Search Results

You are looking at 11 - 20 of 21 items for

  • Author or Editor: Baike Xi x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Wenjun Cui, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, and Zhe Feng

Abstract

This study uses machine-learning methods, specifically the random-forests (RF) method, on a radar-based mesoscale convective system (MCS) tracking dataset to classify the five types of linear MCS morphology in the contiguous United States during the period 2004–16. The algorithm is trained using radar- and satellite-derived spatial and morphological parameters, along with reanalysis environmental information from a 5-yr manually identified nonlinear mode and five linear MCS modes. The algorithm is then used to automate the classification of linear MCSs over 8 years with high accuracy, providing a systematic, long-term climatology of linear MCSs. Results reveal that nearly 40% of MCSs are classified as linear MCSs, of which one-half of the linear events belong to the type of system having a leading convective line. The occurrence of linear MCSs shows large annual and seasonal variations. On average, 113 linear MCSs occur annually during the warm season (March–October), with most of these events clustered from May through August in the central eastern Great Plains. MCS characteristics, including duration, propagation speed, orientation, and system cloud size, have large variability among the different linear modes. The systems having a trailing convective line and the systems having a back-building area of convection typically move more slowly and have higher precipitation rate, and thus they have higher potential for producing extreme rainfall and flash flooding. Analysis of the environmental conditions associated with linear MCSs show that the storm-relative flow is of most importance in determining the organization mode of linear MCSs.

Restricted access
Behnjamin J. Zib, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, and Aaron Kennedy

Abstract

With continual advancements in data assimilation systems, new observing systems, and improvements in model parameterizations, several new atmospheric reanalysis datasets have recently become available. Before using these new reanalyses it is important to assess the strengths and underlying biases contained in each dataset. A study has been performed to evaluate and compare cloud fractions (CFs) and surface radiative fluxes in several of these latest reanalyses over the Arctic using 15 years (1994–2008) of high-quality Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) observations from Barrow (BAR) and Ny-Alesund (NYA) surface stations. The five reanalyses being evaluated in this study are (i) NASA's Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), (ii) NCEP's Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), (iii) NOAA's Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project (20CR), (iv) ECMWF's Interim Reanalysis (ERA-I), and (v) NCEP–Department of Energy (DOE)'s Reanalysis II (R2). All of the reanalyses show considerable bias in reanalyzed CF during the year, especially in winter. The large CF biases have been reflected in the surface radiation fields, as monthly biases in shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) fluxes are more than 90 (June) and 60 W m−2 (March), respectively, in some reanalyses. ERA-I and CFSR performed the best in reanalyzing surface downwelling fluxes with annual mean biases less than 4.7 (SW) and 3.4 W m−2 (LW) over both Arctic sites. Even when producing the observed CF, radiation flux errors were found to exist in the reanalyses suggesting that they may not always be dependent on CF errors but rather on variations of more complex cloud properties, water vapor content, or aerosol loading within the reanalyses.

Full access
Ronald Stenz, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, and Robert J. Kuligowski

Abstract

Although satellite precipitation estimates provide valuable information for weather and flood forecasts, infrared (IR) brightness temperature (BT)-based algorithms often produce large errors for precipitation detection and estimation during deep convective systems (DCSs). As DCSs produce greatly varying precipitation rates below similar IR BT retrievals, using IR BTs alone to estimate precipitation in DCSs is problematic. Classifying a DCS into convective-core (CC), stratiform (SR), and anvil cloud (AC) regions allows an evaluation of estimated precipitation distributions among DCS components to supplement typical quantitative precipitation estimate (QPE) evaluations and to diagnose these IR-based algorithm biases. This paper assesses the performance of the National Mosaic and Multi-Sensor Next Generation Quantitative Precipitation Estimation System (NMQ Q2), and a simplified version of the Self-Calibrating Multivariate Precipitation Retrieval (SCaMPR) algorithm, over the state of Oklahoma using Oklahoma Mesonet observations. While average annual Q2 precipitation estimates were about 35% higher than Mesonet observations, strong correlations exist between these two datasets for multiple temporal and spatial scales. Additionally, the Q2-estimated precipitation distribution among DCS components strongly resembled the Mesonet-observed distribution, indicating Q2 can accurately capture the precipitation characteristics of DCSs despite its wet bias. SCaMPR retrievals were typically 3–4 times higher than Mesonet observations, with relatively weak correlations during 2012. Overestimates from SCaMPR retrievals were primarily caused by precipitation retrievals from the anvil regions of DCSs when collocated Mesonet stations recorded no precipitation. A modified SCaMPR retrieval algorithm, employing both cloud optical depth and IR temperature, has the potential to make significant improvements to reduce the wet bias of SCaMPR retrievals over anvil regions of a DCS.

