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Shihua Liu
,
Sihua Huang
,
Yanke Tan
,
Zhiping Wen
,
Xiaodan Chen
, and
Yuanyuan Guo

Abstract

Previous studies have pointed out that the tropical easterly jet (TEJ) core varies longitudinally or latitudinally. Whether there is a linkage between longitudinal and latitudinal variations of the TEJ core remains unclear. We found that, on the interannual time scale, the northward (southward) movement of the TEJ core is typically accompanied by a westward (eastward) shift, characterized by a noticeable northwest–southeast (NW–SE) displacement. This NW–SE shift is most evident in July. A locational index is defined to capture this shift by the difference of area-averaged 200-hPa zonal winds between the western Arabian Sea (AS) and the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula. Observations and numerical simulations demonstrated that the northwestward-shifted (southeastward-shifted) TEJ core is caused by the joint and individual influences from the enhanced (suppressed) convective activities over the eastern AS and suppressed (enhanced) convective activities over the northern Bay of Bengal–South China Sea (BOB–SCS). Enhanced (suppressed) convective activities over the eastern AS can induce upper-tropospheric divergence (convergence) and anticyclonic (cyclonic) circulations to the northwest of the convection, leading to anomalous easterly (westerly) over the western AS. The suppressed (enhanced) convective activities over the northern BOB–SCS can further facilitate the northwestward (southeastward) shift through inducing anomalous cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulation centering at the BOB and the associated anomalous westerly (easterly) over the southern tip of the Indian Peninsula. The NW–SE shift of the TEJ core may have an implication for the change in the area of the intense rainfall in South Asia.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study is to explore the linkage between the zonal and meridional variations of the core of the tropical easterly jet (TEJ) and its underlying mechanisms. We found that the TEJ core features a pronounced northwest–southeast shift and this phenomenon only occurs in July. Thus, we defined a locational index to depict this unique characteristic and reveal its relationship with the anomalous convective activities over the eastern Arabian Sea and the northern Bay of Bengal–South China Sea. These results may help improve our understanding of the characteristics and mechanisms of the variations of the TEJ core.

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Free access
Da Fan
,
Steven J. Greybush
,
Eugene E. Clothiaux
, and
David John Gagne II

Abstract

Convective initiation (CI) nowcasting remains a challenging problem for both numerical weather prediction models and existing nowcasting algorithms. In this study, an object-based probabilistic deep learning model is developed to predict CI based on multichannel infrared GOES-16 satellite observations. The data come from patches surrounding potential CI events identified in Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor Doppler weather radar products over the Great Plains region from June and July 2020 and June 2021. An objective radar-based approach is used to identify these events. The deep learning model significantly outperforms the classical logistic model at lead times up to 1 hour, especially on the false alarm ratio. Through case studies, the deep learning model exhibits dependence on the characteristics of clouds and moisture at multiple altitudes. Model explanation further reveals that the contribution of features to model predictions is significantly dependent on the baseline, a reference point against which the prediction is compared. Under a moist baseline, moisture gradients in the lower and middle troposphere contribute most to correct CI forecasts. In contrast, under clear-sky baselines, correct CI forecasts are dominated by cloud-top features, including cloud-top glaciation, height, and cloud coverage. Our study demonstrates the advantage of using different baselines in further understanding model behavior and gaining scientific insights.

