Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 3,864 items for :

  • Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology x
  • Refine by Access: Content accessible to me x
Clear All
Noureddine Semane, Richard Anthes, Jeremiah Sjoberg, Sean Healy, and Benjamin Ruston

Abstract

We compare two seemingly different methods of estimating random error statistics (uncertainties) of observations, the three-cornered hat (3CH) method and Desroziers method, and show several examples of estimated uncertainties of COSMIC-2 (C2) radio occultation (RO) observations. The two methods yield similar results, attesting to the validity of both. The small differences provide insight into the sensitivity of the methods to the assumptions and computational details. These estimates of RO error statistics differ considerably from several RO error models used by operational weather forecast centers, suggesting that the impact of RO observations on forecasts can be improved by adjusting the RO error models to agree more closely with the RO error statistics. Both methods show RO uncertainty estimates that vary with latitude. In the troposphere, uncertainties are higher in the tropics than in the subtropics and middle latitudes. In the upper stratosphere–lower mesosphere, we find the reverse, with tropical uncertainties slightly less than in the subtropics and higher latitudes. The uncertainty estimates from the two techniques also show similar variations between a 31-day period during Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season (16 August–15 September 2020) and a month near the vernal equinox (April 2021). Finally, we find a relationship between the vertical variation of the C2 estimated uncertainties and atmospheric variability, as measured by the standard deviation of the C2 sample. The convergence of the error estimates and the standard deviations above 40 km indicates a lessening impact of assimilating RO above this level.

Significance Statement

Uncertainties of observations are of general interest and their knowledge is important for assimilation in numerical weather prediction models. This paper compares two methods of estimating these uncertainties and shows that they give nearly identical results under certain conditions. The estimation of the COSMIC-2 bending angle uncertainties and how they compare to the assumed bending angle error models in several operational weather centers suggests that there is an opportunity for obtaining improved impact of RO observations in numerical model forecasts. Finally, the relationship between the COSMIC-2 bending angle errors and atmospheric variability provides insight into the sources of RO observational uncertainties.

Open access
Zhijin Qiu, Tong Hu, Bo Wang, Jing Zou, and Zhiqian Li

Abstract

The evaporation duct is an abnormal refractive phenomenon with wide distribution and frequency occurrence at the boundary between the atmosphere and the ocean, which directly affects electromagnetic wave propagation. In recent years, the use of meteorological and hydrological data to predict the evaporation duct height has become an emerging and promising approach. There are some evaporation duct models that have been proposed based on the Monin–Obukhov similarity theory. However, each model adopts different stability functions and roughness length parameterization methods, so the prediction accuracies are different under different environmental conditions. To improve the prediction accuracy of the evaporation duct under different environmental conditions, a model selection optimization method (MSOM) of the evaporation duct model is proposed based on sensitivity analysis. According to the sensitivity of each model to input parameters analyzed by the sensor observation accuracy, curve graph, and Sobol sensitivity, the model input parameters are divided into several intervals. Then the optimization model is selected in different intervals. The model was established using numerical simulation data from local areas in the South China Sea, and its accuracy was verified by the observational data from the offshore observation platform located in the South China Sea. The results show that the MSOM can effectively improve the prediction accuracy of the evaporation duct height. Under unstable conditions, the maximum relative error is reduced by 7.1%, and under stable conditions, the relative error is reduced by 10.7%.

Significance Statement

The evaporation duct height has a significant effect on marine radar or wireless apparatus applications. To obtain the evaporation duct height, there are some evaporation duct models that have been proposed. However, different evaporation duct models are applicable to different meteorological and hydrological environments. A single model cannot achieve accurate evaporation duct height predictions in all environments. We propose a model selection optimization method of the evaporation duct model based on sensitivity analysis. This method can dynamically select the optimal model according to different meteorological and hydrological environment, and improve the prediction accuracy of the evaporation duct height. Under unstable conditions, the maximum relative error is reduced by 7.1%, and under stable conditions, the relative error is reduced by 10.7%.

Open access
Beth Reid and Tom Swanson

Abstract

Loon LLC collected 794 000 h of corona current observations between 15 and ∼20 km above sea level with time resolution between 1 and 30 min. We are publicly releasing this dataset to enable the research community’s understanding of electrical activity in the stratosphere. We validate the reliability of these measurements by aligning our flight data with both nearby Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) events and the Convective Diagnostic Oceanic (CDO) indicator. Corona current observations that exceeded the sensor maximum of 10 μA were associated with high GLM optical flux accumulations along the flight trajectory. Using the CDO indicator as a persistence forecast for future electrical activity was effective at predicting corona current events, and so we highly recommend this data source for real-time stratospheric navigation for vehicles sensitive to the harsh electrical environment of the stratosphere.

Significance Statement

Loon LLC operated a fleet of balloons in the stratosphere, between 15 and 20 km above sea level. The balloons were instrumented with a sensor that measured the current flowing through a wire dangling from the flight vehicle. The observed currents were caused by the motion of nearby charged particles that are often associated with thunderstorms and lightning activity. In this paper we show that Loon’s sensor registered current at the same time lightning was recorded near the balloon by other instruments like the Geostationary Lightning Mapper satellite. This is the first dataset of its kind and size, reaching 794 000 flight hours. We are publicly releasing these data in hopes of aiding scientific discovery by researchers and to help future stratospheric vehicle operators better understand and plan for the electrical environment.