Full access
Wenjun Cui, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, and Ronald Stenz

Abstract

This study compares the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) 1 Degree Daily (1DD) precipitation estimates over the continental United States (CONUS) with National Mosaic and Multi-Sensor Quantitative Precipitation Estimation (NMQ) Next Generation (Q2) estimates. Spatial averages of monthly and yearly accumulated precipitation were computed based on daily estimates from six selected regions during the period 2010–12. Both Q2 and GPCP daily precipitation estimates show that precipitation amounts over southern regions (<40°N) are generally larger than northern regions (≥40°N). Correlation coefficients for daily estimates over selected regions range from 0.355 to 0.516 with mean differences (GPCP − Q2) varying from −0.86 to 0.99 mm. Better agreements are found in monthly estimates with the correlations varying from 0.635 to 0.787. For spatially averaged precipitation values averaged from grid boxes within selected regions, GPCP and Q2 estimates are well correlated, especially for monthly accumulated precipitation, with strong correlations ranging from 0.903 to 0.954. The comparisons between two datasets are also conducted for warm (April–September) and cold (October–March) seasons. During the warm season, GPCP estimates are 9.7% less than Q2 estimates, while during the cold season GPCP estimates exceed Q2 estimates by 6.9%. For precipitation over the CONUS, although annual means are close (978.54 for Q2 vs 941.79 mm for GPCP), Q2 estimates are much larger than GPCP over the central and southern United States and less than GPCP estimates in the northeastern United States. These results suggest that Q2 may have difficulties accurately estimating heavy rain and snow events, while GPCP may have an inability to capture some intense precipitation events, which warrants further investigation.

Full access
Nicholas D. Carletta, Gretchen L. Mullendore, Mariusz Starzec, Baike Xi, Zhe Feng, and Xiquan Dong

Abstract

Convective mass transport is the transport of mass from near the surface up to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) by a deep convective updraft. This transport can alter the chemical makeup and water vapor balance of the UTLS, which affects cloud formation and the radiative properties of the atmosphere. It is, therefore, important to understand the exact altitudes at which mass is detrained from convection. The purpose of this study was to improve upon previously published methodologies for estimating the level of maximum detrainment (LMD) within convection using data from a single ground-based radar. Four methods were used to identify the LMD and validated against dual-Doppler-derived vertical mass divergence fields for six cases with a variety of storm types. The best method for locating the LMD was determined to be the method that used a reflectivity texture technique to determine convective cores and a multilayer echo identification to determine anvil locations. Although an improvement over previously published methods, the new methodology still produced unreliable results in certain regimes. The methodology worked best when applied to mature updrafts, as the anvil needs time to grow to a detectable size. Thus, radar reflectivity is found to be valuable in estimating the LMD, but storm maturity must also be considered for best results.

Full access
Ronald Stenz, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Zhe Feng, and Robert J. Kuligowski

Abstract

To address gaps in ground-based radar coverage and rain gauge networks in the United States, geostationary satellite quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) such as the Self-Calibrating Multivariate Precipitation Retrieval (SCaMPR) can be used to fill in both spatial and temporal gaps of ground-based measurements. Additionally, with the launch of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R series (GOES-R), the temporal resolution of satellite QPEs may be comparable to Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) volume scans as GOES images will be available every 5 min. However, while satellite QPEs have strengths in spatial coverage and temporal resolution, they face limitations, particularly during convective events. Deep convective systems (DCSs) have large cloud shields with similar brightness temperatures (BTs) over nearly the entire system, but widely varying precipitation rates beneath these clouds. Geostationary satellite QPEs relying on the indirect relationship between BTs and precipitation rates often suffer from large errors because anvil regions (little or no precipitation) cannot be distinguished from rain cores (heavy precipitation) using only BTs. However, a combination of BTs and optical depth τ has been found to reduce overestimates of precipitation in anvil regions. A new rain mask algorithm incorporating both τ and BTs has been developed, and its application to the existing SCaMPR algorithm was evaluated. The performance of the modified SCaMPR was evaluated using traditional skill scores and a more detailed analysis of performance in individual DCS components by utilizing the Feng et al. classification algorithm. SCaMPR estimates with the new rain mask benefited from significantly reduced overestimates of precipitation in anvil regions and overall improvements in skill scores.

