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Manuel Nunez
,
Neal Cantin
,
Craig Steinberg
,
Virginie van Dongen-Vogels
, and
Scott Bainbridge

Abstract

The study addresses a network of remote weather stations on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) that house Licor192 quantum sensors measuring photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) above water. There is evidence of significant degradation in the signal from the sensors after a 2-yr deployment. Main sources of uncertainty in the calibration are outlined, which include degradation of the photodiode, soiling of the sensors by dust and salt spray, cosine responses, and sensitivity to air temperature. Raw PAR data are improved using correction factors based on a cloudless PAR model. Uncertainties in cosine responses of the instrument are low but significant errors may occur if the supporting platform is misaligned and not horizontal. A set of recommendations are provided to improve the quality of the PAR data.

Significance Statement

A method is described to correct historical PAR data collected on the Great Barrier Reef, such that these valuable observations may be improved and used effectively.

Open access
Leo O Lai
and
Jed O. Kaplan

Abstract

Interpolation of interval data where the mean is preserved, e.g., estimating smoothed, pseudodaily meteorological variables based on monthly means, is a common problem in the geosciences. Existing methods for mean-preserving interpolation are computationally intensive and/or do not readily accommodate bounded interpolation, where the interpolated data cannot exceed a threshold value. Here we present a mean-preserving, continuous, easily implementable, and computationally efficient method for interpolating one-dimensional interval data. Our new algorithm provides a straightforward solution to the interpolation problem by utilizing Hermite cubic splines and midinterval control points to interpolate interval data into smaller partitions. We further include adjustment schemes to restrict the interpolated result to user-specified minimum and maximum bounds. Our method is fast, portable, and broadly applicable to a range of geoscientific data, including interpolating unbounded time series such as mean temperature, and bounded data including mean wind speed or cloud-cover fraction.

Significance Statement

Interpolation is often utilized to mathematically estimate smaller time step values when such data are not readily available, for example, the estimation of daily temperature when only monthly temperature values are available. We propose a novel interpolation method based on linking segments of flexible continuous curves that ensures the average of interpolated result will be the same as the original value, which is important for minimizing interpolation errors. We find that our new method takes significantly less computational time when compared with other existing methods, while retaining a similar degree of precision. Furthermore, we outline an additional procedure for users to specify the minimum and maximum bounds of interpolated results if applicable.

Open access
Free access
Taylor A. Gowan
,
John D. Horel
,
Alexander A. Jacques
, and
Adair Kovac

Abstract

Numerical weather prediction centers rely on the Gridded Binary Second Edition (GRIB2) file format to efficiently compress and disseminate model output as two-dimensional grids. User processing time and storage requirements are high if many GRIB2 files with size O(100 MB, where B = bytes) need to be accessed routinely. We illustrate one approach to overcome such bottlenecks by reformatting GRIB2 model output from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction to a cloud-optimized storage type, Zarr. Archives of the original HRRR GRIB2 files and the resulting Zarr stores on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3) are available publicly through the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative. Every hour, the HRRR model produces 18- or 48-hourly GRIB2 surface forecast files of size O(100 MB). To simplify access to the grids in the surface files, we reorganize the HRRR model output for each variable and vertical level into Zarr stores of size O(1 MB), with chunks O(10 kB) containing all forecast lead times for 150 × 150 gridpoint subdomains. Open-source libraries provide efficient access to the compressed Zarr stores using cloud or local computing resources. The HRRR-Zarr approach is illustrated for common applications of sensible weather parameters, including real-time alerts for high-impact situations and retrospective access to output from hundreds to thousands of model runs. For example, time series of surface pressure forecast grids can be accessed using AWS cloud computing resources approximately 40 times as fast from the HRRR-Zarr store as from the HRRR-GRIB2 archive.

