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D. A. Knopf, K. R. Barry, T. A. Brubaker, L. G. Jahl, K. A. Jankowski, J. Li, Y. Lu, L. W. Monroe, K. A. Moore, F. A. Rivera-Adorno, K. A. Sauceda, Y. Shi, J. M. Tomlin, H. S. K. Vepuri, P. Wang, N. N. Lata, E. J. T. Levin, J. M. Creamean, T. C. J. Hill, S. China, P. A. Alpert, R. C. Moffet, N. Hiranuma, R. C. Sullivan, A. M. Fridlind, M. West, N. Riemer, A. Laskin, P. J. DeMott, and X. Liu

Abstract

Prediction of ice formation in clouds presents one of the grand challenges in the atmospheric sciences. Immersion freezing initiated by ice-nucleating particles (INPs) is the dominant pathway of primary ice crystal formation in mixed-phase clouds, where supercooled water droplets and ice crystals coexist, with important implications for the hydrological cycle and climate. However, derivation of INP number concentrations from an ambient aerosol population in cloud-resolving and climate models remains highly uncertain. We conducted an aerosol–ice formation closure pilot study using a field-observational approach to evaluate the predictive capability of immersion freezing INPs. The closure study relies on collocated measurements of the ambient size-resolved and single-particle composition and INP number concentrations. The acquired particle data serve as input in several immersion freezing parameterizations, which are employed in cloud-resolving and climate models, for prediction of INP number concentrations. We discuss in detail one closure case study in which a front passed through the measurement site, resulting in a change of ambient particle and INP populations. We achieved closure in some circumstances within uncertainties, but we emphasize the need for freezing parameterization of potentially missing INP types and evaluation of the choice of parameterization to be employed. Overall, this closure pilot study aims to assess the level of parameter details and measurement strategies needed to achieve aerosol–ice formation closure. The closure approach is designed to accurately guide immersion freezing schemes in models, and ultimately identify the leading causes for climate model bias in INP predictions.

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Emily Shroyer, Amit Tandon, Debasis Sengupta, Harindra J. S. Fernando, Andrew J. Lucas, J. Thomas Farrar, Rajib Chattopadhyay, Simon de Szoeke, Maria Flatau, Adam Rydbeck, Hemantha Wijesekera, Michael McPhaden, Hyodae Seo, Aneesh Subramanian, R Venkatesan, Jossia Joseph, S. Ramsundaram, Arnold L. Gordon, Shannon M. Bohman, Jaynise Pérez, Iury T. Simoes-Sousa, Steven R. Jayne, Robert E. Todd, G. S. Bhat, Matthias Lankhorst, Tamara Schlosser, Katherine Adams, S. U. P Jinadasa, Manikandan Mathur, M. Mohapatra, E. Pattabhi Rama Rao, A. K. Sahai, Rashmi Sharma, Craig Lee, Luc Rainville, Deepak Cherian, Kerstin Cullen, Luca R. Centurioni, Verena Hormann, Jennifer MacKinnon, Uwe Send, Arachaporn Anutaliya, Amy Waterhouse, Garrett S. Black, Jeremy A. Dehart, Kaitlyn M. Woods, Edward Creegan, Gad Levy, Lakshmi H. Kantha, and Bulusu Subrahmanyam

Abstract

In the Bay of Bengal, the warm, dry boreal spring concludes with the onset of the summer monsoon and accompanying southwesterly winds, heavy rains, and variable air–sea fluxes. Here, we summarize the 2018 monsoon onset using observations collected through the multinational Monsoon Intraseasonal Oscillations in the Bay of Bengal (MISO-BoB) program between the United States, India, and Sri Lanka. MISO-BoB aims to improve understanding of monsoon intraseasonal variability, and the 2018 field effort captured the coupled air–sea response during a transition from active-to-break conditions in the central BoB. The active phase of the ∼20-day research cruise was characterized by warm sea surface temperature (SST > 30°C), cold atmospheric outflows with intermittent heavy rainfall, and increasing winds (from 2 to 15 m s−1). Accumulated rainfall exceeded 200 mm with 90% of precipitation occurring during the first week. The following break period was both dry and clear, with persistent 10–12 m s−1 wind and evaporation of 0.2 mm h−1. The evolving environmental state included a deepening ocean mixed layer (from ∼20 to 50 m), cooling SST (by ∼1°C), and warming/drying of the lower to midtroposphere. Local atmospheric development was consistent with phasing of the large-scale intraseasonal oscillation. The upper ocean stores significant heat in the BoB, enough to maintain SST above 29°C despite cooling by surface fluxes and ocean mixing. Comparison with reanalysis indicates biases in air–sea fluxes, which may be related to overly cool prescribed SST. Resolution of such biases offers a path toward improved forecasting of transition periods in the monsoon.