Full access
Yiyi Huang, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Erica K. Dolinar, Ryan E. Stanfield, and Shaoyue Qiu

Abstract

Reanalyses have proven to be convenient tools for studying the Arctic climate system, but their uncertainties should first be identified. In this study, five reanalyses (JRA-55, 20CRv2c, CFSR, ERA-Interim, and MERRA-2) are compared with NASA CERES–MODIS (CM)-derived cloud fractions (CFs), cloud water paths (CWPs), top-of-atmosphere (TOA) and surface longwave (LW) and shortwave (SW) radiative fluxes over the Arctic (70°–90°N) over the period of 2000–12, and CloudSatCALIPSO (CC)-derived CFs from 2006 to 2010. The monthly mean CFs in all reanalyses except JRA-55 are close to or slightly higher than the CC-derived CFs from May to September. However, wintertime CF cannot be confidently evaluated until instrument simulators are implemented in reanalysis products. The comparison between CM and CC CFs indicates that CM-derived CFs are reliable in summer but not in winter. Although the reanalysis CWPs follow the general seasonal variations of CM CWPs, their annual means are only half or even less than the CM-retrieved CWPs (126 g m−2). The annual mean differences in TOA and surface SW and LW fluxes between CERES EBAF and reanalyses are less than 6 W m−2 for TOA radiative fluxes and 16 W m−2 for surface radiative fluxes. All reanalyses show positive biases along the northern and eastern coasts of Greenland as a result of model elevation biases or possible CM clear-sky retrieval issues. The correlations between the reanalyses and CERES satellite retrievals indicate that all five reanalyses estimate radiative fluxes better than cloud properties, and MERRA-2 and JRA-55 exhibit comparatively higher correlations for Arctic cloud and radiation properties.

Full access
Aaron D. Kennedy, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Shaocheng Xie, Yunyan Zhang, and Junye Chen

Abstract

Atmospheric states from the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) and the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) are compared with data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site, including the ARM continuous forcing product and Cloud Modeling Best Estimate (CMBE) soundings, during the period 1999–2001 to understand their validity for single-column model (SCM) and cloud-resolving model (CRM) forcing datasets. Cloud fraction, precipitation, and radiation information are also compared to determine what errors exist within these reanalyses. For the atmospheric state, ARM continuous forcing and the reanalyses have good agreement with the CMBE sounding information, with biases generally within 0.5 K for temperature, 0.5 m s−1 for wind, and 5% for relative humidity. Larger disagreements occur in the upper troposphere (p < 300 hPa) for temperature, humidity, and zonal wind, and in the boundary layer (p > 800 hPa) for meridional wind and humidity. In these regions, larger errors may exist in derived forcing products. Significant differences exist for vertical pressure velocity, with the largest biases occurring during the spring upwelling and summer downwelling periods. Although NARR and MERRA share many resemblances to each other, ARM outperforms these reanalyses in terms of correlation with cloud fraction. Because the ARM forcing is constrained by observed precipitation that gives the adequate mass, heat, and moisture budgets, much of the precipitation (specifically during the late spring/early summer) is caused by smaller-scale forcing that is not captured by the reanalyses. While reanalysis-based forcing appears to be feasible for the majority of the year at this location, it may have limited usage during the late spring and early summer, when convection is common at the ARM SGP site. Both NARR and MERRA capture the seasonal variation of cloud fractions (CFs) observed by ARM radar–lidar and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) with high correlations (0.92–0.78) but with negative biases of 14% and 3%, respectively. Compared to the ARM observations, MERRA shows better agreement for both shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) fluxes except for LW-down (due to a negative bias in water vapor): NARR has significant positive bias for SW-down and negative bias for LW-down under clear-sky and all-sky conditions. The NARR biases result from a combination of too few clouds and a lack of sufficient extinction by aerosols and water vapor in the atmospheric column. The results presented here represent only one location for a limited period, and more comparisons at different locations and longer periods are needed.

