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Eric Rappin
,
Rezaul Mahmood
,
Udaysankar Nair
,
Roger A. Pielke Sr.
,
William Brown
,
Steve Oncley
,
Joshua Wurman
,
Karen Kosiba
,
Aaron Kaulfus
,
Chris Phillips
,
Emilee Lachenmeier
,
Joseph Santanello Jr.
,
Edward Kim
, and
Patricia Lawston-Parker

Abstract

Extensive expansion in irrigated agriculture has taken place over the last half century. Due to increased irrigation and resultant land-use–land-cover change, the central United States has seen a decrease in temperature and changes in precipitation during the second half of the twentieth century. To investigate the impacts of widespread commencement of irrigation at the beginning of the growing season and continued irrigation throughout the summer on local and regional weather, the Great Plains Irrigation Experiment (GRAINEX) was conducted in the spring and summer of 2018 in southeastern Nebraska. GRAINEX consisted of two 15-day intensive observation periods. Observational platforms from multiple agencies and universities were deployed to investigate the role of irrigation in surface moisture content, heat fluxes, diurnal boundary layer evolution, and local precipitation. This article provides an overview of the data collected and an analysis of the role of irrigation in land–atmosphere interactions on time scales from the seasonal to the diurnal. The analysis shows that a clear irrigation signal was apparent during the peak growing season in mid-July. This paper shows the strong impact of irrigation on surface fluxes, near-surface temperature and humidity, and boundary layer growth and decay.

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Robert L. Walko
,
Larry E. Band
,
Jill Baron
,
Timothy G. F. Kittel
,
Richard Lammers
,
Tsengdar J. Lee
,
Dennis Ojima
,
Roger A. Pielke Sr.
,
Chris Taylor
,
Christina Tague
,
Craig J. Tremback
, and
Pier Luigi Vidale

Abstract

The formulation and implementation of LEAF-2, the Land Ecosystem–Atmosphere Feedback model, which comprises the representation of land–surface processes in the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS), is described. LEAF-2 is a prognostic model for the temperature and water content of soil, snow cover, vegetation, and canopy air, and includes turbulent and radiative exchanges between these components and with the atmosphere. Subdivision of a RAMS surface grid cell into multiple areas of distinct land-use types is allowed, with each subgrid area, or patch, containing its own LEAF-2 model, and each patch interacts with the overlying atmospheric column with a weight proportional to its fractional area in the grid cell. A description is also given of TOPMODEL, a land hydrology model that represents surface and subsurface downslope lateral transport of groundwater. Details of the incorporation of a modified form of TOPMODEL into LEAF-2 are presented. Sensitivity tests of the coupled system are presented that demonstrate the potential importance of the patch representation and of lateral water transport in idealized model simulations. Independent studies that have applied LEAF-2 and verified its performance against observational data are cited. Linkage of RAMS and TOPMODEL through LEAF-2 creates a modeling system that can be used to explore the coupled atmosphere–biophysical–hydrologic response to altered climate forcing at local watershed and regional basin scales.

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Emilee Lachenmeier
,
Rezaul Mahmood
,
Chris Phillips
,
Udaysankar Nair
,
Eric Rappin
,
Roger A. Pielke Sr.
,
William Brown
,
Steve Oncley
,
Joshua Wurman
,
Karen Kosiba
,
Aaron Kaulfus
,
Joseph Santanello Jr.
,
Edward Kim
,
Patricia Lawston-Parker
,
Michael Hayes
, and
Trenton E. Franz

Abstract

Modification of grasslands into irrigated and non-irrigated agriculture in the Great Plains results in significant impacts on weather and climate. However, there has been lack of observational data-based studies solely focused on impacts of irrigation on the PBL and convective conditions. The Great Plains Irrigation Experiment (GRAINEX) during the 2018 growing season collected data over irrigated and non-irrigated land uses over Nebraska to understand these impacts. Specifically, the objective was to determine whether the impacts of irrigation are sustained throughout the growing season.

The data analyzed include latent and sensible heat flux, air temperature, dew point temperature, equivalent temperature (moist enthalpy), PBL height, lifting condensation level (LCL), level of free convection (LFC), and PBL mixing ratio. Results show increased partitioning of energy into latent heat compared to sensible heat over irrigated areas while average maximum air was decreased and dewpoint temperature was increased from the early to peak growing season. Radiosonde data suggest reduced planetary boundary layer (PBL) heights at all launch sites from the early to peak growing season. However, reduction of PBL height was much greater over irrigated areas compared to non-irrigated croplands. Compared to the early growing period, LCL and LFC heights were also lower during the peak growing period over irrigated areas. Results note, for the first time, that the impacts of irrigation on PBL evolution and convective environment can be sustained throughout the growing season and regardless of background atmospheric conditions. These are important findings and applicable to other irrigated areas in the world.