Open access
Neil F. Laird
,
Caitlin C. Crossett
,
Catherine J. Britt
,
Nicholas D. Metz
,
Kelly Carmer
, and
Braedyn D. McBroom

Abstract

An investigation of lake effect (LE) and the associated synoptic environment is presented for days when all five lakes in the Great Lakes (GL) region had LE bands [five-lake days (5LDs)]. The study utilized an expanded database of observed LE clouds over the GL during 25 cold seasons (October–March) from 1997/98 to 2021/22. LE bands occurred on 2870 days (64% of all cold-season days). Nearly a third of all LE bands occurred during 5LDs, although 5LDs consisted of just 17.1% of LE days. A majority of 5LDs (56.5%) had lake-to-lake (L2L) bands, and these days comprised 43.5% of all L2L occurrences. 5LDs occurred with a mean of 26.1 (SD = 6.2) days per cold season until 2008/09 and then decreased to a mean of 13.8 (SD = 5.5) days during subsequent cold seasons. January and February had the largest number of consecutive LE days in the GL with a mean of 5.7 and 5.4 days, respectively. As the number of consecutive LE days increases, both the number of 5LDs and the occurrence of consecutive 5LD increase. This translates to an increased potential of heavy snowfall impacts in multiple, localized areas of the GL for extended time periods. The mean composite synoptic pattern of 5LDs exhibited characteristics consistent with lake-aggregate disturbances and showed similarity to synoptic patterns favorable for LE over one or two of the GL found by previous studies. The results demonstrate that several additional areas of the GL are often experiencing LE bands when a localized area has active LE bands occurring.

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Zi-Qi Liu
and
Zhe-Min Tan

Abstract

This study analyzes the variations in the thermodynamic cycle and energy of a tropical cyclone (TC) under the influence of vertical wind shear (VWS), exploring the possible thermodynamic pathways through which VWS affects TC intensity. The maximum energy harnessed by the TC diminishes alongside a decrease in storm intensity in the presence of VWS. In the sheared TC, the ascending branch of the thermodynamic cycles of TC shifts toward lower entropy, which is related to the reduction of entropy in the eyewall and/or the increase of entropy and enhanced upward motion outside the eyewall. Moreover, the descending leg to shift toward higher entropy due to the increase in entropy and weakening of downward motion in both the ambient environment and upper troposphere. These changes in the ascending and descending branches could reduce the work done by the heat engine cycle, with the former playing a primary role in the presence of VWS.

Given that the ascending branch is influenced by the eyewall and the rainbands outside the eyewall under VWS, the thermodynamic pathways could be categorized into inner ventilation and outer ventilation based on the location of their roles. The pathways associated with inner ventilation primarily reduce the entropy in the eyewall. In addition to the conventional low- and mid-level ventilation, the inner ventilation also encompasses new pathways entering the mid-level eyewall after descending from the upper level and ascending from the boundary layer. Conversely, the pathways of outer ventilation are related to the increase the entropy outside the eyewall. These include the ascent of high-entropy air to the middle and upper troposphere related to the inner and outer rainbands, the outward advection of high-entropy air from the eyewall in the mid- and upper-levels, and air warming by the descending draft from the upper to the mid-level troposphere. These insights contribute to a nuanced understanding of the sophisticated interactions within TCs and their response to VWS.

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Quentin Jamet
,
Alexandre Berger
,
Bruno Deremble
, and
Thierry Penduff

Abstract

Air-sea fluxes are the main drivers of ocean circulation, yet their representation in ocean only models remains challenging. While a zeroth-order formulation accounting only for the state of the atmosphere is well adopted by the community, surface ocean feedback has gained attention over the last decades. In this paper, we focus on thermodynamical indirect feedback of surface ocean currents, which completes the ’eddy killing’ effect induced by the mechanical feedback. In this study, we quantify both the mechanical and thermodynamical contributions in the context of idealized, coupled Quasi-Geostrophic simulations through sensitivity experiments on wind stress formulation. As compared to eddy killing which impacts kinetic energy levels, the indirect thermodynamical feedback induces significant changes in potential energy levels. The thermodynamical feedback also enhances by +27% the potential-to-kinetic turbulent energy conversion induced by relative wind stress formulation, as well as significant changes in both forward and inverse cascades of Potential Energy (PE). That is, accounting for ocean surface currents in the computation of wind stress significantly changes transfers of PE from the mean to the turbulent flow. These changes are mostly controlled by a reduced upscale energy flux rather than a more vigorous downscale flux, a process in line with results obtained for kinetic energy fluxes associated with the eddy killing effect.