Open access
C. O. Collins III and R. E. Jensen

Abstract

We identify and characterize an error in the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) wave records due to the sustained tilt of a buoy under high winds. We use a standard, operational 3-m aluminum discus buoy from NDBC with two wave systems, one gimballed, and the other strapped down but uncorrected. By comparing the two, we find that the most extreme significant wave heights are systematically overestimated. The overestimation is shown to be confined to a region around the peak frequency in the spectra: 0.05–0.15 Hz. Wave direction and directional spread are unaffected. A bias due to tilt error can be observed starting at winds of 10 m s−1 or wave heights of 4 m. The bias increases as a function of wind speed and wave height, i.e., the bias is +10% when winds are 20 m s−1. Very high waves and winds are relatively rare, so while the tilt error does not affect overall statistics and basic analyses it could potentially affect analysis sensitive to the extremes. A correction is derived for significant wave height, which is a quadratic function of wind speed. The correction is shown to reduce wave heights in uncorrected records, but is found inadequate for general use. There is evidence of tilt error at other NDBC stations, but the full extent of prevalence in the record is not known at this time.

Open access
Shinta Seto, Toshio Iguchi, and Robert Meneghini

Abstract

Spaceborne precipitation radars, including the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission’s Precipitation Radar (PR) and the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission’s Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), measure not only precipitation echoes but surface echoes as well, the latter of which are used to estimate the path-integrated attenuation (PIA) in the surface reference technique (SRT). In our previous study based on analyzing PR measurements, we found that attenuation-free surface backscattering cross sections (denoted by σe0) over land increased in the presence of precipitation. This behavior, called the soil moisture effect, causes an underestimate of the PIA by the SRT as the method does not explicitly consider this effect. In this study, measurements made by Ku-band Precipitation Radar (KuPR) and Ka-band Precipitation Radar (KaPR), which comprise the DPR, were analyzed to examine whether KuPR and KaPR exhibit similar dependencies on the soil moisture as does the PR. For both KuPR and KaPR, an increase in σe0 was observed for a large portion of the land area, except for forests and deserts. Results from the Hitschfeld–Bordan (HB) method suggest that σe0 increases with the surface precipitation rate for light precipitation events. Meanwhile, for heavy precipitation, owing to the degradation of the HB method, it is difficult to estimate σe0 quantitatively. Thus, a correction method for PIA that considers the soil moisture effect was developed and implemented into the DPR standard algorithm. With this correction, the surface precipitation rate estimates increased by approximately 18% for KuPR and 15% for the normal scan of KaPR over land.

Open access
Candice Hall, Robert E. Jensen, and David W. Wang

Abstract

The importance of quantifying the accuracy in wave measurements is critical to not only understand the complexities of wind-generated waves, but imperative for the interpretation of implied accuracy of the prediction systems that use these data for verification and validation. As wave measurement systems have unique collection and processing attributes that result in large accuracy ranges, this work quantifies bias that may be introduced into wave models from the newly operational NOAA National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) 2.1-m hull. Data quality consistency between the legacy NDBC 3-m aluminum hulls and the new 2.1-m hull is compared to a relative reference, and provides a standardized methodology and graphical representation template for future intrameasurement evaluations. Statistical analyses and wave spectral comparisons confirm that the wave measurements reported from the NDBC 2.1-m hulls show an increased accuracy from previously collected NDBC 3-m hull wave data for significant wave height and average wave period, while retaining consistent accuracy for directional results, purporting that hull size does not impact NDBC directional data estimates. Spectrally, the NDBC 2.1-m hulls show an improved signal-to-noise ratio, allowing for increase in energy retention in the lower-frequency spectral range, with an improved high-frequency spectral accuracy above 0.25 Hz within the short seas and wind chop wave component regions. These improvements in both NDBC bulk and spectral data accuracy provide confidence for the wave community’s use of NDBC wave data to drive wave model technologies, improvements, and validations.

Open access
Takenari Kinoshita, Shin-Ya Ogino, Junko Suzuki, Ryuichi Shirooka, Takuji Sugidachi, Kensaku Shimizu, and Matthew H. Hitchman

Abstract

Observations of temperature and wind velocity in the 30–40-km altitude layer have been sparse since elimination of the standard rocketsonde sounding network in the 1990s. In an effort to extend the vertical range of radiosonde observations into the upper stratosphere, experiments were conducted with a 3-kg balloon at Tsukuba, Japan, on 5 November 2019. Using this relatively inexpensive balloon technology, four radiosondes were launched, with two reaching above 40-km altitude. These profiles were compared with satellite and reanalysis data in the 30–40-km layer, which showed an overall good agreement and an ability of radiosondes to capture shorter vertical-scale variations. The ability to quantify gravity wave parameters from the data is described, with application to wave events detected near 38–40 km. This type of balloon will be deployed extensively in an upcoming intensive observation campaign over the Maritime Continent, which will contribute toward achieving standard radiosonde observations in the 30–40-km altitude range. This system extends the ability to provide information regarding gravity wave and planetary wave activity upward to ∼40 km.