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Richard Rotunno
,
Leonard J. Pietrafesa
,
John S. Allen
,
Bradley R. Colman
,
Clive M. Dorman
,
Carl W. Kreitzberg
,
Stephen J. Lord
,
Miles G. McPhee
,
George L. Mellor
,
Christopher N. K. Mooers
,
Pearn P. Niiler
,
Roger A. Pielke Sr.
,
Mark D. Powell
,
David P. Rogers
,
James D. Smith
, and
Lian Xie

U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) prospectus development teams (PDTs) are small groups of scientists that are convened by the USWRP lead scientist on a one-time basis to discuss critical issues and to provide advice related to future directions of the program. PDTs are a principal source of information for the Science Advisory Committee, which is a standing committee charged with the duty of making recommendations to the Program Office based upon overall program objectives. PDT-1 focused on theoretical issues, and PDT-2 on observational issues; PDT-3 is the first of several to focus on more specialized topics. PDT-3 was convened to identify forecasting problems related to U.S. coastal weather and oceanic conditions, and to suggest likely solution strategies.

There were several overriding themes that emerged from the discussion. First, the lack of data in and over critical regions of the ocean, particularly in the atmospheric boundary layer, and the upper-ocean mixed layer were identified as major impediments to coastal weather prediction. Strategies for data collection and dissemination, as well as new instrument implementation, were discussed. Second, fundamental knowledge of air–sea fluxes and boundary layer structure in situations where there is significant mesoscale variability in the atmosphere and ocean is needed. Companion field studies and numerical prediction experiments were discussed. Third, research prognostic models suggest that future operational forecast models pertaining to coastal weather will be high resolution and site specific, and will properly treat effects of local coastal geography, orography, and ocean state. The view was expressed that the exploration of coupled air-sea models of the coastal zone would be a particularly fruitful area of research. PDT-3 felt that forecasts of land-impacting tropical cyclones, Great Lakes-affected weather, and coastal cyclogenesis, in particular, would benefit from such coordinated modeling and field efforts. Fourth, forecasting for Arctic coastal zones is limited by our understanding of how sea ice forms. The importance of understanding air-sea fluxes and boundary layers in the presence of ice formation was discussed. Finally, coastal flash flood forecasting via hydrologic models is limited by the present accuracy of measured and predicted precipitation and storm surge events. Strategies for better ways to improve the latter were discussed.

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Christopher J. Anderson
,
Raymond W. Arritt
,
Zaitao Pan
,
Eugene S. Takle
,
William J. Gutowski Jr.
,
Francis O. Otieno
,
Renato da Silva
,
Daniel Caya
,
Jens H. Christensen
,
Daniel Lüthi
,
Miguel A. Gaertner
,
Clemente Gallardo
,
Filippo Giorgi
,
René Laprise
,
Song-You Hong
,
Colin Jones
,
H-M. H. Juang
,
J. J. Katzfey
,
John L. McGregor
,
William M. Lapenta
,
Jay W. Larson
,
John A. Taylor
,
Glen E. Liston
,
Roger A. Pielke Sr.
, and
John O. Roads

Abstract

Thirteen regional climate model (RCM) simulations of June–July 1993 were compared with each other and observations. Water vapor conservation and precipitation characteristics in each RCM were examined for a 10° × 10° subregion of the upper Mississippi River basin, containing the region of maximum 60-day accumulated precipitation in all RCMs and station reports.

All RCMs produced positive precipitation minus evapotranspiration (PE > 0), though most RCMs produced PE below the observed range. RCM recycling ratios were within the range estimated from observations. No evidence of common errors of E was found. In contrast, common dry bias of P was found in the simulations.

Daily cycles of terms in the water vapor conservation equation were qualitatively similar in most RCMs. Nocturnal maximums of P and C (convergence) occurred in 9 of 13 RCMs, consistent with observations. Three of the four driest simulations failed to couple P and C overnight, producing afternoon maximum P. Further, dry simulations tended to produce a larger fraction of their 60-day accumulated precipitation from low 3-h totals.

In station reports, accumulation from high (low) 3-h totals had a nocturnal (early morning) maximum. This time lag occurred, in part, because many mesoscale convective systems had reached peak intensity overnight and had declined in intensity by early morning. None of the RCMs contained such a time lag. It is recommended that short-period experiments be performed to examine the ability of RCMs to simulate mesoscale convective systems prior to generating long-period simulations for hydroclimatology.

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Rezaul Mahmood
,
Roger A. Pielke Sr.
,
Kenneth G. Hubbard
,
Dev Niyogi
,
Gordon Bonan
,
Peter Lawrence
,
Richard McNider
,
Clive McAlpine
,
Andres Etter
,
Samuel Gameda
,
Budong Qian
,
Andrew Carleton
,
Adriana Beltran-Przekurat
,
Thomas Chase
,
Arturo I. Quintanar
,
Jimmy O. Adegoke
,
Sajith Vezhapparambu
,
Glen Conner
,
Salvi Asefi
,
Elif Sertel
,
David R. Legates
,
Yuling Wu
,
Robert Hale
,
Oliver W. Frauenfeld
,
Anthony Watts
,
Marshall Shepherd
,
Chandana Mitra
,
Valentine G. Anantharaj
,
Souleymane Fall
,
Robert Lund
,
Anna Treviño
,
Peter Blanken
,
Jinyang Du
,
Hsin-I Chang
,
Ronnie Leeper
,
Udaysankar S. Nair
,
Scott Dobler
,
Ravinesh Deo
, and
Jozef Syktus
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