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Alain T. Tamoffo
,
Torsten Weber
,
William Cabos
,
Paul-Arthur Monerie
,
Kerry H. Cook
,
Dmitry V. Sein
,
Alessandro Dosio
,
Nana A. B. Klutse
,
Akintomide A. Akinsanola
, and
Daniela Jacob

Abstract

This study explores the added value (AV) of a regional earth system model (ESM) compared to an atmosphere-only regional climate model (RCM) in simulating West African Monsoon (WAM) rainfall. The primary goals are to foster discussions on the suitability of coupled RCMs for WAM projections and deepen our understanding of ocean-atmosphere coupling’s influence on the WAM system. The study employs results from dynamical downscaling of the ERA-Interim reanalysis and Max Plank Institute ESM (MPI-ESM-LR) by two RCMs, REMO (atmosphere-only) and ROM (REMO coupled with Max Planck Institute Ocean Model; MPIOM), at ∼25-km horizontal resolution. Results show that in regions distant from coupling domain boundaries such as West Africa (WA), constraint conditions from ERA-Interim are more beneficial than coupling effects. REMO, reliant on oceanic sea surface temperatures (SSTs) from observations and influenced by ERA-Interim, is biased under coupling conditions, although coupling offers potential advantages in representing heat and mass fluxes. Contrastingly, as intended, coupling improves SSTs-monsoon fluxes’ relationships under ESM-forced conditions. In this latter case, coupling features a dipole-like spatial structure of AV, improving precipitation over the Guinean coast but degrading precipitation over half of the Sahel. Our extensive examination of physical processes and mechanisms underpinning the WAM system supports the plausibility of AV. Additionally, we found that the monsoonal dynamics over the ocean respond to convective activity, with the Sahara-Sahel surface temperature gradient serving as the maintenance mechanism. While further efforts are needed to enhance the coupled RCM, we advocate for its use in the context of WAM rainfall forecasts and projections.

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Ayumi Fujisaki-Manome
,
Haoguo Hu
,
Jia Wang
,
Joannes J. Westerink
,
Damrongsak Wirasaet
,
Guoming Ling
,
Mindo Choi
,
Saeed Moghimi
,
Edward Myers
,
Ali Abdolali
,
Clint Dawson
, and
Carol Janzen

Abstract

In Alaska’s coastal environment, accurate information of sea ice conditions is desired by operational forecasters, emergency managers, and responders. Complicated interactions among atmosphere, waves, ocean circulation, and sea ice collectively impact the ice conditions, intensity of storm surges, and flooding, making accurate predictions challenging. A collaborative work to build the Alaska Coastal Ocean Forecast System established an integrated storm surge, wave, and sea ice model system for the coasts of Alaska, where the verified model components are linked using the Earth System Modeling Framework and the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability. We present the verification of the sea ice model component based on the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model, version 6. The regional, high-resolution (3 km) configuration of the model was forced by operational atmospheric and ocean model outputs. Extensive numerical experiments were conducted from December 2018 to August 2020 to verify the model’s capability to represent detailed nearshore and offshore sea ice behavior, including landfast ice, ice thickness, and evolution of air–ice drag coefficient. Comparisons of the hindcast simulations with the observations of ice extent presented the model’s comparable performance with the Global Ocean Forecast System 3.1 (GOFS3.1). The model’s skill in reproducing landfast ice area significantly outperformed GOFS3.1. Comparison of the modeled sea ice freeboard with the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 product showed a mean bias of −4.6 cm. Daily 5-day forecast simulations for October 2020–August 2021 presented the model’s promising performance for future implementation in the coupled model system.

