Browse

You are looking at 51 - 60 of 117,964 items for

  • All content x
Clear All
Christopher D. McCray, John R. Gyakum, and Eyad H. Atallah

Abstract

Though prolonged freezing rain events are rare, they can result in substantial damage when they occur. While freezing rain occurs less frequently in the south-central United States than in some regions of North America, a large number of extremely long-duration events lasting at least 18 h have been observed there. We explore the key synoptic–dynamic conditions that lead to these extreme events through a comparison with less severe short-duration events. We produce synoptic–dynamic composites and 7-day backward trajectories for parcels ending in the warm and cold layers for each event category. The extremely long-duration events are preferentially associated with a deeper and more stationary 500-hPa longwave trough centered over the southwestern United States at event onset. This trough supports sustained flow of warm, moist air from within the planetary boundary layer over the Gulf of Mexico northward into the warm layer. The short-duration cases are instead characterized by a more transient upper-level trough axis centered over the south-central U.S. region at onset. Following event onset, rapid passage of the trough leads to quasigeostrophic forcing for descent and the advection of cold, dry air that erodes the warm layer and ends precipitation. While trajectories ending in the cold layer are very similar between the two categories, those ending in the warm layer have a longer history over the Gulf of Mexico in the extreme cases compared with the short-duration ones, resulting in warmer and moister onset warm layers.

Restricted access
Amélie Simon, Guillaume Gastineau, Claude Frankignoul, Clément Rousset, and Francis Codron

Abstract

The impact of Arctic sea ice loss on the ocean and atmosphere is investigated focusing on a gradual reduction of Arctic sea ice by 20% of the annual mean, occurring within 30 years, starting from present-day conditions. Two ice-constraining methods are explored to melt Arctic sea ice in a coupled climate model, while keeping present-day conditions for external forcing. The first method uses a reduction of sea ice albedo, which modifies the incoming surface shortwave radiation. The second method uses a reduction of thermal conductivity, which changes the heat conduction flux inside ice. Reduced thermal conductivity inhibits oceanic cooling in winter and sea ice basal growth, reducing the seasonality of sea ice thickness. For similar Arctic sea ice area loss, decreasing the albedo induces larger Arctic warming than reducing the conductivity, especially in spring. Both ice-constraining methods produce similar climate impacts, but with smaller anomalies when reducing the conductivity. In the Arctic, the sea ice loss leads to an increase of the North Atlantic water inflow in the Barents Sea and eastern Arctic, while the salinity decreases and the gyre intensifies in the Beaufort Sea. In the North Atlantic, the subtropical gyre shifts southward and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation weakens. A dipole of sea level pressure anomalies sets up in winter over northern Siberia and the North Atlantic, which resembles the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. In the tropics, the Atlantic intertropical convergence zone shifts southward as the South Atlantic Ocean warms. In addition, Walker circulation reorganizes and the southeastern Pacific Ocean cools.

Restricted access
Yonatan Givon, Chaim I. Garfinkel, and Ian White

Abstract

An intermediate complexity general circulation model is used to investigate the transient response of the NH winter stratosphere to modulated ultraviolet (UV) radiation by imposing a stepwise, deliberately exaggerated UV perturbation and analyzing the lagged response. Enhanced UV radiation is accompanied by an immediate warming of the tropical upper stratosphere. The warming then spreads into the winter subtropics due to an accelerated Brewer–Dobson circulation in the tropical upper stratosphere. The poleward meridional velocity in the subtropics leads to an increase in zonal wind in midlatitudes between 20° and 50°N due to Coriolis torque. The increase in midlatitude zonal wind is accompanied by a dipole in Eliassen–Palm flux convergence, with decreased convergence near the winter pole and increased convergence in midlatitudes (where winds are strengthening due to the Coriolis torque); this dipole subsequently extends the anomalous westerlies to subpolar latitudes within the first 10 days. The initial radiatively driven acceleration of the Brewer–Dobson circulation due to enhanced shortwave absorption is replaced in the subpolar winter stratosphere by a wave-driven deceleration of the Brewer–Dobson circulation, and after a month the wave-driven deceleration of the Brewer–Dobson circulation encompasses most of the winter stratosphere. Approximately a month after UV is first modified, a significant poleward jet shift is evident in the troposphere. The results of this study may have implications for the observed stratospheric and tropospheric responses to solar variability associated with the 27-day solar rotation period, and also to solar variability on longer time scales.