Significance Statement

The rapid evolution of computing power and data storage have enabled numerical weather prediction forecasts to be generated faster and with more detail than ever before. The increased temporal and spatial resolution of forecast model output can force end users with finite memory and storage capabilities to make pragmatic decisions about which data to retrieve, archive, and process for their applications. We illustrate an approach to alleviate this access bottleneck for common weather analysis and forecasting applications by using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3) to store output from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model in Zarr format. Zarr is a relatively new data storage format that is flexible, compressible, and designed to be accessed with open-source software either using cloud or local computing resources. The HRRR-Zarr dataset is publicly available as part of the AWS Sustainability Data Initiative.

Open access
John M. Haynes
,
Yoo-Jeong Noh
,
Steven D. Miller
,
Katherine D. Haynes
,
Imme Ebert-Uphoff
, and
Andrew Heidinger

Abstract

The detection of multilayer clouds in the atmosphere can be particularly challenging from passive visible and infrared imaging radiometers since cloud boundary information is limited primarily to the topmost cloud layer. Yet detection of low clouds in the atmosphere is important for a number of applications, including aviation nowcasting and general weather forecasting. In this work, we develop pixel-based machine learning–based methods of detecting low clouds, with a focus on improving detection in multilayer cloud situations and specific attention given to improving the Cloud Cover Layers (CCL) product, which assigns cloudiness in a scene into vertical bins. The random forest (RF) and neural network (NN) implementations use inputs from a variety of sources, including GOES Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) visible radiances, infrared brightness temperatures, auxiliary information about the underlying surface, and relative humidity (which holds some utility as a cloud proxy). Training and independent validation enlists near-global, actively sensed cloud boundaries from the radar and lidar systems on board the CloudSat and CALIPSO satellites. We find that the RF and NN models have similar performances. The probability of detection (PoD) of low cloud increases from 0.685 to 0.815 when using the RF technique instead of the CCL methodology, while the false alarm ratio decreases. The improved PoD of low cloud is particularly notable for scenes that appear to be cirrus from an ABI perspective, increasing from 0.183 to 0.686. Various extensions of the model are discussed, including a nighttime-only algorithm and expansion to other satellite sensors.

Significance Statement

Using satellites to detect the heights of clouds in the atmosphere is important for a variety of weather applications, including aviation weather forecasting. However, detecting low clouds can be challenging if there are other clouds above them. To address this, we have developed machine learning–based models that can be used with passive satellite instruments. These models use satellite observations at visible and infrared wavelengths, an estimate of relative humidity in the atmosphere, and geographic and surface-type information to predict whether low clouds are present. Our results show that these models have significant skill at predicting low clouds, even in the presence of higher cloud layers.

Open access
Moguo Sun
,
David R. Doelling
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Ryan C. Scott
,
Joshua Wilkins
,
Le Trang Nguyen
, and
Pamela Mlynczak

Abstract

The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project has provided the climate community 20 years of globally observed top of the atmosphere (TOA) fluxes critical for climate and cloud feedback studies. The CERES Flux By Cloud Type (FBCT) product contains radiative fluxes by cloud type, which can provide more stringent constraints when validating models and also reveal more insight into the interactions between clouds and climate. The FBCT product provides 1° regional daily and monthly shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) cloud-type fluxes and cloud properties sorted by seven pressure layers and six optical depth bins. Historically, cloud-type fluxes have been computed using radiative transfer models based on observed cloud properties. Instead of relying on radiative transfer models, the FBCT product utilizes Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) radiances partitioned by cloud type within a CERES footprint to estimate the cloud-type broadband fluxes. The MODIS multichannel derived broadband fluxes were compared with the CERES observed footprint fluxes and were found to be within 1% and 2.5% for LW and SW, respectively, as well as being mostly free of cloud property dependencies. These biases are mitigated by constraining the cloud-type fluxes within each footprint with the CERES Single Scanner Footprint (SSF) observed flux. The FBCT all-sky and clear-sky monthly averaged fluxes were found to be consistent with the CERES SSF1deg product. Several examples of FBCT data are presented to highlight its utility for scientific applications.