Full access
Ryan E. Stanfield, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Aaron Kennedy, Anthony D. Del Genio, Patrick Minnis, and Jonathan H. Jiang

Abstract

Although many improvements have been made in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), clouds remain a significant source of uncertainty in general circulation models (GCMs) because their structural and optical properties are strongly dependent upon interactions between aerosol/cloud microphysics and dynamics that are unresolved in such models. Recent changes to the planetary boundary layer (PBL) turbulence and moist convection parameterizations in the NASA GISS Model E2 atmospheric GCM (post-CMIP5, hereafter P5) have improved cloud simulations significantly compared to its CMIP5 (hereafter C5) predecessor. A study has been performed to evaluate these changes between the P5 and C5 versions of the GCM, both of which used prescribed sea surface temperatures. P5 and C5 simulated cloud fraction (CF), liquid water path (LWP), ice water path (IWP), cloud water path (CWP), precipitable water vapor (PWV), and relative humidity (RH) have been compared to multiple satellite observations including the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System–Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (CERES-MODIS, hereafter CM), CloudSatCloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO; hereafter CC), Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E). Although some improvements are observed in the P5 simulation on a global scale, large improvements have been found over the southern midlatitudes (SMLs), where correlations increased and both bias and root-mean-square error (RMSE) significantly decreased, in relation to the previous C5 simulation, when compared to observations. Changes to the PBL scheme have resulted in improved total column CFs, particularly over the SMLs where marine boundary layer (MBL) CFs have increased by nearly 20% relative to the previous C5 simulation. Globally, the P5 simulated CWPs are 25 g m−2 lower than the previous C5 results. The P5 version of the GCM simulates PWV and RH higher than its C5 counterpart and agrees well with the AMSR-E and AIRS observations. The moister atmospheric conditions simulated by P5 are consistent with the CF comparison and provide a strong support for the increase in MBL clouds over the SMLs. Over the tropics, the P5 version of the GCM simulated total column CFs and CWPs are slightly lower than the previous C5 results, primarily as a result of the shallower tropical boundary layer in P5 relative to C5 in regions outside the marine stratocumulus decks.

Full access
Ryan E. Stanfield, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Anthony D. Del Genio, Patrick Minnis, David Doelling, and Norman Loeb

Abstract

In Part I of this study, the NASA GISS Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and post-CMIP5 (herein called C5 and P5, respectively) simulated cloud properties were assessed utilizing multiple satellite observations, with a particular focus on the southern midlatitudes (SMLs). This study applies the knowledge gained from Part I of this series to evaluate the modeled TOA radiation budgets and cloud radiative effects (CREs) globally using CERES EBAF (CE) satellite observations and the impact of regional cloud properties and water vapor on the TOA radiation budgets. Comparisons revealed that the P5- and C5-simulated global means of clear-sky and all-sky outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) match well with CE observations, while biases are observed regionally. Negative biases are found in both P5- and C5-simulated clear-sky OLR. P5-simulated all-sky albedo slightly increased over the SMLs due to the increase in low-level cloud fraction from the new planetary boundary layer (PBL) scheme. Shortwave, longwave, and net CRE are quantitatively analyzed as well. Regions of strong large-scale atmospheric upwelling/downwelling motion are also defined to compare regional differences across multiple cloud and radiative variables. In general, the P5 and C5 simulations agree with the observations better over the downwelling regime than over the upwelling regime. Comparing the results herein with the cloud property comparisons presented in Part I, the modeled TOA radiation budgets and CREs agree well with the CE observations. These results, combined with results in Part I, have quantitatively estimated how much improvement is found in the P5-simulated cloud and radiative properties, particularly over the SMLs and tropics, due to the implementation of the new PBL and convection schemes.

Full access