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David A. Marks, David B. Wolff, David S. Silberstein, Ali Tokay, Jason L. Pippitt, and Jianxin Wang

Abstract

Since the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite launch in November 1997, the TRMM Satellite Validation Office (TSVO) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has been performing quality control and estimating rainfall from the KPOL S-band radar at Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Over this period, KPOL has incurred many episodes of calibration and antenna pointing angle uncertainty. To address these issues, the TSVO has applied the relative calibration adjustment (RCA) technique to eight years of KPOL radar data to produce Ground Validation (GV) version 7 products. This application has significantly improved stability in KPOL reflectivity distributions needed for probability matching method (PMM) rain-rate estimation and for comparisons to the TRMM precipitation radar (PR). In years with significant calibration and angle corrections, the statistical improvement in PMM distributions is dramatic. The intent of this paper is to show improved stability in corrected KPOL reflectivity distributions by using the PR as a stable reference. Intermonth fluctuations in mean reflectivity differences between the PR and corrected KPOL are on the order of ±1–2 dB, and interyear mean reflectivity differences fluctuate by approximately ±1 dB. This represents a marked improvement in stability with confidence comparable to the established calibration and uncertainty boundaries of the PR. The practical application of the RCA method has salvaged eight years of radar data that would have otherwise been unusable and has made possible a high-quality database of tropical ocean–based reflectivity measurements and precipitation estimates for the research community.

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Douglas E. Miller, Zhuo Wang, Bo Li, Daniel S. Harnos, and Trent Ford

Abstract

Skillful subseasonal prediction of extreme heat and precipitation greatly benefits multiple sectors, including water management, public health, and agriculture, in mitigating the impact of extreme events. A statistical model is developed to predict the weekly frequency of extreme warm days and 14-day standardized precipitation index (SPI) during boreal summer in the United States. We use a leading principal component of U.S. soil moisture and an index based on the North Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) as predictors. The model outperforms the NCEP Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), at weeks 3–4 in the eastern United States. It is found that the North Pacific SST anomalies persist for several weeks and are associated with a persistent wave train pattern, which leads to increased occurrences of blocking and extreme temperature over the eastern United States. Extreme dry soil moisture conditions persist into week 4 and are associated with an increase in sensible heat flux and a decrease in latent heat flux, which may help to maintain the overlying anticyclone. The clear-sky conditions associated with blocking anticyclones further decrease soil moisture and increase the frequency of extreme warm days. This skillful statistical model has the potential to aid in irrigation scheduling, crop planning, and reservoir operation and to provide mitigation of impacts from extreme heat events.

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Tristan S. L’Ecuyer, Yun Hang, Alexander V. Matus, and Zhien Wang

Abstract

This study revisits the classical problem of quantifying the radiative effects of unique cloud types in the era of spaceborne active observations. The radiative effects of nine cloud types, distinguished based on their vertical structure defined by CloudSat and CALIPSO observations, are assessed at both the top of the atmosphere and the surface. The contributions from single- and multilayered clouds are explicitly diagnosed. The global, annual mean net cloud radiative effect at the top of the atmosphere is found to be −17.1 ± 4.2 W m−2 owing to −44.2 ± 2 W m−2 of shortwave cooling and 27.1 ± 3.7 W m−2 of longwave heating. Leveraging explicit cloud base and vertical structure information, we further estimate the annual mean net cloud radiative effect at the surface to be −24.8 ± 8.7 W m−2 (−51.1 ± 7.8 W m−2 in the shortwave and 26.3 ± 3.8 W m−2 in the longwave). Multilayered clouds are found to exert the strongest influence on the top-of-atmosphere energy balance. However, a strong asymmetry in net cloud radiative cooling between the hemispheres (8.6 W m−2) is dominated by enhanced cooling from stratocumulus over the southern oceans. It is found that there is no corresponding asymmetry at the surface owing to enhanced longwave emission by southern ocean clouds in winter, which offsets a substantial fraction of their impact on solar absorption in summer. Thus the asymmetry in cloud radiative effects is entirely realized as an atmosphere heating imbalance between the hemispheres.

