Search Results

You are looking at 11 - 20 of 42 items for

  • Author or Editor: R. Atlas x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
David Atlas, Kenneth R. Hardy, and Keikichi Naito

Abstract

A general analysis is made of the turbulent refractivity spectrum in and beyond the limiting microscale and a relation derived for its scattering reflectivity in either the back or bistatic directions. Radar reflectivity is computed as a function of wavelength for regions of CAT. The results are compared to the minimum detectable reflectivity of airborne radars having optimum state of the art characteristics at each wavelength. It is shown that the best radars now feasible can barely detect the most reflective CAT at 10 n mi (i.e., 1 minute warning). A 20-db improvement in sensitivity is required for detection of most CAT, which appears to be just attainable by pre-detection integration. The optimum wavelength to implement is 5–6 cm. The best radar at this wavelength will also detect circus clouds reliably. Whether detecting clouds or chaff a measure of the echo fluctuation (or Doppler) spectrum is required to identify the intensity of CAT. However, in the case of high altitude clear air echoes, there is an indication that the reflectivity in excess of some minimum threshold value is a sign of some degree of mechanical turbulence. It is also demonstrated that a ground-based forward-scatter link holds great promise for reliable CAT detection. A tentative quantitative classification of CAT severity is also proposed.

Full access
J. M. Vergin, D. R. Johnson, and R. Atlas

Abstract

The results of a quasi-Lagrangian diagnostic study of two 72 h Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences (GLAS) model cyclone predictions from 0000 GMT 19 February 1976 are presented and compared with observed results. One model forecast (SAT) was generated from initial conditions which included satellite sounding data, and the other model forecast (NOSAT) was generated from initial conditions that excluded satellite sounding data. Examination of the mass and angular momentum budget statistics for the SAT and NOSAT forecasts reveals substantial differences. The improvement in the SAT forecast is established from the more realistic SAT budget statistics, and results from the modifications of initial atmospheric structure due to satellite information.

The assimilation of satellite data caused modifications of the horizontal mass and eddy angular momentum transports at the zero hour. The assimilation of satellite data resulted in colder temperatures and weaker stabilities in the lower layers of the northwest quadrant of the budget volume, and thus an improved structure of the cold polar air mass over a relatively warm ocean surface. In the southwest quadrant of the budget volume, the SAT assimilation produced an increase in the stability of the middle and lower layers and an increase in temperatures throughout much of the troposphere. These modifications in the temperature structure were the primary reasons for the improved mass and eddy angular momentum transports which contributed to the better SAT forecast for the cyclone event.

Full access
Allen J. Lenzen, Donald R. Johnson, and Robert Atlas

Abstract

Quasi-Lagrangian diagnostics of mass, angular momentum, water vapor, and kinetic energy are evaluated for four different Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres model simulations of the Queen Elizabeth II storm of 9–11 September 1978 to study the impact of Seasat-A satellite Scatterometer (SASS) winds and horizontal resolution in numerical prediction. In a four-way comparison, the diagnostics investigate the impact of including dealiased SASS winds in the initial conditions of the model and doubling the horizontal resolution on 36 h simulations of the QE II storm. The largest impact on the simulation stemmed from doubling the model's horizontal resolution from 4° × 5° to 2° × 2.5°. The increased resolution resulted in a storm track much closer to that observed, a much deeper surface development, a stronger mass circulation, stronger heating, and stronger increase of angular momentum. The inclusion of SASS data resulted in an approximately 2–3-mb-deeper surface cyclone for both the 2° × 2.5° and 4° × 5° resolution simulations. The inclusion also led to substantial increases in the horizontal mass circulation and heating for the 2° × 2.5° simulation. During the early explosive deepening phase of the cyclone, the inward lateral transport of water vapor in lower layers was larger in the 2° × 2.5° SASS than in the 2° × 2.5° NOSASS (exclusion of SASS surface winds) simulation. During the period of most rapid development, the results from the SASS simulation revealed a larger generation of kinetic energy throughout the troposphere and increased outward transport of kinetic energy in upper layers.

