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Li-Zhi Shen, Chun-Chieh Wu, and Falko Judt

Abstract

This study attempts to understand how surface heat fluxes in different storm regions affect tropical cyclone (TC) size. The Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (ARW-WRF) model (version 3.5.1) is used to simulate Typhoon Megi (2016). A series of numerical experiments are carried out, including a control simulation and several sensitivity experiments with surface heat fluxes suppressed in different TC regions [to mimic the reduction of the Wind-Induced Surface Heat Exchange (WISHE) feedback in the inner and/or outer core]. The results show that with surface heat fluxes suppressed in the entire domain, the TC tends to be smaller. Meanwhile, the TC size is more sensitive to the surface heat flux change in the outer core than to that in the inner core. Suppressing surface heat fluxes can weaken the rainbands around the suppressed area, which in turn slows down the secondary circulation. When the surface heat flux is suppressed in the inner-core region, the weakening of the secondary circulation associated with the diminished inner rainbands is limited to the inner core region, and only slightly affects the absolute angular momentum import from the outer region, thus having negligible impact on TC size. However, suppression of surface heat fluxes in the outer-core region leads to less active outer rainbands and a more substantial weakening of secondary circulation. This results in less absolute momentum import from the outer region, and in turn, a smaller TC.

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Tsz-Kin Lai, Eric A. Hendricks, Konstantinos Menelaou, and M. K. Yau

Abstract

Radar imagery of some double-eyewall tropical cyclones shows that the inner eyewalls became elliptical prior to their dissipation during the eyewall replacement cycles, indicating that the barotropic instability (BI) across the moat (also known as type-2 BI) may play a role. To further examine the physics of inner eyewall decay and outer eyewall intensification under the influence of the type-2 instability, three-dimensional numerical experiments are performed. In the moist full-physics run, the simulated vortex exhibits the type-2 instability and the associated azimuthal wavenumber-2 radial flow pattern. The absolute angular momentum (AAM) budget calculation indicates, after the excitation of the type-2 instability, a significant intensification in the negative radial advection of AAM at the inner eyewall. It is further shown that the changes in radial AAM advection largely result from the eddy processes associated with the type-2 instability and contribute significantly to the inner eyewall decay. The budget calculation also suggests that the type-2 instability can accelerate the inner eyewall decay in concert with the boundary layer cutoff effect. Another dry no-physics idealized experiment is conducted and the result shows that the type-2 instability alone is able to weaken the inner eyewall and also strengthen the outer eyewall with nonnegligible effect.

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Ivana Cerovečki and Andrew J.S. Meijers

Abstract

The deepest wintertime (Jul-Sep) mixed layers associated with Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) formation develop in the Indian and Pacific sectors of the Southern Ocean. In these two sectors the dominant interannual variability of both deep wintertime mixed layers and SAMW volume is a east-west dipole pattern in each basin. The variability of these dipoles are strongly correlated with the interannual variability of overlying winter quasi-stationary mean sea level pressure (MSLP) anomalies. Anomalously strong positive MSLP anomalies are found to result in the deepening of the wintertime mixed layers and an increase in the SAMW formation in the eastern parts of the dipoles in the Pacific and Indian sectors. These effects are due to enhanced cold southerly meridional winds, strengthened zonal winds and increased surface ocean heat loss. The opposite occurs in the western parts of the dipoles in these sectors. Conversely, strong negative MSLP anomalies result in shoaling (deepening) of the wintertime mixed layers and a decrease (increase) in SAMW formation in the eastern (western) regions. The MSLP variability of the Pacific and Indian basin anomalies are not always in phase, especially in years with a strong El Niño, resulting in different patterns of SAMW formation in the western vs. eastern parts of the Indian and Pacific sectors. Strong isopycnal depth and thickness anomalies develop in the SAMW density range in years with strong MSLP anomalies. When advected eastward, they act to precondition downstream SAMW formation in the subsequent winter.

