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Free access
Kevin M. Smalley
and
Matthew D. Lebsock

Abstract

Geostationary observations provide measurements of the cloud liquid water path (LWP), permitting continuous observation of cloud evolution throughout the daylit portion of the diurnal cycle. Relative to LWP derived from microwave imagery, these observations have biases related to scattering geometry, which systematically varies throughout the day. Therefore, we have developed a set of bias corrections using microwave LWP for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 and -17 (GOES-16 and GOES-17) observations of LWP derived from retrieved cloud-optical properties. The bias corrections are defined based on scattering geometry (solar zenith, sensor zenith, and relative azimuth) and low cloud fraction. We demonstrate that over the low-cloud regions of the northeast and southeast Pacific, these bias corrections drastically improve the characteristics of the retrieved LWP, including its regional distribution, diurnal variation, and evolution along short-time-scale Lagrangian trajectories.

Significance Statement

Large uncertainty exists in cloud liquid water path derived from geostationary observations, which is caused by changes in the scattering geometry of sunlight throughout the day. This complicates the usefulness of geostationary satellites to analyze the time evolution of clouds using geostationary data. Therefore, microwave imagery observations of liquid water path, which do not depend on scattering geometry, are used to create a set of corrections for geostationary data that can be used in future studies to analyze the time evolution of clouds from space.

Open access
Daile Zhang
,
Kenneth L. Cummins
,
Timothy J. Lang
,
Dennis Buechler
, and
Scott Rudlosky

Abstract

Optical lightning observations from low-Earth orbit play an important role in our understanding of long-term global lightning trends. Lightning Imaging Sensors (LIS) on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite (1997–2015) and International Space Station (2017–present) capture optical emissions produced by lightning. This study uses the well-documented TRMM LIS performance to determine if the ISS LIS performs well enough to bridge the gap between TRMM LIS and the new generation of Geostationary Lightning Mappers (GLMs). The average events per group and groups per flash for ISS LIS are 3.6 and 9.9, which are 18% and 10% lower than TRMM LIS, respectively. ISS LIS has 30% lower mean group energy density and 30%–50% lower mean flash energy density than TRMM LIS in their common (±38°) latitude range. These differences are likely the result of larger pixel areas for ISS LIS over most of the field of view due to off-nadir pointing, combined with viewing obstructions and possible engineering differences. For both instruments, radiometric sensitivity decreases radially from the center of the array to the edges. ISS LIS sensitivity falls off faster and more variably, contributed to by the off-nadir pointing. Event energy density analysis indicate some anomalous hotspot pixels in the ISS LIS pixel array that were not present with the TRMM LIS. Despite these differences, ISS LIS provides similar parameter values to TRMM LIS with the expectation of somewhat lower lightning detection capability. In addition, recalculation of the event, group, and flash areas for both LIS datasets are strongly recommended since the archived values in the current release versions have significant errors.

Open access
Yanling Wu
and
Youmin Tang

Abstract

A retrospective tropical Indian Ocean dipole mode (IOD) hindcast for 1958–2014 was conducted using 20 models from the sixth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), with a model-based analog forecast (MAF) method. In the MAF approach, forecast ensembles are extracted from preexisting model simulations by finding the states that initially best match an observed anomaly and tracking their subsequent evolution, with no additional model integrations. By optimizing the key factors in the MAF method, we suggest that the optimal domain for the analog criteria should be concentrated in the tropical Indian Ocean region for IOD predictions. Including external forcing trends improves the skills of the east and west poles of the IOD, but not the IOD prediction itself. The MAF IOD prediction showed comparable skills to the assimilation-initialized hindcast, with skillful predictions corresponding to a 4- and 3-month lead, respectively. The IOD forecast skill had significant decadal variations during the 55-yr period, with low skill after the early 2000s and before 1985 and high skill during 1985–2000. This work offers a computational efficient and practical approach for seasonal prediction of the tropical Indian Ocean sea surface temperature.

