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Aaron Kennedy, Aaron Scott, Nicole Loeb, Alec Sczepanski, Kaela Lucke, Jared Marquis, and Sean Waugh

Capsule

A student-led campaign tests more affordable ways of observing blowing and falling snow. Microphysical observations made during the project created a natural bridge between research and outreach objectives.

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Kelvin K. Droegemeier and Neil A. Jacobs

Abstract

For the first time in over 50 years, the United States has, at the direction of Congress, restructured the way in which Federal departments and agencies coordinate to advance meteorological services. The new framework, known as the Interagency Council for Advancing Meteorological Services (ICAMS), encompasses activities spanning local weather to global climate using an Earth system approach. Compared to the previous structure, ICAMS provides a simplified, streamlined framework for coordination across all stakeholders in implementing policies and practices associated with the broad set of services needed by the United States now and into the future. ICAMS also provides improved pathways for research and services integration, as well as mechanisms to more effectively engage the broader community, including academia, industry, nonprofit organizations, and particularly the next generation of educators, researchers, and operational practitioners.

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Adam L. Houston, Lisa M. Pytlikzillig, and Janell C. Walther

Abstract

Inclusion of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the weather surveillance network has the potential to improve short-term (< 1 day) weather forecasts through direct integration of UAS-collected data into the forecast process and assimilation into numerical weather prediction models. However, one of the primary means by which the value of any new sensing platform can be assessed is through consultation with principal stakeholders. National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters are principal stakeholders responsible for the issuance of short-term forecasts. The purpose of the work presented here is to use results from a survey of 630 NWS forecasters to assess critical data gaps that impact short-term forecast accuracy, and explore the potential role of UAS in filling these gaps.

NWS forecasters view winter precipitation, icing, flood, lake-effect/enhanced snow, turbulence, and waves as the phenomena principally impacted by data gaps. Of the ten high-priority weather-related characteristics that need to be observed to fill critical data gaps, seven are either measures of precipitation or related to precipitation-producing phenomena. The three most important UAS capabilities/characteristics required for useful data for weather forecasting are real- or near-real-time data, the ability to integrate UAS data with additional data gathered by other systems, and UASs equipped with cameras to verify forecasts and monitor weather. Of the three operation modes offered for forecasters to consider, targeted surveillance is considered to be the most important compared to fixed site profiling or transects between fixed sites.

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Jian Wang, Rob Wood, Michael P. Jensen, J. Christine Chiu, Yangang Liu, Katia Lamer, Neel Desai, Scott E. Giangrande, Daniel A. Knopf, Pavlos Kollias, Alexander Laskin, Xiaohong Liu, Chunsong Lu, David Mechem, Fan Mei, Mariusz Starzec, Jason Tomlinson, Yang Wang, Seong Soo Yum, Guangjie Zheng, Allison C. Aiken, Eduardo B. Azevedo, Yann Blanchard, Swarup China, Xiquan Dong, Francesca Gallo, Sinan Gao, Virendra P. Ghate, Susanne Glienke, Lexie Goldberger, Joseph C. Hardin, Chongai Kuang, Edward P. Luke, Alyssa A. Matthews, Mark A. Miller, Ryan Moffet, Mikhail Pekour, Beat Schmid, Arthur J. Sedlacek, Raymond A. Shaw, John E. Shilling, Amy Sullivan, Kaitlyn Suski, Daniel P. Veghte, Rodney Weber, Matt Wyant, Jaemin Yeom, Maria Zawadowicz, and Zhibo Zhang

CAPSULE

Comprehensive in-situ and remote sensing measurements during the ACE-ENA campaign allow for improved understanding of aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and interactions among them in remote marine environment.

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Marlene Kretschmer, Samantha V. Adams, Alberto Arribas, Rachel Prudden, Niall Robinson, Elena Saggioro, and Theodore G. Shepherd

Capsule

The purpose of this article is to make climate scientists aware of the need to bring explicit causal reasoning into their statistical analysis of teleconnections. We illustrate how this can be achieved with causal networks.