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Jason A. Milbrandt, Hugh Morrison, Daniel T. Dawson II, and Marco Paukert

Abstract

In the original Predicted Particle Properties (P3) bulk microphysics scheme, all ice-phase hydrometeors are represented by one or more “free” ice categories, where the physical properties evolve smoothly through changes to the four prognostic variables (per category), and with a two-moment representation of the particle size distribution. As such, the spectral dispersion cannot evolve independently, which thus results in limitations in representation of ice—in particular, hail—due to necessary constraints in the scheme to prevent excessive gravitational size sorting. To overcome this, P3 has been modified to include a three-moment representation of the size distribution of each ice category through the addition of a fifth prognostic variable, the sixth moment of the size distribution. The details of the three-moment ice parameterization in P3 are provided. The behavior of the modified scheme, with the single-ice-category configuration, is illustrated through simulations in a simple 1D kinematic model framework as well as with near large-eddy-resolving (250-m grid spacing) 3D simulations of a hail-producing supercell. It is shown that the three-moment ice configuration controls size sorting in a physically based way and leads to an improved capacity to simulate large, heavily rimed ice (hail), including mean and maximum sizes and reflectivity, and thus an overall improvement in the representation of ice-phase particles in the P3 scheme.

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Jiaojiao Gou, Chiyuan Miao, Luis Samaniego, Mu Xiao, Jingwen Wu, and Xiaoying Guo

Capsule summary

A long-term spatiotemporally continuous naturalized runoff record, CNRD v1.0, is reconstructed by using a comprehensive model parameter uncertainty analysis framework within a land-surface model.

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James Morison, Ron Kwok, Suzanne Dickinson, Roger Andersen, Cecilia Peralta-Ferriz, David Morison, Ignatius Rigor, Sarah Dewey, and John Guthrie

Abstract

Arctic Ocean surface circulation change should not be viewed as the strength of the anticyclonic Beaufort Gyre. While the Beaufort Gyre is a dominant feature of average Arctic Ocean surface circulation, empirical orthogonal function analysis of dynamic height (1950-1989) and satellite altimetry-derived dynamic ocean topography (2004-2019) show the primary pattern of variability in its cyclonic mode is dominated by a depression of the sea surface and cyclonic surface circulation on the Russian side of the Arctic Ocean. Changes in surface circulation after AO maxima in 1989 and 2007-08 and after an AO minimum in 2010, indicate the cyclonic mode is forced by the Arctic Oscillation (AO) with a lag of about one year. Associated with a one standard deviation increase in the average AO starting in the early 1990s, Arctic Ocean surface circulation underwent a cyclonic shift evidenced by increased spatial-average vorticity. Under increased AO, the cyclonic mode complex also includes increased export of sea ice and near-surface freshwater, a changed path of Eurasian runoff, a freshened Beaufort Sea, and weakened cold halocline layer that insulates sea ice from Atlantic water heat, an impact compounded by increased Atlantic Water inflow and cyclonic circulation at depth. The cyclonic mode’s connection with the AO is important because the AO is a major global scale climate index predicted to increase with global warming. Given the present bias in concentration of in situ measurements in the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar Drift, a coordinated effort should be made to better observe the cyclonic mode.

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T. Amdur, A.R. Stine, and P. Huybers

Abstract

The 11-year solar cycle is associated with a roughly 1Wm-2 trough-to-peak variation in total solar irradiance and is expected to produce a global temperature response. The sensitivity of this response is, however, contentious. Empirical best estimates of global surface temperature sensitivity to solar forcing range from 0.08 to 0.18 K [W m-2 ]-1. In comparison, best estimates from general circulation models forced by solar variability range between 0.03-0.07 K [W m-2]-1, prompting speculation that physical mechanisms not included in general circulation models may amplify responses to solar variability. Using a lagged multiple linear regression method, we find a sensitivity of globalaverage surface temperature ranging between 0.02-0.09 K [W m-2]-1, depending on which predictor and temperature datasets are used. On the basis of likelihood maximization, we give a best estimate of the sensitivity to solar variability of 0.05 K [W m-2]-1 (0.03-0.09 K, 95% c.i.). Furthermore, through updating a widely-used compositing approach to incorporate recent observations, we revise prior global temperature sensitivity best estimates of 0.12 to 0.18 K [W m-2]-1 downwards to 0.07 to 0.10 K [W m-2]-1. The finding of a most-likely global temperature response of 0.05 K [W m-2]-1 supports a relatively modest role for solar cycle variability in driving global surface temperature variations over the 20th century and removes the need to invoke processes that amplify the response relative to that exhibited in general circulation models.