Open access
Renguang Wu, Yuqi Wang, and Xi Cao

Abstract

The present study investigates the factors that affect the year-to-year change in the intensity of synoptic-scale variability (SSV) over the tropical western North Pacific (TWNP) during boreal summer and fall. It is found that the intensity of the TWNP SSV in summer is associated with the equatorial central-eastern Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies that modulate the background fields through a Rossby wave response both in the source region and along the propagation path of the synoptic-scale disturbances. In fall, the intensity of the TWNP SSV is related to an SST anomaly pattern with opposite anomalies in the equatorial central Pacific and TWNP that modulates the background fields from the equatorial central Pacific to TWNP. However, the equatorial central Pacific SST anomalies alone fail to change the intensity of the TWNP SSV as the induced background field changes are limited to the equatorial central Pacific. It is shown that tropical western Pacific SST anomalies may induce notable changes in the intensity of the TWNP SSV. The relation of the TWNP SSV to the equatorial eastern Pacific SST is weak due to opposite SST anomalies in different types of years. Both seasonal mean and intraseasonal flows provide sources of barotropic energy for the change in the intensity of the TWNP synoptic-scale disturbances in summer. Seasonal mean flow has a main contribution to the barotropic energy conversion for the change in the intensity of the TWNP synoptic-scale disturbances in fall.

Restricted access
S. P. Alexander and A. R. Klekociuk

Abstract

We combine observations of optically-thin cirrus clouds made by lidar at Davis, Antarctica (69°S, 78°E) during 14 – 15 June 2011 with a microphysical retrieval algorithm to constrain the ice water content (IWC) of these clouds. The cirrus were embedded in a tropopause jet which flowed around a ridge of high pressure extending southwards over Davis from the Southern Ocean. Cloud optical depths were (0.082±0.001) and sub-visual cirrus were present during 11% of the observation period. The macrophysical cirrus cloud properties obtained during this case study are consistent with those previously reported at lower latitudes. MODIS satellite imagery and AIRS surface temperature data are used as inputs into a radiative transfer model in order to constrain the IWC and ice water path of the cirrus. The derived cloud IWC is consistent with in-situ observations made at other locations but at similarly cold temperatures. The optical depths derived from the model agree with those calculated directly from the lidar data. This study demonstrates the value of a combination of ground-based lidar observations and a radiative transfer model in constraining microphysical cloud parameters which could be utilised at locations where other lidar measurements are made.

Restricted access
Oscar Guzman and Haiyan Jiang

Abstract

Based on 19 years of precipitation data collected by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, a comparison of the rainfall produced by tropical cyclones (TCs) in different global basins is presented. A total of 1789 TCs were examined in the period from 1998 to 2016 by taking advantage of more than 47,737 observations of TRMM/GPM 3B42 multi-satellite derived rainfall amounts. The axisymmetric component of the TC rainfall is analyzed in all TC-prone basins. The resulting radial profiles show that major hurricanes in the Atlantic basin exhibit significantly heavier inner-core rainfall rates than those in any other basins. To explain the possible causes of this difference, rainfall distributions for major hurricanes are stratified according to different TC intensity and environmental variables. Based on the examination of these parameters, we found that the stronger rainfall rates in the Atlantic major hurricanes are associated with higher values of convective available potential energy, drier relative humidity in the low to middle troposphere, colder air temperature at 250hPa, and stronger vertical wind shear than other basins. These results have important implications in the refining of our understanding of the mechanisms of TC rainfall.