Full access
W. E. Baker, R. Atlas, M. Halem, and J. Susskind

Abstract

In this study we examine the sensitivity of forecast to individual components of the First GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Programme) Global Experiment database as well as to some modifications in the data analysis techniques. Several short assimilation experiments (0000 GMT 18 January 1979 through 0000 21 January) are performed in order to test the effects of each database or analysis change. Forecasts are then generated from the initial conditions provided by these experiments. The 0000 21 January case is chosen for a detailed investigation because or the poor forecast skill obtained earlier over North America for that particular case. Specifically, we conduct experiments to test the sensitivity of forecast skill to: 1) the addition of individual satellite observing system components; 2) temperature data obtained with different satellite retrieval methods; and 3) the method of vertical interpolation between the mandatory pressure analysis levels and the model sigma levels.

For the single case examined, TIROS-N infrared land retrievals produced operationally are found to degrade the forecast, while the use of TIROS-N retrievals produced with a physical inversion method as part of an analysis/forecast cycle results in an improved forecast. The use of oceanic VTPR (Vertical Temperature Profile Radiometer) satellite retrievals also results in an improved forecast over North America. The forecast is also found to be sensitive to the method of vertical interpolation between the mandatory pressure analysis levels and the model sigma levels.

Full access
E. Stratmann, D. Atlas, J. H. Richter, and D. R. Jensen

Abstract

A method of calibrating a fixed vertically pointing radar is presented. The technique involves the firing of B-B shot of known radar cross section through the beam while making successive trajectory corrections until the absolute maximum signal is attained. The results agree closely with an independent calibration of antenna gain. The approach is particularly suited to an FM-CW radar with high range resolution because the pellets reach heights well in excess of the minimum range and errors in range are negligible. Corrections are presented for the reduction in maximum two-way gain resulting from intersecting beams whose full gain is attained only at the point of intersection. It is also shown that Probert-Jones’ k 2 factor is significantly smaller for this system, and possibly for others, than the generally accepted value of unity. The method can be readily extended to any sufficiently sensitive pulsed radar by using small elevation angles and direct measurements of range rather than those obtained from the echoes.

Full access
M. Halem, E. Kalnay, W. E. Baker, and R. Atlas

This study investigates the degree to which data from the space-borne FGGE observing systems are able to determine the complete state of the atmosphere when incorporated into a global objective analysis cycle. Three data assimilation experiments are performed with the Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences (GLAS) analysis/forecast system, using different combinations of the FGGE level II–b data collected during the first Special Observing Period (SOP-1), 5 January through 5 March 1979. The control experiment is an assimilation cycle with the complete FGGE II–b data. The other two assimilation/forecast experiments consist of i) the conventional system without the satellite data and special FGGE data sets; and ii) the FGGE II–b surface and satellite temperature soundings and cloud-track winds, aircraft data, and special FGGE data sets, but without the conventional rawinsonde/pilot balloon network.

From these experiments, we attempt to assess the accuracy of the inferred mass and motion fields over data-sparse regions, by examining their influence on analyses and forecasts over data-rich regions. The sensitivity of the analysis to the FGGE satellite data is shown by comparisons of the 6 h forecast error of the 300 mb geopotential height fields for these three experiments. It is found that large 6 h forecast errors downstream of data-sparse regions are reduced when the satellite observations are incorporated in the analysis. Forecast impact results from the initial states of these assimilation cycles show the geographical influence of the FGGE satellite observing system on short- to medium-range (two to five days) weather forecasting. Over North America and Europe, there is a small improvement in forecast skill from the use of the FGGE II–b data. Over Australia, as expected, the positive impact of satellite data is much larger. The number of skillful four- and five-day forecasts over North America and Europe has been increased substantially by the addition of the FGGE II–b data. Examples of useful eight-day forecasts, which occurred in periods of atmospheric blocking situations also are presented.