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Christian E. Buckingham, Jonathan Gula, and Xavier Carton

Abstract

In this study, we examine the role of curvature in modifying frontal stability. We first evaluate the classical criterion that the Coriolis parameter f multiplied by the Ertel potential vorticity (PV) q is positive for stable flow and that instability is possible when this quantity is negative. The first portion of this statement can be deduced from Ertel’s PV theorem, assuming an initially positive fq. Moreover, the full statement is implicit in the governing equation for the mean geostrophic flow, as the discriminant, fq, changes sign. However, for curved fronts in cyclogeostrophic or gradient wind balance (GWB), an additional term enters the discriminant owing to conservation of absolute angular momentum L. The resulting expression, (1 + Cu)fq < 0 or Lq < 0, where Cu is a nondimensional number quantifying the curvature of the flow, simultaneously generalizes Rayleigh’s criterion by accounting for baroclinicity and Hoskins’s criterion by accounting for centrifugal effects. In particular, changes in the front’s vertical shear and stratification owing to curvature tilt the absolute vorticity vector away from its thermal wind state; in an effort to conserve the product of absolute angular momentum and Ertel PV, this modifies gradient Rossby and Richardson numbers permitted for stable flow. This forms the basis of a nondimensional expression that is valid for inviscid, curved fronts on the f plane, which can be used to classify frontal instabilities. In conclusion, the classical criterion fq < 0 should be replaced by the more general criterion for studies involving gravitational, centrifugal, and symmetric instabilities at curved density fronts. In Part II of the study, we examine interesting outcomes of the criterion applied to low-Richardson-number fronts and vortices in GWB.

Open access
Christian E. Buckingham, Jonathan Gula, and Xavier Carton

Abstract

We continue our study of the role of curvature in modifying frontal stability. In Part I, we obtained an instability criterion valid for curved fronts and vortices in gradient wind balance (GWB): Φ′ = Lq′ < 0, where L′ and q′ are the nondimensional absolute angular momentum and Ertel potential vorticity (PV), respectively. In Part II, we investigate this criterion in a parameter space representative of low-Richardson-number fronts and vortices in GWB. An interesting outcome is that, for Richardson numbers near 1, anticyclonic flows increase in q′, while cyclonic flows decrease in q′, tending to stabilize anticyclonic and destabilize cyclonic flow. Although stability is marginal or weak for anticyclonic flow (owing to multiplication by L′), the destabilization of cyclonic flow is pronounced, and may help to explain an observed asymmetry in the distribution of small-scale, coherent vortices in the ocean interior. We are referring to midlatitude submesoscale and polar mesoscale vortices that are generated by friction and/or buoyancy forcing within boundary layers but that are often documented outside these layers. A comparison is made between several documented vortices and predicted stability maps, providing support for the proposed mechanism. A simple expression, which is a root of the stability discriminant Φ′, explains the observed asymmetry in the distribution of vorticity. In conclusion, the generalized criterion is consistent with theory, observations, and recent modeling studies and demonstrates that curvature in low-stratified environments can destabilize cyclonic and stabilize anticyclonic fronts and vortices to symmetric instability. The results may have implications for Earth system models.

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Shiwei Sun, Bowen Zhou, Ming Xue, and Kefeng Zhu

Abstract

In numerical simulations of deep convection at kilometer-scale horizontal resolutions, in-cloud subgrid-scale (SGS) turbulence plays an important role in the transport of heat, moisture, and other scalars. By coarse graining a 50 m high-resolution large-eddy simulation (LES) of an idealized supercell storm to kilometer-scale grid spacings ranging from 250 m to 4 km, the SGS fluxes of heat, moisture, cloud, and precipitating water contents are diagnosed a priori. The kilometer-scale simulations are shown to be within the “gray zone” as in-cloud SGS turbulent fluxes are comparable in magnitude to the resolved fluxes at 4 km spacing, and do not become negligible until ~500 m spacing. Vertical and horizontal SGS fluxes are of comparable magnitudes; both exhibit nonlocal characteristics associated with deep convection as opposed to local gradient-diffusion type of turbulent mixing. As such, they are poorly parameterized by eddy-diffusivity-based closures. To improve the SGS representation of turbulent fluxes in deep convective storms, a scale-similarity LES closure is adapted to kilometer-scale simulations. The model exhibits good correlations with LES-diagnosed SGS fluxes, and is capable of representing countergradient fluxes. In a posteriori tests, supercell storms simulated with the refined similarity closure model at kilometer-scale resolutions show better agreement with the LES benchmark in terms of SGS fluxes than those with a turbulent-kinetic-energy-based gradient-diffusion scheme. However, it underestimates the strength of updrafts, which is suggested to be a consequence of the model effective resolution being lower than the native grid resolution.

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