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Katrina S. Virts
,
Timothy J. Lang
,
Dennis E. Buechler
, and
Phillip M. Bitzer

Abstract

Identical Lightning Imaging Sensors aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM LIS, 1998–2015) and International Space Station (ISS LIS, 2017–present) have provided over two decades of lightning observations over the global tropics, with ISS LIS extending coverage into the mid-latitudes. Quantifying the detection performance of both LIS sensors is a necessary step toward generating a combined LIS climatological record and accurately combining LIS data with lightning detections from other sensors and networks. We compare lightning observations from both LIS sensors with reference sources including the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) and ground-based Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN), Earth Networks Global Lightning Network (ENGLN), National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN), and Global Lightning Dataset (GLD360). Instead of a relative detection efficiency (DE) approach that assumes perfect performance of the reference sensor, we employ a Bayesian approach to estimate the upper limit of the absolute DE (ADE) of each system being analyzed. The results of this analysis illustrate the geographical pattern of ADE as well as its diurnal cycle and yearly evolution. Reference network ADE increased by ~15–30% during the TRMM era, leading to a decline in TRMM LIS ADE. ISS LIS flash ADE has been relatively consistent at 61–65%, about 4–5% lower than TRMM LIS at the end of its lifetime.

Restricted access
Elizabeth Tirone
,
Subrata Pal
,
William A Gallus Jr.
,
Somak Dutta
,
Ranjan Maitra
,
Jennifer Newman
,
Eric Weber
, and
Israel Jirak

Abstract

Many concerns are known to exist with thunderstorm wind reports in the National Center for Environmental Information Storm Events Database, including the overestimation of wind speed, changes in report frequency due to population density, and differences in reporting due to damage tracers. These concerns are especially pronounced with reports that are not associated with a wind speed measurement, but are estimated, which make up almost 90% of the database. We have used machine learning to predict the probability that a severe wind report was caused by severe intensity wind, or wind ≥ 50 kt. A total of six machine learning models were trained on 11 years of measured thunderstorm wind reports, along with meteorological parameters, population density, and elevation. Objective skill metrics such as the area under the ROC curve (AUC), Brier score, and reliability curves suggest that the best performing model is the stacked generalized linear model, which has an AUC around 0.9 and a Brier score around 0.1. The outputs from these models have many potential uses such as forecast verification and quality control for implementation in forecast tools. Our tool was evaluated favorably at the Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecasting Experiments in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Open access
Free access
Free access
Chia-Wei Lan
,
Chao-An Chen
, and
Min-Hui Lo

Abstract

Between 1979 and 2021, global ocean regions experienced a decrease in dry season precipitation, while the trend over land areas varied considerably. Some regions, such as South-Eastern China, Maritime Continent, Eastern Europe, and Eastern North America, showed a slight increasing trend in dry season precipitation. This study analyzes the potential mechanisms behind this trend by using the fifth-generation ECMWF atmospheric reanalysis (ERA5) data. The analysis shows that the weakening of downward atmospheric motions played a critical role in enhancing dry season precipitation over land. An atmospheric moisture budget analysis revealed that larger convergent moisture fluxes lead to an increase in water vapor content below 400hPa. This, in turn, induced an unstable tendency in the moist static energy profile, leading to a more unstable atmosphere and weakening downward motions, which drove the trend towards increasing dry season precipitation over land. The more water vapor in low troposphere is because of higher moisture convergence and moisture transport from ocean to land regions. In summary, this study demonstrates the intricate elements involved in altering dry season rainfall trends over land, which also emphasizes the importance of comprehending the spatial distribution of the wet-get-wetter and dry-get-drier paradigm.

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Ingo Richter
,
Jayanthi V Ratnam
,
Patrick Martineau
,
Pascal Oettli
,
Takeshi Doi
,
Tomomichi Ogata
,
Takahito Kataoka
, and
François Counillon

Abstract

Seasonal prediction systems are subject to systematic errors, including those introduced during the initialization procedure, that may degrade the forecast skill. Here we use a novel statistical post-processing correction scheme that is based on canonical correlation analysis (CCA) to relate errors in ocean temperature arising during initialization with errors in the predicted sea-surface temperature fields at 1–12 months’ lead time. In addition, the scheme uses CCA of simultaneous SST fields from the prediction and corresponding observations to correct pattern errors. Finally, simple scaling is used to mitigate systematic location and phasing errors as a function of lead time and calendar month.