Full access
L. P. Riishøjgaard, R. Atlas, and G. D. Emmitt

Abstract

Through the use of observation operators, modern data assimilation systems have the capability to ingest observations of quantities that are not themselves model variables but are mathematically related to those variables. An example of this is the so-called line-of-sight (LOS) winds that a spaceborne Doppler wind lidar (DWL) instrument would provide. The model or data assimilation system ideally would need information about both components of the horizontal wind vectors, whereas the observations in this case would provide only the projection of the wind vector onto a given direction. The estimated or analyzed value is then calculated essentially as a weighted average of the observation itself and the model-simulated value of the observed quantity. To assess the expected impact of a DWL, it is important to examine the extent to which a meteorological analysis can be constrained by the LOS winds. The answer to this question depends on the fundamental character of the atmospheric flow fields that are analyzed, but, just as important, it also depends on the real and assumed error covariance characteristics of these fields. A single-level wind analysis system designed to explore these issues has been built at the NASA Data Assimilation Office. In this system, simulated wind observations can be evaluated in terms of their impact on the analysis quality under various assumptions about their spatial distribution and error characteristics and about the error covariance of the background fields. The basic design of the system and experimental results obtained with it are presented. The experiments were designed to illustrate how such a system may be used in the instrument concept definition phase.

Full access
David Atlas, R. C. Srivastava, and W. S. Marker Jr.

Abstract

Specular reflection from a stratum of sharp, mean, vertical refractivity gradient frequently accompanies the scatter from the turbulent perturbations in refractivity which tend to be maximized close to the gradient. As a result, the signal intensity falls more rapidly, and the magnitude of the mean Doppler shift increases less rapidly with beam offset angle from the great circle than is the case for pure turbulent scatter. Also, in transmission via the great circle path, the Doppler spread, signal fading rate, and multi-path spread may be greatly reduced from that expected for turbulent scatter alone. Because transmission along the great circle may be greatly influenced by specular reflections, the strength of which is a function of the form and sharpness of the mean refractivity gradient, past experiments relating signal-wavelength dependence or signal-scatter angle dependence to the form of the turbulent refractivity spectrum are suspect.

Full access
David Atlas, R. C. Srivastava, and P. W. Sloss

Abstract

Other investigators have discussed the effects of wind and reflectivity gradients across the radar beam on Doppler measurements, but have either estimated their magnitude from a simple approximation or set them aside as negligible. This paper deals with the component of the shear vector along the beam. Exact solutions and simple approximations for both the mean and variance of the Doppler spectrum are derived for two types of reflectivity gradients combined with a linear velocity, gradient. In the case of an exponential reflectivity, gradient it is found that the “effective” beam (i.e., the reflectivity-weighed two-way illumination pattern) remains Gaussian with identical beamwidth to the real beam, but its mean is shifted to an angle ϕm on the high-reflectivity side of the actual beam. With a linear velocity profile in the ϕ direction, the approximate solution shows that the mean Doppler velocity, is then shifted to the scatterer velocity found at ϕm. This approximation is shown to be valid for most physically realizable conditions. Moreover, the spectra variance is found to be essentially independent of the reflectivity gradient and Lhermitte's simple approximation is also generally valid. Analogous results are obtained for a reflectivity profile varying as exp(cR 2ϕ2) where R is range. The effects of reflectivity gradients on the beam-averaged echo power are also discussed.

Full access
G. K. Walker, Y. C. Sud, and R. Atlas

Numerical simulation experiments were conducted to delineate the influence of in situ deforestation data on episodic rainfall by comparing two ensembles of five 5-day integrations performed with a recent version of the Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres GCM that has a simple biosphere model (SiB). The first set, called control cases, used the standard SiB vegetation cover (comprising 12 biomes) and assumed a fully forested Amazonia, while the second set, called deforestation cases, distinguished the partially deforested regions of Amazonia as savanna. Except for this difference, all other initial and prescribed boundary conditions were kept identical in both sets of integrations. The differential analyses of these five cases show the following local effects of deforestation.

Full access