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S.-Y. Simon Wang, Lawrence E. Hipps, Oi-Yu Chung, Robert R. Gillies, and Randal Martin

Abstract

Because of the geography of a narrow valley and surrounding tall mountains, Cache Valley (located in northern Utah and southern Idaho) experiences frequent shallow temperature inversions that are both intense and persistent. Such temperature inversions have resulted in the worst air quality in the nation. In this paper, the historical properties of Cache Valley’s winter inversions are examined by using two meteorological stations with a difference in elevation of approximately 100 m and a horizontal distance apart of ~4.5 km. Differences in daily maximum air temperature between two stations were used to define the frequency and intensity of inversions. Despite the lack of a long-term trend in inversion intensity from 1956 to present, the inversion frequency increased in the early 1980s and extending into the early 1990s but thereafter decreased by about 30% through 2013. Daily mean air temperatures and inversion intensity were categorized further using a mosaic plot. Of relevance was the discovery that after 1990 there was an increase in the probability of inversions during cold days and that under conditions in which the daily mean air temperature was below −15°C an inversion became a certainty. A regression model was developed to estimate the concentration of past particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5). The model indicated past episodes of increased PM2.5 concentrations that went into decline after 1990; this was especially so in the coldest of climate conditions.

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Q. Wang, J. A. Kalogiros, S. R. Ramp, J. D. Paduan, G. Buzorius, and H. Jonsson

Abstract

Aircraft measurements obtained during the 2003–04 Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN-II) project were used to study the effect of small-scale variations of near-surface wind stress on coastal upwelling in the area of Monterey Bay. Using 5-km-long measurement segments at 35 m above the sea surface, wind stress and its curl were calculated with estimated accuracy of 0.02–0.03 N m−2 and 0.1–0.2 N m−2 per 100 kilometers, respectively. The spatial distribution of wind speed, wind stress, stress curl, and sea surface temperature were analyzed for four general wind conditions: northerly or southerly wind along the coastline, onshore flow, and offshore flow. Wind stress and speed maxima frequently were found to be noncollocated as bulk parameterizations imply owing to significant stability and nonhomogeneity effects at cold SST pools. The analyses revealed that complicated processes with different time scales (wind stress field variation, ocean response and upwelling, sea surface currents, and heating by solar radiation) affect the coastal sea surface temperature. It was found that the stress-curl-induced coastal upwelling only dominates in events during which positive curl extended systematically over a significant area (scales larger than 20 km). These events included cases with a northerly wind, which resulted in an expansion fan downstream from Point Año Nuevo (wind speed peaks greater than about 8–10 m s−1), and cases with an offshore/onshore flow, which are characterized by weak background upwelling due to Ekman transport. However, in general, observations show that cold pools of sea surface temperature in the central area of Monterey Bay were advected by ocean surface currents from strong upwelling regions. Aircraft vertical soundings taken in the bay area showed that dominant effects of the lee wave sheltering of coastal mountains resulted in weak atmospheric turbulence and affected the development of the atmospheric boundary layer. This effect causes low wind stress that limits upwelling, especially at the northern part of Monterey Bay. The sea surface temperature is generally warm in this part of the bay because of the shallow oceanic surface layer and solar heating of the upper ocean.

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S. Garimella, D. A. Rothenberg, M. J. Wolf, C. Wang, and D. J. Cziczo

Abstract

Field and laboratory measurements using continuous flow diffusion chambers (CFDCs) have been used to construct parameterizations of the number of ice nucleating particles (INPs) in mixed-phase and completely glaciated clouds in weather and climate models. Because of flow nonidealities, CFDC measurements are subject to systematic low biases. Here, the authors investigate the effects of this undercounting bias on simulated cloud forcing in a global climate model. The authors assess the influence of measurement variability by constructing a stochastic parameterization framework to endogenize measurement uncertainty. The authors find that simulated anthropogenic longwave ice-bearing cloud forcing in a global climate model can vary up to 0.8 W m−2 and can change sign from positive to negative within the experimentally constrained bias range. Considering the variability in the undercounting bias, in a range consistent with recent experiments, leads to a larger negative cloud forcing than that when the variability is ignored and only a constant bias is assumed.

