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J. Shen, M. Yu, A. J. Koivisto, H. Jiang, Y. Liu, L. Wang, and T. Hussein

Abstract

The inverse Gaussian distributed method of moments (IGDMOM; J. Atmospheric Sci. 77 (9): 3011-3031, 2020) was developed to analytically solve the kinetic collection equation (KCE) for the first time. Using the IGDMOM, we obtained both new analytical and asymptotic solutions to the KCE. This is shown for both the free molecular and continuum regime collision frequency functions. The new analytical solutions are highly suitable for demonstrating the self-preserving size distribution (SPSD) theory. The SPSD theory is considered one of the most elegant research works in atmospheric science for aerosols or small cloud droplets. It was initially discovered by Friedlander (J. Meteorology 17 (5): 479-483, 1960) and then developed by Lee (J. Colloid Interface Sci. 92 (2): 315-325, 1983) with an assumption of the time-dependent lognormal size distribution function. In this study, we demonstrate that the SPSD theory of coagulating atmospheric aerosols can be presented in a simpler and more rigorous theoretical way, which is realized through the introduction of the IGDMOM for describing aerosol size distributions. Using the IGDMOM, the new formulas for the SPSD, as well as the time required for aerosols to reach the SPSD, are analytically provided and verified. Furthermore, we discover that the SPSD of atmospheric aerosols undergoing coagulation is only determined using a shape factor variable, 𝛺, which is composed of the first three moments at an initial stage. This study has critical implications for developing tropospheric atmospheric aerosol or small cloud droplet dynamics models and further verifies the SPSD theory from the viewpoint of theoretical analysis.

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Johannes Becherer, James N. Moum, Joseph Calantoni, John A. Colosi, John A. Barth, James A. Lerczak, Jacqueline M. McSweeney, Jennifer A. MacKinnon, and Amy F. Waterhouse

Abstract

Broadly-distributed measurements of velocity, density and turbulence spanning the inner shelf off central California indicate that (i) the average shoreward-directed internal tide energy flux (〈FE〉) decreases to near 0 at the 25 m isobath; (ii) the vertically-integrated turbulence dissipation rate (〈D〉) is approximately equal to the flux divergence of internal tide energy (xFE〉); (iii) the ratio of turbulence energy dissipation in the interior relative to the bottom boundary layer (BBL) decreases toward shallow waters; (iv) going inshore, 〈FE〉 becomes decorrelated with the incoming internal wave energy flux; and (v) 〈FE〉 becomes increasingly correlated with stratification toward shallower water.

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P. Platzer, P. Yiou, P. Naveau, P. Tandeo, Y. Zhen, P. Ailliot, and J-F. Filipot

Abstract

Analogs are nearest neighbors of the state of a system. By using analogs and their successors in time, one is able to produce empirical forecasts. Several analog forecasting methods have been used in atmospheric applications and tested on well-known dynamical systems. Such methods are often used without reference to theoretical connections with dynamical systems. Yet, analog forecasting can be related to the dynamical equations of the system of interest. This study investigates the properties of different analog forecasting strategies by taking local approximations of the system’s dynamics. We find that analog forecasting performances are highly linked to the local Jacobian matrix of the flow map, and that analog forecasting combined with linear regression allows to capture projections of this Jacobian matrix. Additionally, the proposed methodology allows to efficiently estimate analog forecasting errors, an important component in many applications. Carrying out this analysis also allows to compare different analog forecasting operators, helping to choose which operator is best suited depending on the situation. These results are derived analytically and tested numerically on two simple chaotic dynamical systems. The impact of observational noise and of the number of analogs is evaluated theoretically and numerically.