Significance Statement

Accurate sea ice information along Alaska’s coasts is desired by the communities for preparedness of hazardous events, such as storm surges and flooding. However, such information, in particular predicted conditions, remains to be a gap. This study presents the verification of the state-of-art sea ice model for Alaska’s coasts for future use in the more comprehensive coupled model system where ocean circulation, wave, and sea ice models are integrated. The model demonstrates comparable performance with the existing operational ocean–ice coupled model product in reproducing overall sea ice extent and significantly outperformed it in reproducing landfast ice cover. Comparison with the novel satellite product presented the model’s ability to capture sea ice freeboard in the stable ice season.

Open access
D. A. Cherian
,
Y. Guo
, and
F. O. Bryan

Abstract

We assess the representation of mesoscale stirring in a suite of models against an estimate derived from microstructure data collected during the North Atlantic Tracer Release Experiment (NATRE). We draw heavily from the approximate temperature variance budget framework of Ferrari and Polzin. This framework assumes two sources of temperature variance away from boundaries: first, the vertical stirring of the large-scale mean vertical gradient by small-scale turbulence; and second, the lateral stirring of large-scale mean along-isopycnal gradients by mesoscale eddies. Temperature variance so produced is transformed and on average transferred down scales for ultimate dissipation at the microscale at a rate χ estimated using microstructure observations. Ocean models represent these pathways by a vertical mixing parameterization, and an along-isopycnal lateral mixing parameterization (if needed). We assess the rate of variance production by the latter as a residual from the NATRE dataset and compare against the parameterized representations in a suite of model simulations. We find that variance production due to lateral stirring in a Parallel Ocean Program version 2 (POP2) 1/10° simulation agrees well, to within the estimated error bars, with that inferred from the NATRE estimate. A POP2 1° simulation and the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean Version 4 release 4 (ECCOV4r4) simulation appear to dissipate an order of magnitude too much variance by applying a lateral diffusivity, when compared to the NATRE estimate, particularly below 1250 m. The ECCOV4r4-adjusted lateral diffusivities are elevated where the microstructure suggests elevated χ sourced from mesoscale stirring. Such elevated values are absent in other diffusivity estimates suggesting the possibility of compensating errors and caution in interpreting ECCOV4r4’s adjusted lateral diffusivities.

Significance Statement

We look at whether microstructure turbulence observations can provide a useful metric for judging the fidelity of representation of mesoscale stirring in a suite of models. We focus on the region of the North Atlantic Tracer Release Experiment (NATRE), the site of a major ocean turbulence observation campaign, and use an approximate variance budget framework for the region with observational estimates from . The approach provides a novel framework to evaluate the approximate representation of mesoscale stirring in a variety of models.

Open access
Alejandra Sanchez-Rios
,
R. Kipp Shearman
,
Craig M. Lee
,
Harper L. Simmons
,
Louis St. Laurent
,
Andrew J. Lucas
,
Takashi Ijichi
, and
Sen Jan

Abstract

The Kuroshio occasionally carries warm and salty North Pacific Water into fresher waters of the South China Sea, forming a front with a complex temperature–salinity (TS) structure to the west of the Luzon Strait. In this study, we examine the TS interleavings formed by alternating layers of North Pacific Water with South China Sea Water in a front formed during the winter monsoon season of 2014. Using observations from a glider array following a free-floating wave-powered vertical profiling float to calculate the fine-scale parameters Turner angle, Tu, and Richardson number, Ri, we identified areas favorable to double-diffusion convection and shear instability observed in a TS interleaving. We evaluated the contribution of double-diffusion convection and shear instabilities to the thermal variance diffusivity, χ, using microstructure data and compared it with previous parameterization schemes based on fine-scale properties. We discover that turbulent mixing is not accurately parameterized when both Tu and Ri are within critical ranges (Tu > 60; Ri < ¼). In particular, χ associated with salt finger processes was an order of magnitude higher (6.7 × 10−7 K2 s−1) than in regions where only velocity shear was likely to drive mixing (8.7 × 10−8 K2 s−1).

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