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Wouter Dorigo, Stephan Dietrich, Filipe Aires, Luca Brocca, Sarah Carter, Jean-François Cretaux, David Dunkerley, Hiroyuki Enomoto, René Forsberg, Andreas Güntner, Michaela I. Hegglin, Rainer Hollmann, Dale F. Hurst, Johnny A. Johannessen, Christian Kummerow, Tong Lee, Kari Luojus, Ulrich Looser, Diego G. Miralles, Victor Pellet, Thomas Recknagel, Claudia Ruz Vargas, Udo Schneider, Philippe Schoeneich, Marc Schröder, Nigel Tapper, Valery Vuglinsky, Wolfgang Wagner, Lisan Yu, Luca Zappa, Michael Zemp, and Valentin Aich

ABSTRACT

Life on Earth vitally depends on the availability of water. Human pressure on freshwater resources is increasing, as is human exposure to weather-related extremes (droughts, storms, floods) caused by climate change. Understanding these changes is pivotal for developing mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) defines a suite of essential climate variables (ECVs), many related to the water cycle, required to systematically monitor Earth’s climate system. Since long-term observations of these ECVs are derived from different observation techniques, platforms, instruments, and retrieval algorithms, they often lack the accuracy, completeness, and resolution, to consistently characterize water cycle variability at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Here, we review the capability of ground-based and remotely sensed observations of water cycle ECVs to consistently observe the hydrological cycle. We evaluate the relevant land, atmosphere, and ocean water storages and the fluxes between them, including anthropogenic water use. Particularly, we assess how well they close on multiple temporal and spatial scales. On this basis, we discuss gaps in observation systems and formulate guidelines for future water cycle observation strategies. We conclude that, while long-term water cycle monitoring has greatly advanced in the past, many observational gaps still need to be overcome to close the water budget and enable a comprehensive and consistent assessment across scales. Trends in water cycle components can only be observed with great uncertainty, mainly due to insufficient length and homogeneity. An advanced closure of the water cycle requires improved model–data synthesis capabilities, particularly at regional to local scales.

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Kristen L. Rasmussen, Melissa A. Burt, Angela Rowe, Rebecca Haacker, Deanna Hence, Lorena Medina Luna, Stephen W. Nesbitt, and Julie Maertens

Abstract

This article provides an overview of the Advanced Study Institute: Field Studies of Convection in Argentina (ASI-FSCA) program, a 3-week dynamic and collaborative hands-on experience that allowed 16 highly motivated and diverse graduate students from the United States to participate in the 2018–19 Remote Sensing of Electrification, Lightning, and Mesoscale/Microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO) field campaign. This program is unique as it represents the first effort to integrate an intensive Advanced Study Institute with a field campaign in atmospheric science. ASI-FSCA activities and successful program outcomes for five key elements are described: 1) intensive field research with field campaign instrumentation platforms; 2) recruitment of diverse graduate students who would not otherwise have opportunities to participate in intensive field research; 3) tailored curriculum focused on scientific understanding of cloud and mesoscale processes and professional/academic development topics; 4) outreach to local K–12 schools and the general public; and 5) building a collaborative international research network to promote weather and climate research. These five elements served to increase motivation and improve confidence and self-efficacy of students to participate in scientific research and field work with goals of increasing retention and a sense of belonging in STEM graduate programs and advancing the careers of students from underrepresented groups as evidenced by a formal program evaluation effort. Given the success of the ASI-FSCA program, our team strongly recommends considering this model for expanding the opportunities for a broader and more diverse student community to participate in dynamic and intensive field work in atmospheric science.

