skill except that 1) intensity displacement space gives lower MSLP displacement and intensity errors; and 2) Euclidean space and agglomerative hierarchical clustering, when using either full or average linkage, struggle to produce reasonably sized clusters. Applying clusters derived from MSLP to 12-h APCP forecasts is not as skillful as clustering by 12-h APCP directly, especially if several members contain little precipitation. Use of the same cluster membership for one lead time to cluster the forecast at another lead time is less skillful than clustering independently at each forecast lead time. Finally, the number of members within each cluster does not necessarily correspond with the best forecast, especially at the longer lead times, when the probability of the smallest cluster being the best scenario was usually underestimated.

Significance Statement

Numerical weather prediction ensembles are widely used, but more postprocessing tools are necessary to help forecasters interpret and communicate the possible outcomes. This study evaluates various clustering approaches, combining a large number of model forecasts with similar attributes together into a small number of scenarios. The 1–9-day forecasts of both sea level pressure and 12-h precipitation are used to evaluate the clustering approaches for a large number of U.S. East Coast winter cyclones, which is an important forecast problem for this region.

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Jingyi Wen
,
Zhiyong Meng
,
Lanqiang Bai
, and
Ruilin Zhou

Abstract

This study documents the features of tornadoes, their parent storms and the environments of the only two documented tornado outbreak events in China. The two events were associated with tropical cyclone (TC) Yagi on 12 August 2018, with 11 tornadoes, and with an extratropical cyclone (EC) on 11 July 2021 (EC 711), with 13 tornadoes. Most tornadoes in TC Yagi were spawned from discrete mini-supercells, while a majority of tornadoes in EC 711 were produced from supercells imbedded in QLCSs or cloud clusters. In both events, the high-tornado-density area was better collocated with K index rather than MLCAPE, and with entraining rather than non-entraining parameters possibly due to their sensitivity to mid-level moisture. EC 711 had a larger displacement between maximum entraining CAPE and vertical wind shear than TC Yagi, with the maximum entraining CAPE better collocated with the high-tornado-density area than vertical wind shear. Relative to TC Yagi, EC 711 had stronger entraining CAPE, 0–1-km storm relative helicity, 0–6-km vertical wind shear, and composite parameters such as entraining significant tornado parameter, which caused its generally stronger tornado vortex signatures (TVSs) and mesocyclones with a larger diameter and longer lifespan. No significant differences were found in composite parameter of these two events from U.S. statistics. Although obvious dry air intrusions were observed in both events, no apparent impact was observed on the potential of tornado outbreak in EC 711. In TC Yagi, however, the dry air intrusion may have helped tornado outbreak due to cloudiness erosion and thus increase in surface temperature and low-level lapse rate.

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Jongil Han
,
Jiayi Peng
,
Wei Li
,
Weiguo Wang
,
Zhan Zhang
,
Fanglin Yang
, and
Weizhong Zheng

Abstract

To reduce hurricane intensity bias, the NCEP Global Forecast System (GFS) planetary boundary layer (PBL) and convection schemes have been updated with a new parameterization for environmental wind shear and enhanced entrainment and detrainment rates with increasing PBL or sub-cloud mean turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in their updraft and downdraft mass-flux schemes. Tests with the GFS show that the updated schemes significantly reduce the hurricane intensity bias by reducing the momentum transport in the mass-flux schemes. Along with the reduced intensity bias, the hurricane intensity and track errors have also been reduced. On the other hand, to reduce the PBL overgrowth over areas with a higher vegetation fraction or larger surface roughness, the entrainment rate in the PBL mass-flux scheme has also been increased with increasing vegetation fraction or increasing surface roughness. This entrainment rate increase has increased near surface moisture, and as a result, helped to increase the underestimated convective available potential energy (CAPE) forecasts over the continental United States.

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Marybeth C. Arcodia
,
Emily Becker
, and
Ben P. Kirtman

Abstract

Climate variability affects sea levels as certain climate modes can accelerate or decelerate the rising sea level trend, but subseasonal variability of coastal sea levels is underexplored. This study is the first to investigate how remote tropical forcing from the MJO and ENSO impact subseasonal U.S. coastal sea level variability. Here, composite analyses using tide gauge data from six coastal regions along the U.S. East and West Coasts reveal influences on sea level anomalies from both the MJO and ENSO. Tropical MJO deep convection forces a signal that results in U.S. coastal sea level anomalies that vary based on MJO phase. Further, ENSO is shown to modulate both the MJO sea level response and background state of the teleconnections. The sea level anomalies can be significantly enhanced or weakened by the MJO-associated anomaly along the East Coast due to constructive or destructive interference with the ENSO-associated anomaly, respectively. The West Coast anomaly is found to be dominated by ENSO. We examine physical mechanisms by which MJO and ENSO teleconnections impact coastal sea levels and find consistent relationships between low-level winds and sea level pressure that are spatially varying drivers of the variability. Two case studies reveal how MJO and ENSO teleconnection interference played a role in notable coastal flooding events. Much of the focus on sea level rise concerns the long-term trend associated with anthropogenic warming, but on shorter time scales, we find subseasonal climate variability has the potential to exacerbate the regional coastal flooding impacts.

Significance Statement

Coastal flooding due to sea level rise is increasingly threatening communities, but natural fluctuations of coastal sea levels can exacerbate the human-caused sea level rise trend. This study assesses the role of tropical influences on coastal subseasonal (2 weeks–3 months) sea level heights. Further, we explore the mechanisms responsible, particularly for constructive interference of signals contributing to coastal flooding events. Subseasonal signals amplify or suppress the lower-frequency signals, resulting in higher or lower sea level heights than those expected from known climate modes (e.g., ENSO). Low-level onshore winds and reduced sea level pressure connected to the tropical phenomena are shown to be indicators of increased U.S. coastal sea levels, and vice versa. Two case studies reveal how MJO and ENSO teleconnection interference played a role in notable coastal flooding events. Much of the focus on sea level rise concerns the long-term trend associated with anthropogenic warming, but on shorter time scales, we find subseasonal climate variability has the potential to exacerbate the regional coastal flooding impacts.

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Stephanie S. Rushley
,
Matthew A. Janiga
,
William Crawford
,
Carolyn A. Reynolds
,
William Komaromi
, and
Justin McLay

Abstract

Accurately simulating the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), which dominates intraseasonal (30–90 day) variability in the tropics, is critical to predicting tropical cyclones (TCs) and other phenomena at extended-range (2–3 week) time scales. MJO biases in intensity and propagation speed are a common problem in global coupled models. For example, the MJO in the Navy Earth System Prediction Capability (ESPC), a global coupled model, has been shown to be too strong and too fast, which has implications for the MJO–TC relationship in that model. The biases and extended-range prediction skill in the operational version of the Navy ESPC are compared to experiments applying different versions of analysis correction-based additive inflation (ACAI) to reduce model biases. ACAI is a method in which time-mean and stochastic perturbations based on analysis increments are added to the model tendencies with the goals of reducing systematic error and accounting for model uncertainty. Over the extended boreal summer (May–November), ACAI reduces the root-mean-squared error (RMSE) and improves the spread–skill relationship of the total tropical and MJO-filtered OLR and low-level zonal winds. While ACAI improves skill in the environmental fields of low-level absolute vorticity, potential intensity, and vertical wind shear, it degrades the skill in the relative humidity, which increases the positive bias in the genesis potential index (GPI) in the operational Navy ESPC. Northern Hemisphere integrated TC genesis biases are reduced (increased number of TCs) in the ACAI experiments, which is consistent with the positive GPI bias in the ACAI simulations.

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