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Tong Guo and Yanhong Tang

Abstract

Long-term variabilities in daily precipitation and temperature are critical for assessing the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. We characterized intra- and interannual variabilities in daily precipitation and temperature obtained from 1960 to 2015 at 78 meteorological stations on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The results show that 1) The intra-annual variability of daily precipitation increases for 55 meteorological stations with a rate of 0.08 mm per decade. In contrast, the intra-annual variability markedly decreases for daily mean, daytime mean, and nighttime mean temperatures with a rate of 0.09, 0.07, and 0.12 °C per decade, respectively at 90% or more of stations. 2) Variabilities of daily precipitation and temperatures are quite sensitive to high altitudes (> 3500 m). The intra- and interannual variabilities of daily precipitation significantly decrease at 1.0 and 0.07 mm per 1000 m, respectively. However, variations of high altitudes increase the intra- and interannual variabilities of daily mean temperature at 1.0 °C and 0.2 °C per 1000 m. Moreover, the interannual variability of nighttime mean temperature varies at 0.3 °C per 1000 m, the fastest rate among three temperature indices. 3) A larger mean annual precipitation is accompanied by a higher intra- and interannual variability of daily precipitation on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; however, a higher mean annual temperature leads to lower variabilities of daily temperatures. This study illustrates that long-term climatic variability is understudied in alpine ecosystems characterized by high climatic sensitivity. Precipitation and temperature variabilities should be characterized to improve predictions of vulnerable ecosystems responding to climate change.

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Guo Lin, Coltin Grasmick, Bart Geerts, Zhien Wang, and Min Deng

Abstract

This observational study documents the consequences of a collision between two converging shallow atmospheric boundaries over the central Great Plains on the evening of 7 June 2015. This study uses data from a profiling airborne Raman lidar (the Compact Raman Lidar, or CRL) and other airborne and ground-based data collected during the Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) field campaign to investigate the collision between a weak cold front and the outflow from a MCS. The collision between these boundaries led to the lofting of high-CAPE, low-CIN air, resulting in deep convection, as well as an undular bore. Both boundaries behaved as density currents prior to collision. Because the MCS outflow boundary was denser and less deep than the cold-frontal airmass, the bore propagated over the latter. This bore was tracked by the CRL for about three hours as it traveled north over the shallow cold-frontal surface and evolved into a soliton. This case study is unique by using the high temporal and spatial resolution of airborne Raman lidar measurements to describe the thermodynamic structure of interacting boundaries and a resulting bore.

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Xiaodong Wu, Falk Feddersen, and Sarah N. Giddings

Abstract

Rip currents are generated by surfzone wave breaking and are ejected offshore inducing inner-shelf flow spatial variability (eddies). However, surfzone effects on the inner-shelf flow spatial variability have not been studied in realistic models that include both shelf and surfzone processes. Here, these effects are diagnosed with two nearly identical twin realistic simulations of the San Diego Bight over summer to fall where one simulation includes surface gravity waves (WW) and the other that does not (NW). The simulations include tides, weak to moderate winds, internal waves, submesoscale processes, and have surfzone width L sz of 96(±41) m (≈ 1 m significant wave height). Flow spatial variability metrics, alongshore root mean square vorticity, divergence, and eddy cross-shore velocity, are analyzed in a L sz normalized cross-shore coordinate. At the surface, the metrics are consistently (> 70%) elevated in the WW run relative to NW out to 5L sz offshore. At 4L sz offshore, WW metrics are enhanced over the entire water column. In a fixed coordinate appropriate for eddy transport, the eddy cross-shore velocity squared correlation betweenWWand NW runs is < 0.5 out to 1.2 km offshore or 12 time-averaged L sz. The results indicate that the eddy tracer (e.g., larvae) transport and dispersion across the inner-shelf will be significantly different in the WW and NW runs. The WW model neglects specific surfzone vorticity generation mechanisms. Thus, these inner-shelf impacts are likely underestimated. In other regions with larger waves, impacts will extend farther offshore.

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Hung-I Lee and Jonathan L. Mitchell