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Chris Kidd, George Huffman, Viviana Maggioni, Philippe Chambon, and Riko Oki

Abstract

To address the need to map precipitation on a global scale, a collection of satellites carrying passive microwave (PMW) radiometers has grown over the last 20 years to form a constellation of about 10–12 sensors at any one time. Over the same period, a broad range of science and user communities has become increasingly dependent on the precipitation products provided by these sensors. The constellation presently consists of both conical and cross-track-scanning precipitation-capable multichannel instruments, many of which are beyond their operational and design lifetime but continue to operate through the cooperation of the responsible agencies. The Group on Earth Observations and the Coordinating Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), among other groups, have raised the issue of how a robust, future precipitation constellation should be constructed. The key issues of current and future requirements for the mapping of global precipitation from satellite sensors can be summarized as providing 1) sufficiently fine spatial resolutions to capture precipitation-scale systems and reduce the beam-filling effects of the observations; 2) a wide channel diversity for each sensor to cover the range of precipitation types, characteristics, and intensities observed across the globe; 3) an observation interval that provides temporal sampling commensurate with the variability of precipitation; and 4) precipitation radars and radiometers in low-inclination orbit to provide a consistent calibration source, as demonstrated by the first two spaceborne radar–radiometer combinations on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission Core Observatory. These issues are critical in determining the direction of future constellation requirements while preserving the continuity of the existing constellation necessary for long-term climate-scale studies.

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Rachel Hogan Carr, Kathryn Semmens, Burrell Montz, and Keri Maxfield

Abstract

Uncertainty is everywhere and understanding how individuals understand and use forecast information to make decisions given varying levels of certainty is crucial for effectively communicating risks and weather hazards. To advance prior research about how various audiences use and understand probabilistic and deterministic hydrologic forecast information, a social science study involving multiple scenario-based focus groups and surveys at four locations (Eureka, California; Gunnison, Colorado; Durango, Colorado; Owego, New York) across the United States was conducted with professionals and residents. Focusing on the Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast System, the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, and briefings, this research investigated how users tolerate divergence in probabilistic and deterministic forecasts and how deterministic and probabilistic river level forecasts can be presented simultaneously without causing confusion. This study found that probabilistic forecasts introduce a tremendous amount of new, yet valuable, information but can quickly overwhelm users based on how they are conveyed and communicated. Some were unaware of resources available, or how to find, sort, and prioritize among all the data and information. Importantly, when presented with a divergence between deterministic and probabilistic forecasts, most sought out more information while some others reported diminished confidence in the products. Users in all regions expressed a desire to “ground truth” the accuracy of probabilistic forecasts, understand the drivers of the forecasts, and become more familiar with them. In addition, a prototype probabilistic product that includes a deterministic forecast was tested, and suggestions for communicating probabilistic information through the use of briefing packages is proposed.

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Olivia VanBuskirk, Paulina Ćwik, Renee A. McPherson, Heather Lazrus, Elinor Martin, Charles Kuster, and Esther Mullens

Abstract

Heavy precipitation events and their associated flooding can have major impacts on communities and stakeholders. There is a lack of knowledge, however, about how stakeholders make decisions at the subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) time scales (i.e., 2 weeks to 3 months). To understand how decisions are made and S2S predictions are or can be used, the project team for “Prediction of Rainfall Extremes at Subseasonal to Seasonal Periods” (PRES2iP) conducted a 2-day workshop in Norman, Oklahoma, during July 2018. The workshop engaged 21 professionals from environmental management and public safety communities across the contiguous United States in activities to understand their needs for S2S predictions of potential extended heavy precipitation events. Discussions and role-playing activities aimed to identify how workshop participants manage uncertainty and define extreme precipitation, the time scales over which they make key decisions, and the types of products they use currently. This collaboration with stakeholders has been an integral part of PRES2iP research and has aimed to foster actionable science. The PRES2iP team is using the information produced from this workshop to inform the development of predictive models for extended heavy precipitation events and to collaboratively design new forecast products with our stakeholders, empowering them to make more-informed decisions about potential extreme precipitation events.

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David Halpern

Abstract

In 1976, a pilot experiment, called first Equatorial Mooring (EQUA-1), tested an innovative technique for anchoring a taut-line surface mooring at 0°, 150°W where the water depth is 4.5 km. The 36-day deployment contained a wind recorder and fixed-level current meters at 50 and 100 m in the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC). The following year, in a second pilot experiment, named EQUA-2, a similar mooring was deployed at 0°, 125°W for 99 days. EQUA-2, with current meters at 10, 50, 100, 150, and 200 m, recorded a surge in EUC transport during April 1977 when 3-day-averaged eastward current speeds at 50-m depth reached 2 m s−1. The associated eastward transport per unit meridional width over the 50–200-m layer was 190 m2 s−1. Based on observations recorded in April 1980, the EQUA-2 pulse would correspond to a total EUC transport surge of about 38 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) and would represent an equatorially trapped first-mode baroclinic Kelvin wave. This paper describes EQUA Project observations and why and how I created the high-risk-of-failure opportunity to record pioneering time series measurements at the equator. The enduring legacy of the EQUA Project is the sustained maintenance of in situ surface wind and upper-ocean current and temperature measurements at numerous sites in the equatorial oceans, starting in the Pacific to improve forecasts of the El Niño and La Niña phenomenon. For example, the 40-yr records of surface wind and upper-ocean current and temperature measurements at 0°, 110°W and 0°, 140°W are some of oceanography’s longest time series recorded far from land.