Open access
Guosong Wang
,
Xidong Wang
,
Xinrong Wu
,
Kexiu Liu
,
Yiquan Qi
,
Chunjian Sun
, and
Hongli Fu

Abstract

The accumulated remote sensing data of altimeters and scatterometers have provided new opportunities for ocean state forecasting and have improved our knowledge of ocean–atmosphere exchanges. Studies on multivariate, multistep, spatiotemporal sequence forecasts of sea level anomalies (SLA) for different modalities, however, remain problematic. In this paper, we present a novel hybrid and multivariate deep neural network, named HMnet3, which can be used for SLA forecasting in the South China Sea (SCS). First, a spatiotemporal sequence forecasting network is trained by an improved convolutional long short-term memory (ConvLSTM) network using a channelwise attention mechanism and multivariate data from 1993 to 2015. Then a time series forecasting network is trained by an improved long short-term memory (LSTM) network, which is realized by ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD). Finally, the two networks are combined by a successive correction method to produce SLA forecasts for lead times of up to 15 days, with a special focus on the open sea and coastal regions of the SCS. During the testing period of 2016–18, the performance of HMnet3 with sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA), wind speed anomaly (SPDA), and SLA data is much better than those of state-of-the-art dynamic and statistical (ConvLSTM, persistence, and climatology) forecast models. Stricter testbeds for trial simulation experiments with real-time datasets are investigated, where the eddy classification metrics of HMnet3 are favorable for all properties, especially for those of small-scale eddies.

Open access
Free access
Ashwanth Srinivasan
,
T. M. Chin
,
E. P. Chassignet
,
M. Iskandarani
, and
N. Groves

Abstract

We present a data assimilation package for use with ocean circulation models in analysis, forecasting, and system evaluation applications. The basic functionality of the package is centered on a multivariate linear statistical estimation for a given predicted/background ocean state, observations, and error statistics. Novel features of the package include support for multiple covariance models, and the solution of the least squares normal equations either using the covariance matrix or its inverse—the information matrix. The main focus of this paper, however, is on the solution of the analysis equations using the information matrix, which offers several advantages for solving large problems efficiently. Details of the parameterization of the inverse covariance using Markov random fields are provided and its relationship to finite-difference discretizations of diffusion equations are pointed out. The package can assimilate a variety of observation types from both remote sensing and in situ platforms. The performance of the data assimilation methodology implemented in the package is demonstrated with a yearlong global ocean hindcast with a 1/4° ocean model. The code is implemented in modern Fortran, supports distributed memory, shared memory, multicore architectures, and uses climate and forecasts compliant Network Common Data Form for input/output. The package is freely available with an open source license from www.tendral.com/tsis/.

Open access
Jens Reichardt
,
Christine Knist
,
Natalia Kouremeti
,
William Kitchin
, and
Taras Plakhotnik

Abstract

A detailed description is given of how the liquid water content (LWC) and the ice water content (IWC) can be determined accurately and absolutely from the measured water Raman spectra of clouds. All instrumental and spectroscopic parameters that affect the accuracy of the water-content measurement are discussed and quantified; specifically, these are the effective absolute differential Raman backscattering cross section of water vapor d σ vap eff ( π ) / d Ω , and the molecular Raman backscattering efficiencies η liq and η ice of liquid and frozen microparticles, respectively. The latter two are determined following rigorous theoretical approaches combined with Raman Lidar for Atmospheric Moisture Sensing (RAMSES) measurements. For η ice, this includes a new experimental method that assumes continuity of the number of water molecules across the vertical extent of the melting layer. Examples of water-content measurements are presented, including supercooled liquid-water clouds and melting layers. Error sources are discussed; one effect that stands out is interfering fluorescence by aerosols. Aerosol effects and calibration issues are the main reasons why spectral Raman measurements are required for quantitative measurements of LWC and IWC. The presented study lays the foundation for cloud microphysical investigations and for the evaluation of cloud models or the cloud data products of other instruments. As a first application, IWC retrieval methods are evaluated that are based on either lidar extinction or radar reflectivity measurements. While the lidar-based retrievals show unsatisfactory agreement with the RAMSES IWC measurements, the radar-based IWC retrieval which is used in the Cloudnet project performs reasonably well. On average, retrieved IWC agrees within 20% to 30% (dry bias) with measured IWC.

Open access