Applying this scheme to an ensemble of seven seasonal prediction models suggests that moderate improvement of prediction skill is achievable in the tropical Atlantic and, to a lesser extent in the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean. The scheme possesses several adjustable parameters, including the number of CCA modes retained, and the regions of the left and right CCA patterns. These parameters are selected using a simple tuning procedure based on the average of four skill metrics.

The results of the present study indicate that errors in ocean temperature fields due to imperfect initialization and SST variability errors can have a sizable negative impact on SST prediction skill. Further development of prediction systems may be able to remedy these impacts to some extent.

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Shuaibing Shao
,
Xin-Min Zeng
,
Ning Wang
,
Irfan Ullah
, and
Haishen Lv

Abstract

Currently, there is a lack of investigating moisture sources for precipitation over the upstream catchment of the Three Gorges Dam (UCTGD), the world’s largest dam. Using the dynamical recycling model (DRM), trajectory frequency method (TFM), and the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), this study quantifies moisture sources and transport paths for UCTGD summer precipitation from 1980 to 2009 based on two categories of sources: region-specific and source-direction. Overall, the land and oceanic sources contribute roughly 63% and 37%, respectively, of the moisture to UCTGD summer precipitation. UCTGD and the Indian Ocean are the most important land and oceanic sources, respectively, in which the southern Indian Ocean with over 10% of moisture contribution was overlooked previously. Under the influence of the Asian monsoon and prevailing westerlies, the land contribution decreases to 57.3% in June, then gradually increases to 68.8%. It is found that for drought years with enhanced southwest monsoon, there is a weakening of the moisture contribution from the C-shaped belt along the Arabian Sea, South Asia, and UCTGD, and vice versa. TFM results show three main moisture transport paths and highlight the importance of moisture from the southwest. Comparison analysis indicates that, generally, sink regions are more affected by land evaporation with their locations more interior to the center of the mainland. Furthermore, correlations between moisture contributions and indices of general circulation and sea surface temperature are investigated, suggesting that these indices affect precipitation by influencing moisture contributions of the subregions. All of these are useful for comprehending the causes of summer UCTGD precipitation.

Significance Statement

Quantitative research on the moisture sources of summer precipitation has been implemented for the upstream catchment of the Three Gorges Dam (UCTGD), which is of particular hydrological significance but has not been investigated previously. The dynamical recycling model (DRM)–trajectory frequency method (TFM) approach is used to quantify and interpret the results of the moisture sources both in different specific subregions and directions, which produce more meaningful results than a single method for the areal division of moisture sources. Furthermore, antecedent indices that significantly influence the following moisture contributions of the subregions and then summer UCTGD precipitation are studied in terms of large-scale general circulation indices, which would help our understanding of precipitation forecast for UCTGD.

Restricted access
Cyrille Flamant
,
Jean-Pierre Chaboureau
,
Julien Delanoë
,
Marco Gaetani
,
Cédric Jamet
,
Christophe Lavaysse
,
Olivier Bock
,
Maurus Borne
,
Quitterie Cazenave
,
Pierre Coutris
,
Juan Cuesta
,
Laurent Menut
,
Clémantyne Aubry
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Pierre Bosser
,
Sophie Bounissou
,
Christophe Caudoux
,
Hélène Collomb
,
Thomas Donal
,
Guy Febvre
,
Thorsten Fehr
,
Andreas H. Fink
,
Paola Formenti
,
Nicolau Gomes Araujo
,
Peter Knippertz
,
Eric Lecuyer
,
Mateus Neves Andrade
,
Cédric Gacial Ngoungué Langué
,
Tanguy Jonville
,
Alfons Schwarzenboeck
, and
Azusa Takeishi

Abstract

During the boreal summer, mesoscale convective systems generated over West Africa propagate westward and interact with African easterly waves, and dust plumes transported from the Sahel and Sahara by the African easterly jet. Once off West Africa, the vortices in the wake of these mesoscale convective systems evolve in a complex environment sometimes leading to the development of tropical storms and hurricanes, especially in September when sea surface temperatures are high. Numerical weather predictions of cyclogenesis downstream of West Africa remains a key challenge due to the incomplete understanding of the clouds–atmospheric dynamics–dust interactions that limit predictability. The primary objective of the Clouds–Atmospheric Dynamics–Dust Interactions in West Africa (CADDIWA) project is to improve our understanding of the relative contributions of the direct, semidirect, and indirect radiative effects of dust on the dynamics of tropical waves as well as the intensification of vortices in the wake of offshore mesoscale convective systems and their evolution into tropical storms over the North Atlantic. Airborne observations relevant to the assessment of such interactions (active remote sensing, in situ microphysics probes, among others) were made from 8 to 21 September 2021 in the tropical environment of Sal Island, Cape Verde. The environments of several tropical cyclones, including Tropical Storm Rose, were monitored and probed. The airborne measurements also serve the purpose of regional model evaluation and the validation of spaceborne wind, aerosol and cloud products pertaining to satellite missions of the European Space Agency and EUMETSAT (including the Aeolus, EarthCARE, and IASI missions).