Abstract

A global Hovmöller diagram of column water vapor (CWV) at 30°N from daily ERA-Interim reanalysis data shows seasonally migrating North Pacific/Atlantic quasi-stationary atmospheric rivers (QSARs) located in the Eastern Pacific/Atlantic in winter and propagate to the Western Pacific/Atlantic in summer. Simplified general circulation model (GCM) experiments produce QSAR-like features if the boundary conditions include (1) the sea surface temperature contrast from the tropical warm pool-cold tongue and (2) topographic contrast similar to the Tibetan plateau. Simulated QSARs form downstream of topographic contrast during winter and coincide with it in summer. Two models of baroclinic instability demonstrate that QSARs coincide with the location where the most unstable mode phase speed equals that of the upper-level zonal winds. A consistent interpretation is that the waves become quasi-stationary at this location and break. The location of quasistationarity migrates from the Eastern Pacific/Atlantic in the winter, when upper-level winds are strong and extended over the basin, to the Western Pacific/Atlantic when winds are weak and contracted. Low-level wind convergence and moist static energy coincide with QSARs, and since the former two are essential ingredients to monsoon formation, this implies an important role for QSARs in monsoon onset. This connection opens a new window into the dynamics of subtropical monsoon extensions.

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Yechul Shin, Sarah M. Kang, Ken Takahashi, Malte F. Stuecker, Yen-Ting Hwang, and Doyeon Kim

Abstract

This study examines the temporal evolution of the extratropically forced tropical response in an idealized aquaplanet model under equinox condition. We apply a surface thermal forcing in the northern extratropics that oscillates periodically in time. It is shown that tropical precipitation is unaltered by sufficiently high-frequency extratropical forcing. This sensitivity to the extratropical forcing periodicity arises from the critical time required for sea surface temperature (SST) adjustment. Low-frequency extratropical forcing grants sufficient time for atmospheric transient eddies to diffuse moist static energy to perturb the mid-latitude SSTs outside the forcing region, as demonstrated by a one-dimensional energy balance model with a fixed diffusivity. As the transient eddies weaken in the subtropics, a further equatorward advection is accomplished by the Hadley circulation. The essential role of Hadley cell advection in connecting the subtropical signal to the equatorial region is supported by an idealized thermodynamical-advective model. Associated with the SST changes in the tropics is a meridional shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Since the time needed for SST adjustment increases with increasing mixed layer depth, the critical forcing period at which the extratropical forcing can affect the tropics scales linearly with the mixed layer depth. Our results highlight the important role of decadal-and-longer extratropical climate variability in shaping the tropical climate system. We also raise the possibility that the transient behavior of a tropical response forced by extratropical variability may be strongly dependent on cloud radiative effects.

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Subin Thomas, Prasanth Prabhakaran, Will Cantrell, and Raymond A. Shaw

Abstract

Water vapor supersaturation in the atmosphere is produced in a variety of ways, including the lifting of a parcel or via isobaric mixing of parcels. However, irrespective of the mechanism of production, the water vapor supersaturation in the atmosphere has typically been modeled as a Gaussian distribution. In the current theoretical and numerical study, the nature of supersaturation produced by mixing processes is explored. The results from large eddy simulation and a Gaussian mixing model reveal the distribution of supersaturations produced by mixing to be negatively skewed. Further, the causes of skewness are explored using large eddy simulations (LES) and the Gaussian mixing model (GMM). The correlation in forcing of temperature and water vapor fields is recognized as playing a key role.

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D.M. Morake, R. C. Blamey, and C.J.C. Reason

Abstract

A climatology of large, long-lived mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) over eastern South Africa for the extended austral summer (September-April) from 1985-2008 is presented. On average, 63 MCSs occur here in summer, but with considerable interannual variability in frequency. The systems mainly occur between November and March, with a December peak. This seasonal cycle in MCS activity is shown to coincide with favorable CAPE and vertical shear profiles across the domain. Most systems tend to occur along the eastern escarpment and adjacent warm waters of the northern Agulhas Current with a nocturnal life cycle. Typically, initiation begins in the early afternoon, MCS status is reached mid-afternoon, maximum extent early in the night and termination around midnight or shortly thereafter. It is found that most MCSs initiate over land, but systems that initiate over the ocean tend to last longer than those that develop over land. The results also show that there are differences in the seasonal cycle between continental and oceanic MCSs, with oceanic systems containing two intraseasonal peaks (December and April). There is a relatively strong positive relationship between the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and early summer MCSs frequency. For the late summer, the frequency of MCSs appears related to the strength of the Mascarene High and Mozambique Channel Trough which modulate the inflow of moisture into eastern South Africa and the stability of the lower atmosphere over the region.

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