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Dorian J. Burnette
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Aaron R. Naeger, Michael J. Newchurch, Tom Moore, Kelly Chance, Xiong Liu, Susan Alexander, Kelley Murphy, and Bo Wang
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Jonathan Zawislak, Robert F. Rogers, Sim D. Aberson, Ghassan J. Alaka Jr., George Alvey, Altug Aksoy, Lisa Bucci, Joseph Cione, Neal Dorst, Jason Dunion, Michael Fischer, John Gamache, Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan, Andrew Hazelton, Heather M. Holbach, John Kaplan, Hua Leighton, Frank Marks, Shirley T. Murillo, Paul Reasor, Kelly Ryan, Kathryn Sellwood, Jason A. Sippel, and Jun A. Zhang

Abstract

Since 2005, NOAA has conducted the annual Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX), led by scientists from the Hurricane Research Division at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic andMeteorological Laboratory. They partner with NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center, who maintain and operate the WP-3D and G-IV Hurricane Hunter aircraft, and NCEP’s National Hurricane Center and Environmental Modeling Center, who task airborne missions to gather data used by forecasters for analysis and forecasting and for ingest into operational numerical weather prediction models. The goal of IFEX is to improve tropical cyclone (TC) forecasts using an integrated approach of analyzing observations from aircraft, initializing and evaluating forecast models with those observations, and developing new airborne instrumentation and observing strategies targeted at filling observing gaps and maximizing the data’s impact in model forecasts. This summary article not only highlights recent IFEX contributions towards improved TC understanding and prediction, but also reflects more broadly on the accomplishments of the program during the 16 years of its existence. It describes how IFEX addresses high-priority forecast challenges, summarizes recent collaborations, describes advancements in observing systems monitoring structure and intensity, as well as in assimilation of aircraft data into operational models, and emphasizes key advances in understanding of TC processes, particularly those that lead to rapid intensification. The article concludes by laying the foundation for the “next generation” of IFEX as it broadens its scope to all TC hazards, particularly rainfall, storm-surge inundation, and tornadoes, that have gained notoriety during the last few years after several devastating landfalling TCs.

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Yuan Yang, Ming Pan, Peirong Lin, Hylke E. Beck, Zhenzhong Zeng, Dai Yamazaki, Cédric H. David, Hui Lu, Kun Yang, Yang Hong, and Eric F. Wood

Abstract

Better understanding and quantification of river floods for very local and flashy events calls for modeling capability at fine spatial and temporal scales. However, long-term discharge records with a global coverage suitable for extreme events analysis are still lacking. Here, grounded on recent breakthroughs in global runoff hydrology, river modeling, high resolution hydrography, and climate reanalysis, we developed a 3-hourly river discharge record globally for 2.94 million river reaches during the 40-year period of 1980-2019. The underlying modeling chain consists of the VIC land surface model (0.05°, 3-hourly) that is well calibrated and bias corrected and the RAPID routing model (2.94 million river and catchment vectors), with precipitation input from MSWEP and other meteorological fields downscaled from ERA5. Flood events (above 2-year return) and their characteristics (number, spatial distribution, and seasonality) were extracted and studied. Validations against 3-hourly flow records from 6,000+ gauges in CONUS and daily records from 14,000+ gauges globally show good modeling performance across all flow ranges, good skills in reconstructing flood events (high extremes), and the benefit of (and need for) sub-daily modeling. This data record, referred as Global Reach-level Flood Reanalysis (GRFR), is publicly available at https://www.reachhydro.org/home/records/grfr.

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James O. Pinto, Anders A. Jensen, Matthias Steiner, Debbie O’Sullivan, Stewart Taylor, Jack Elston, C. Bruce Baker, David Hotz, Curtis Marshall, Jamey Jacob, Konrad Bärfuss, Bruno Piguet, Greg Roberts, Nadja Omanovic, Martin Fengler, and Adam Houston

Abstract

The boundary layer plays a critical role in regulating energy and moisture exchange between the surface and the free atmosphere. However, the boundary layer and lower atmosphere (including shallow flow features and horizontal gradients that influence local weather) are not sampled at time and space scales needed to improve mesoscale analyses that are used to drive short-term model predictions of impactful weather. These data gaps are exasperated in remote and less developed parts of the world where relatively cheap observational capabilities could help immensely. The continued development of small, weather-sensing Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS), coupled with the emergence of an entirely new commercial sector focused on UAS applications, has created novel opportunities for partially filling this observational gap. This article provides an overview of the current level of readiness of small UAS for routinely sensing the lower atmosphere in support of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) around the world. The potential benefits of UAS observations in operational weather forecasting and numerical weather prediction are discussed, as are key considerations that will need to be addressed before their widespread adoption. Finally, potential pathways for implementation of weather-sensing UAS into operations, which hinge on their successful demonstration within collaborative, multi-agency-sponsored testbeds, are suggested.

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