Open access
Florian Geyer
,
Ganesh Gopalakrishnan
,
Hanne Sagen
,
Bruce Cornuelle
,
François Challet
, and
Matthew Mazloff

Abstract

The 2010–12 Acoustic Technology for Observing the Interior of the Arctic Ocean (ACOBAR) experiment provided acoustic tomography data along three 167–301-km-long sections in Fram Strait between Greenland and Spitsbergen. Ocean sound speed data were assimilated into a regional numerical ocean model using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology General Circulation Model–Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean four-dimensional variational (MITgcm-ECCO 4DVAR) assimilation system. The resulting state estimate matched the assimilated sound speed time series; the root-mean-squared (RMS) error of the sound speed estimate (∼0.4 m s−1) is smaller than the uncertainty of the measurement (∼0.8 m s−1). Data assimilation improved modeled range- and depth-averaged ocean temperatures at the 78°50′N oceanographic mooring section in Fram Strait. The RMS error of the state estimate (0.21°C) is comparable to the uncertainty of the interpolated mooring section (0.23°C). Lack of depth information in the assimilated ocean sound speed measurements caused an increased temperature bias in the upper ocean (0–500 m). The correlations with the mooring section were not improved as short-term variations in the mooring measurements and the ocean state estimate do not always coincide in time. This is likely due to the small-scale eddying and nonlinearity of the ocean circulation in Fram Strait. Furthermore, the horizontal resolution of the state estimate (4.5 km) is eddy permitting, rather than eddy resolving. Thus, the state estimate cannot represent the full ocean dynamics of the region. This study is the first to demonstrate the usefulness of large-scale acoustic measurements for improving ocean state estimates at high latitudes.

Significance Statement

Acoustic tomography measurements allow one to observe ocean temperature in large ocean volumes under the Arctic sea ice by measuring sound speed, which is hard to synoptically observe by other methods. This study has established methods for assimilation of depth- and range-averaged ocean sound speed from an acoustic tomography experiment in Fram Strait. For the first time, a 2-yr time series of ocean sound from acoustic tomography has been assimilated into an ocean state estimate. The results highlight the use of ocean tomography in ice-covered regions to improve state estimates of ocean temperature.

Open access
AMS Publications Commission
Open access
Dorukhan Ardağ
,
Gregory Wilson
,
James A. Lerczak
,
Dylan S. Winters
,
Adam Peck-Richardson
,
Donald E. Lyons
, and
Rachael A. Orben

Abstract

In 2013 and 2014, multiple field excursions of varying scope were concentrated on the Columbia River, a highly energetic, partially mixed estuary. These experiments included surface drifter and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements during the ONR RIVET-II experiment, and a novel animal tracking effort that samples oceanographic data by employing cormorants tagged with biologging devices. In the present work, several different data types from these experiments were combined in order to test an iterative, ensemble-based inversion methodology at the mouth of the Columbia River (MCR). Results show that, despite inherent limitations of observation and model accuracy, it is possible to detect dynamically relevant bathymetric features such as large shoals and channels while originating from a linear, featureless prior bathymetry in a partially mixed estuary by inverting surface current and gravity wave observations with a 3D hydrostatic ocean model. Bathymetry estimation skill depends on two factors: location (i.e., differing estimation quality inside versus outside the MCR) and observation type (e.g., surface currents versus significant wave height). Despite not being inverted directly, temperature and salinity outputs in the hydrodynamic model improved agreement with observations after bathymetry inversion.

Open access
Free access
Connor Pearson
,
Tian-You Yu
,
David Bodine
,
Sebastian Torres
, and
Anthony Reinhart

Abstract

Downbursts are rapidly evolving meteorological phenomena with numerous vertically oriented precursor signatures, and the temporal resolution and vertical sampling of the current NEXRAD system are too coarse to observe their evolution and precursor signatures properly. A future all-digital polarimetric phased-array weather radar (PAR) should be able to improve both temporal resolution and spatial sampling of the atmosphere to provide better observations of rapidly evolving hazards such as downbursts. Previous work has been focused on understanding the trade-offs associated with using various scanning techniques on stationary PARs; however, a rotating, polarimetric PAR (RPAR) is a more feasible and cost-effective candidate. Thus, understanding the trade-offs associated with using various scanning techniques on an RPAR is vital in learning how to best observe downbursts with such a system. This work develops a framework for analyzing the trade-offs associated with different scanning strategies in the observation of downbursts and their precursor signatures. A proof-of-concept analysis—which uses a Cloud Model 1 (CM1)-simulated downburst-producing thunderstorm—is also performed with both conventional and imaging scanning strategies in an adaptive scanning framework to show the potential value and feasibility of the framework. Preliminary results from the proof-of-concept analysis indicate that there is indeed a limit to the benefits of imaging as an update time speedup method. As imaging is used to achieve larger speedup factors, corresponding data degradation begins to hinder the observations of various precursor signatures.

Open access
Free access