Open access
John A. Kluge, Alexander V. Soloviev, Cayla W. Dean, Geoffrey K. Morrison, and Brian K. Haus

Abstract

A magnetic signature is created by secondary magnetic field fluctuations caused by the phenomenon of seawater moving in Earth’s magnetic field. A laboratory experiment was conducted at the Surge Structure Atmosphere Interaction (SUSTAIN) facility to measure the magnetic signature of surface waves using a differential method: a pair of magnetometers, separated horizontally by one-half wavelength, were placed at several locations on the outer tank walls. This technique significantly reduced the extraneous magnetic distortions that were detected simultaneously by both sensors and additionally doubled the magnetic signal of surface waves. Accelerometer measurements and local gradients were used to identify magnetic noise produced from tank vibrations. Wave parameters of 4-m-long waves with a 0.56-Hz frequency and a 0.1-m amplitude were used in this experiment. Freshwater and saltwater experiments were completed to determine the magnetic difference generated by the difference in conductivity. Tests with an empty tank were conducted to identify the noise of the facility. When the magnetic signal was put through spectral analysis, it showed the primary peak at the wave frequency (0.56 Hz) and less pronounced higher-frequency harmonics, which are caused by the nonlinearity of shallow water surface waves. The magnetic noise induced by the wavemaker and related vibrations peaked around 0.3 Hz, which was removed using filtering techniques. These results indicate that the magnetic signature produced by surface waves was an order of magnitude larger than in traditional model predictions. The discrepancy may be due to the magnetic permeability difference between water and air that is not considered in the traditional model.

Open access
Laur Ferris, Donglai Gong, Sophia Merrifield, and Louis St. Laurent

Abstract

Finescale strain parameterization (FSP) of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate has become a widely used method for observing ocean mixing, solving a coverage problem where direct turbulence measurements are absent but CTD profiles are available. This method can offer significant value, but there are limitations in its broad application to the global ocean. FSP often fails to produce reliable results in frontal zones where temperature–salinity (T/S) intrusive features contaminate the CTD strain spectrum, as well as where the aspect ratio of the internal wave spectrum is known to vary greatly with depth, as frequently occurs in the Southern Ocean. In this study we use direct turbulence measurements from Diapycnal and Isopycnal Mixing Experiment in the Southern Ocean (DIMES) and glider microstructure measurements from Autonomous Sampling of Southern Ocean Mixing (AUSSOM) to show that FSP can have large biases (compared to direct turbulence measurement) below the mixed layer when physics associated with T/S fronts are meaningfully present. We propose that the FSP methodology be modified to 1) include a density ratio (Rρ)-based data exclusion rule to avoid contamination by double diffusive instabilities in frontal zones such as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the Gulf Stream, and the Kuroshio, and 2) conduct (or leverage available) microstructure measurements of the depth-varying shear-to-strain ratio Rω(z) prior to performing FSP in each dynamically unique region of the global ocean.

Significance Statement

Internal waves travel through the ocean and collide, turbulently mixing the interior ocean and homogenizing its waters. In the absence of actual turbulence measurements, oceanographers count the ripples associated with these internal waves and use them estimate the amount of turbulence that will transpire from their collisions. In this paper we show that the ripples in temperature and salinity that naturally occur at sharp fronts masquerade as internal waves and trick oceanographers into thinking there is up to 100 000 000 times more turbulence than there actually is in these frontal regions.

Open access
Mike Muglia, Harvey Seim, and Patterson Taylor

Abstract

A method to extract characteristics of the Gulf Stream (GS) surface flow field using high-frequency radar (HFR)–derived currents is described. Radial velocity measurements, from radar installations near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, serve as input, chosen because of the greater spatial and temporal coverage provided compared to total velocity fields. The landward GS edge, jet axis, orientation, and cyclonic shear zone (CSZ) width are identified along bearings within the radar footprint. The method is applied to observations from two radar installations from November 2014 and provides GS estimates with daily temporal resolution. Results along eight bearings provide a consistent representation of GS variability dominated by the passage of meanders. Average distance to the GS edge along bearings varies from 50 to 100 km; distance estimate quality degrades with range from the radars. Monthly mean GS jet axis locations from satellite sea surface height (SSH) and the algorithm are consistent. Cross correlations between estimates of GS characteristics in the same region vary from 0.37 to 0.73 for the GS edge. Estimates of radar distance to the GS edge are negatively correlated with current velocity measurements nearest the surface from a moored 150-kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler and vary between −0.58 and −0.71. GS CSZ width metrics range from mean values of 29–31 km. Daily GS orientation estimates are affected by the crossing angle of the radial bearing relative to the GS. Lags from the cross correlations of monthly mean properties suggest meander propagation speed estimates increase from 43.2 km day−1 south of the cape, to 136.8 km day−1 just east of it.

Open access