Restricted access
ZONGJIAN KE, XINGWEN JIANG, JINMING FENG, and ZUNYA WANG

Abstract

In the last two decades, southwestern China (SWC) has experienced severe droughts, which are always accompanied by severe deficiencies in precipitation. In this study, we found that the interannual variability in boreal winter precipitation in SWC is modulated by the Philippine Sea anomalous anticyclone (PSAC). The interannual relationship between the PSAC and SWC precipitation experienced an interdecadal change around the early 1980s. The correlation between them was enhanced in the period from 1981 to 2001 (P2) compared to the period from 1961 to 1980 (P1). In P1, the moisture transported by the PSAC mainly affected eastern China, as the PSAC was located over the northern Philippine Sea, and the moisture budget of SWC was dominated by moisture transport at the western boundary. The PSAC, however, strengthened and shifted southwestward in P2, accompanied by a deepened India-Burma trough. As such, the PSAC transported moist air from the western North Pacific and the Indian Ocean into SWC through its southern boundary. Meanwhile, the stronger PSAC in P2 was accompanied by an upper-level convergence from the western North Pacific to the Bay of Bengal, which induced an upper-level divergence and ascending motion over SWC. Thus, the PSAC caused a significant increase in precipitation in P2. Stronger air-sea interactions in the western North Pacific induced by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation may be responsible for the enhancement and southwestward shift of the PSAC in P2 compared to that in P1.

Restricted access
Yishuai Jin and Zhengyu Liu

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the potential factors that control the relationship between the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) persistence barriers (PB) in sea surface temperature (SST) and ocean heat content (OHC) and apply it to explain observational ENSO PBs. With the addition of seasonal growth rate in SST in the neutral recharge oscillator (NRO) model, approximate analytical solutions of autocorrelation functions for SST and OHC suggest strictly that the timing of PB for OHC leads that of SST by half a year and the strength of the two PBs are the same. The numerical solutions of the NRO model also show a similar relationship. The role of ENSO growth rate to PBs in SST and OHC is then identified in the damped and unstable ENSO regime. Therefore, it is suggested that for the observational ENSO, the seasonally varying ENSO growth rate in SST controls PBs in SST and OHC simultaneously.

Open access
Muhammad Naufal Razin and Michael M. Bell

Abstract

Hurricane Ophelia (2005) underwent an unconventional eyewall replacement cycle (ERC) as it was a Category 1 storm located over cold sea surface temperatures near 23°C. The ERC was analyzed using airborne radar, flight-level, and dropsonde data collected during the Hurricane Rainband and Intensity Change Experiment (RAINEX) intensive observation period on 11 September 2005. Results showed that the spin-up of the secondary tangential wind maximum during the ERC can be attributed to the efficient convergence of absolute angular momentum by the mid-level inflow of Ophelia’s dominantly stratiform rainbands. This secondary tangential wind maximum strongly contributed to the azimuthal mean tangential wind field, which is conducive for increased low-level supergradient winds and corresponding outflow. The low-level supergradient forcing enhanced convergence to form a secondary eyewall. Ophelia provides a unique example of an ERC occurring in a weaker storm with predominantly stratiform rainbands, suggesting an important role of stratiform precipitation processes in the development of secondary eyewalls.

Restricted access
Maheshwari Neelam, Rajat Bindlish, Peggy O’Neill, George J. Huffman, Rolf Reichle, Steven Chan, and Andreas Colliander

The precipitation flag in the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Level 2 passive soil moisture (L2SMP) retrieval product indicates the presence or absence of heavy precipitation at the time of the SMAP overpass. The flag is based on precipitation estimates from the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) Forward Processing numerical weather prediction system. An error in flagging during an active or recent precipitation event can either (1) produce an overestimation of soil moisture due to short-term surface wetting of vegetation and/or surface ponding (if soil moisture retrieval was attempted in the presence of rain), or (2) produce an unnecessary non-retrieval of soil moisture and loss of data (if retrieval is flagged due to an erroneous indication of rain). Satellite precipitation estimates from the Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) Version 06 Early Run (latency of ~4 hrs) precipitationCal product are used here to evaluate the GEOS-based precipitation flag in the L2SMP product for both the 6 PM ascending and 6 AM descending SMAP overpasses over the first five years of the mission (2015-2020). Consisting of blended precipitation measurements from the GPM (Global Precipitation Mission) satellite constellation, IMERG is treated as the “truth” when comparing to the GEOS model forecasts of precipitation used by SMAP. Key results include: i) IMERG measurements generally show higher spatial variability than the GEOS forecast precipitation, ii) the IMERG product has a higher frequency of light precipitation amounts, and iii) the effect of incorporating IMERG rainfall measurements in lieu of GEOS precipitation forecasts are minimal on the L2SMP retrieval accuracy (determined vs. in situ soil moisture measurements at core validation sites). Our results indicate that L2SMP retrievals continue to meet the mission’s accuracy requirement (standard deviation of the ubRMSE less than 0.04 m3/m3).

Restricted access