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Ariane Middel, Saud AlKhaled, Florian A. Schneider, Bjoern Hagen, and Paul Coseo

Abstract

Cities increasingly recognize the importance of shade to reduce heat stress and adopt urban forestry plans with ambitious canopy goals. Yet, the implementation of tree and shade plans often faces maintenance, water use, and infrastructure challenges. Understanding the performance of natural and nonnatural shade is critical to support active shade management in the built environment. We conducted hourly transects in Tempe, Arizona, with the mobile human-biometeorological station MaRTy on hot summer days to quantify the efficacy of various shade types. We sampled sun-exposed reference locations and shade types grouped by urban form, lightweight/engineered shade, and tree species over multiple ground surfaces. We investigated shade performance during the day, at peak incoming solar, at peak air temperature, and after sunset using three thermal metrics: the difference between a shaded and sun-exposed location in air temperature (∆T a), surface temperature (∆T s), and mean radiant temperature (∆T MRT). Air temperature did not vary significantly between shade groups, but ∆T MRT spanned a 50°C range across observations. At daytime, shade from urban form most effectively reduced T s and T MRT, followed by trees and lightweight structures. Shade from urban form performed differently with changing orientation. Tree shade performance varied widely; native and palm trees were least effective, while nonnative trees were most effective. All shade types exhibited heat retention (positive ∆T MRT) after sunset. Based on the observations, we developed characteristic shade performance curves that will inform the City of Tempe’s design guidelines toward using “the right shade in the right place” and form the basis for the development of microclimate zones (MCSz).

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Kenneth J. Davis, Edward V. Browell, Sha Feng, Thomas Lauvaux, Michael D. Obland, Sandip Pal, Bianca C. Baier, David F. Baker, Ian T. Baker, Zachary R. Barkley, Kevin W. Bowman, Yu Yan Cui, A. Scott Denning, Joshua P. DiGangi, Jeremy T. Dobler, Alan Fried, Tobias Gerken, Klaus Keller, Bing Lin, Amin R. Nehrir, Caroline P. Normile, Christopher W. O’Dell, Lesley E. Ott, Anke Roiger, Andrew E. Schuh, Colm Sweeney, Yaxing Wei, Brad Weir, Ming Xue, and Christopher A. Williams

Abstract

The Atmospheric Carbon and Transport (ACT)-America NASA Earth Venture Suborbital Mission set out to improve regional atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) inversions by exploring the intersection of the strong GHG fluxes and vigorous atmospheric transport that occurs within the midlatitudes. Two research aircraft instrumented with remote and in situ sensors to measure GHG mole fractions, associated trace gases, and atmospheric state variables collected 1,140.7 flight hours of research data, distributed across 305 individual aircraft sorties, coordinated within 121 research flight days, and spanning five 6-week seasonal flight campaigns in the central and eastern United States. Flights sampled 31 synoptic sequences, including fair-weather and frontal conditions, at altitudes ranging from the atmospheric boundary layer to the upper free troposphere. The observations were complemented with global and regional GHG flux and transport model ensembles. We found that midlatitude weather systems contain large spatial gradients in GHG mole fractions, in patterns that were consistent as a function of season and altitude. We attribute these patterns to a combination of regional terrestrial fluxes and inflow from the continental boundaries. These observations, when segregated according to altitude and air mass, provide a variety of quantitative insights into the realism of regional CO2 and CH4 fluxes and atmospheric GHG transport realizations. The ACT-America dataset and ensemble modeling methods provide benchmarks for the development of atmospheric inversion systems. As global and regional atmospheric inversions incorporate ACT-America’s findings and methods, we anticipate these systems will produce increasingly accurate and precise subcontinental GHG flux estimates.

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