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S.-Y. Simon Wang, Robert R. Gillies, Oi-Yu Chung, and Chaopeng Shen

Abstract

The 2013 federal Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study projected the water imbalance between future supply and demand to increase. The Colorado water supply (WS) exemplifies a pronounced quasi-decadal oscillation (QDO) of 10–20 years throughout its historical record; however, this QDO feature is unaccounted for in the climate models used to project the future WS. Adjacent to the Colorado River, the large watershed of the Great Salt Lake (GSL) in Utah records the hydrologic QDO signal in its water surface, leading previous studies to explore the cause of decadal fluctuations in the lake elevation and assess predictability. This study reports a remarkable coherence between the Colorado WS and the GSL elevation at the 10–20-yr time scale. Analysis of precipitation and terrestrial water storage anomalies suggests a cross-basin connection in the climate and hydrometeorological variations of the Colorado WS and the GSL. The 160-yr-long and well-kept GSL elevation record makes it an effective indicator for the Colorado WS.

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P. Jing, D. M. Cunnold, H. J. Wang, and E-S. Yang

Abstract

This paper investigates isentropic ozone exchange between the extratropical lower stratosphere and the subtropical upper troposphere in the Northern Hemisphere. The quantification method is based on the potential vorticity (PV) mapping of Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE)-II ozone measurements and contour advection calculations using the NASA Goddard Space Center Data Assimilation Office (DAO) analysis for the year 1990. The magnitude of the annual isentropic stratosphere-to-troposphere ozone flux is calculated to be approximately twice the flux that is directed from the troposphere into the stratosphere. The net effect is that ∼46 × 109 kg yr−1 of ozone are transferred quasi horizontally from the extratropical lower stratosphere into the subtropical upper troposphere between the isentropic surfaces of 330 and 370 K. The estimated monthly ozone fluxes show that the isentropic cross-tropopause ozone transport is stronger in summer/fall than in winter/ spring, and this seasonality is more obvious at the upper three levels (i.e., 345, 355, and 365 K) than at 335 K. The distributions of the estimated monthly ozone fluxes indicate that the isentropic stratosphere-to-troposphere ozone exchange is associated with wave breaking and occurs preferentially over the eastern Atlantic Ocean and northwest Africa in winter and over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in summer.

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Yonggang G. Yu, Ning Wang, Jacques Middlecoff, Pedro S. Peixoto, and Mark W. Govett

Abstract

A single software framework is introduced to evaluate numerical accuracy of the A-grid (NICAM) versus C-grid (MPAS) shallow-water model solvers on icosahedral grids. The C-grid staggering scheme excels in numerical noise control and total energy conservation, which results in exceptional stability for long time integration. Its weakness lies in the lack of model error reduction with increasing resolution in specific test cases (especially the root-mean-square error). The A-grid method conserves well potential enstrophy and shows a linear reduction of error with increasing resolution. The gridpoint noise manifests itself clearly on A-grid, but much less on C-grid. We show that the Coriolis force term on C-grid has a larger error than on A-grid. To treat the Coriolis term and kinetic energy gradient on an equal footing on C-grid, we propose combining these two quantities into a single tendency term and computing its value by a linear combination operation. This modification alone reduces numerical errors but still fails to converge the maximum error with resolution. The method of Peixoto can solve the maximum-error nonconvergence problem on C-grid but degrades the numerical stability. For the steady-state thin-layer test (0.01 m in depth), the A-grid method is less susceptible than C-grid methods, which are presumably disrupted by the Hollingsworth instability. The effect of horizontal diffusion on model accuracy and energy conservation is shown in detail. Programming experience shows that software implementation and optimization can strongly influence computational performance for models, although memory requirement and computational load of the two schemes are comparable.

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S.-Y. Simon Wang, Robert R. Gillies, Boniface Fosu, and Pratibha M. Singh
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