Open access
Marcin Paszkuta
,
Maciej Markowski
, and
Adam Krężel

Abstract

Empirical verification of the reliability of estimating the amount of solar radiation entering the sea surface is a challenging topic due to the quantity and quality of data. The collected measurements of total and diffuse radiation from the Multifilter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MRF-7) commercial device over the Baltic Sea were compared with the satellite results of using modeling data. The obtained results, also divided into individual spectral bands, were analyzed for usefulness in satellite cloud and aerosol detection. The article presents a new approach to assessing radiation and cloud cover based on the use of models supported by satellite data. Measurement uncertainties were estimated for the obtained results. To reduce uncertainty, the results were averaged to the time constant of the device, day, and month. The effectiveness of the method was determined by comparison against the SM Hel measurement point. The empirical results obtained confirm the effectiveness of using satellite methods for estimating radiation along with cloud-cover detection over the sea with the adopted uncertainty values.

Significance Statement

The difference in the amount of solar energy reaching the sea surface between cloudless and cloudy areas reaches tens of percent. Empirical results confirm the effectiveness of using satellite methods to estimate solar radiation along with cloud-cover detection. Over the sea in comparison to land, the amount of empirical data is limited. This research uses new empirical results of radiation to determine the accuracy of satellite estimation results. Experimental results show that the proposed method is effective and adequately parameterizes the detection of satellite image features.

Open access
Aman Gupta
,
Robert Reichert
,
Andreas Dörnbrack
,
Hella Garny
,
Roland Eichinger
,
Inna Polichtchouk
,
Bernd Kaifler
, and
Thomas Birner

Abstract

Gravity waves (GWs) are among the key drivers of the meridional overturning circulation in the mesosphere and upper stratosphere. Their representation in climate models suffers from insufficient resolution and limited observational constraints on their parameterizations. This obscures assessments of middle atmospheric circulation changes in a changing climate. This study presents a comprehensive analysis of stratospheric GW activity above and downstream of the Andes from 1 to 15 August 2019, with special focus on GW representation ranging from an unprecedented kilometer-scale global forecast model (1.4 km ECMWF IFS), ground-based Rayleigh lidar (CORAL) observations, modern reanalysis (ERA5), to a coarse-resolution climate model (EMAC). Resolved vertical flux of zonal GW momentum (GWMF) is found to be stronger by a factor of at least 2–2.5 in IFS compared to ERA5. Compared to resolved GWMF in IFS, parameterizations in ERA5 and EMAC continue to inaccurately generate excessive GWMF poleward of 60°S, yielding prominent differences between resolved and parameterized GWMFs. A like-to-like validation of GW profiles in IFS and ERA5 reveals similar wave structures. Still, even at ∼1 km resolution, the resolved waves in IFS are weaker than those observed by lidar. Further, GWMF estimates across datasets reveal that temperature-based proxies, based on midfrequency approximations for linear GWs, overestimate GWMF due to simplifications and uncertainties in GW wavelength estimation from data. Overall, the analysis provides GWMF benchmarks for parameterization validation and calls for three-dimensional GW parameterizations, better upper-boundary treatment, and vertical resolution increases commensurate with increases in horizontal resolution in models, for a more realistic GW analysis.

Significance Statement

Gravity wave–induced momentum forcing forms a key component of the middle atmospheric circulation. However, complete knowledge of gravity waves, their atmospheric effects, and their long-term trends are obscured due to limited global observations, and the inability of current climate models to fully resolve them. This study combines a kilometer-scale forecast model, modern reanalysis, and a coarse-resolution climate model to first compare the resolved and parameterized momentum fluxes by gravity waves generated over the Andes, and then evaluate the fluxes using a state-of-the-art ground-based Rayleigh lidar. Our analysis reveals shortcomings in current model parameterizations of gravity waves in the middle atmosphere and highlights the sensitivity of the estimated flux to the formulation used.

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