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Shiling Peng, L. A. Mysak, J. Derome, H. Ritchie, and B. Dugas


Using an atmospheric global spectral model, it is shown that the winter atmosphere in the midlatitudes is capable of reacting to prescribed sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the northwest Atlantic with two very different responses. The nature of the response is determined by the climatological conditions of the winter regime. Experiments are performed using either the perpetual November or January conditions with or without the prescribed SST anomalies.

Warm SST anomalies in November result in a highly significant anomalous ridge downstream over the Atlantic with a nearly equivalent barotropic structure; in January, the response is a statistically less significant trough. The presence of the SST anomalies also causes a northward (southward) shift of the Atlantic storm track in the November (January) cases. A diagnostic analysis of the anomalous heat advection in the simulations reveals that in the January cases, the surface heating is offset primarily by the strong horizontal cold advection in the lower troposphere. In the November cases, there is a vitally important vertical heat advection through which a potential positive ocean-atmosphere feedback was found. The positive air temperature anomalies exhibit a deep vertical penetration in the November cases but not in the January cases.

The simulated atmospheric responses to the warm SST anomalies in the November and January cases are found to be in qualitative agreement with the observational results using 50-yr ( 1930-1979) records. The atmospheric responses to the cold SST anomalies in the simulations are found to be insignificant.

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J. B. Halverson, J. Simpson, G. Heymsfield, H. Pierce, T. Hock, and L. Ritchie


A combination of multiaircraft and several satellite sensors were used to examine the core of Hurricane Erin on 10 September 2001, as part of the Fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-4) program. During the first set of aircraft passes, around 1700 UTC, Erin was still at its maximum intensity with a central pressure of 969 hPa and wind speed of 105 kt (54 m s−1).

The storm was moving slowly northwestward at 4 m s−1, over an increasingly colder sea surface. Three instrumented aircraft, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) P3 with radar, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ER-2 at 19 km, newly equipped with GPS dropwindsondes, and the NASA DC-8 with dropwindsondes flew in formation across the eye at about 1700 UTC and again 2.5 h later around 1930 UTC. The storm had weakened by 13 m s−1 between the first and second eye penetrations. The warm core had a maximum temperature anomaly of only 11°C, located at 500 hPa, much weaker and lower than active hurricanes. The core appeared to slant rearward above 400 hPa. Even on the first penetration, airborne radar showed that the eyewall cloud towers were dying. The tops fell short of reaching 15 km and a melting band was found throughout. The tropopause had a bulge to 15.8-km elevation (environment ∼14.4 km) above the dying convection.

The paper presents a consistent picture of the vortex in shear interaction from a primarily thermodynamic perspective. A feature of Erin at this time was a pronounced wavenumber-1 convective asymmetry with all convective activity being confined to the forward quadrants on the left side of the shear vector as calculated from analyses. This is similar to that predicted by the mesoscale numerical models, which also predict that such small amounts of shear would not affect the storm intensity. In Erin, it is remarkable that relatively small shear produced such a pronounced asymmetry in the convection. From the three-dimensional analysis of dropsonde data, horizontal asymmetries in lower and middle tropospheric warming were identified. The warm anomalies are consistent with the pattern of mesoscale vertical motions inferred from the shear-induced wavenumber-1 asymmetry, dipole in rain intensity, and surface convergence.

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Adrian A. Ritchie Jr., Matthew R. Smith, H. Michael Goodman, Ronald L. Schudalla, Dawn K. Conway, Frank J. LaFontaine, Don Moss, and Brian Motta


Antenna temperatures and the corresponding geolocation data from the five sources of the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F11 satellite have been characterized. Data from the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) have been compared with data from other sources to define and document the differences resulting from different processing systems. While all sources used similar methods to calculate antenna temperatures, different calibration averaging techniques and other processing methods yielded temperature differences. Analyses of the geolocation data identified perturbations in the FNMOC and National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service data. The effects of the temperature differences were examined by generating rain rates using the Goddard Scattering Algorithm. Differences in the geophysical precipitation products are directly attributable to antenna temperature differences.

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Energy and Water Cycles in a High-Latitude, North-Flowing River System

Summary of Results from the Mackenzie GEWEX Study—Phase I

W. R. Rouse, E. M. Blyth, R. W. Crawford, J. R. Gyakum, J. R. Janowicz, B. Kochtubajda, H. G. Leighton, P. Marsh, L. Martz, A. Pietroniro, H. Ritchie, W. M. Schertzer, E. D. Soulis, R. E. Stewart, G. S. Strong, and M. K. Woo

The MacKenzie Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Study, Phase 1, seeks to improve understanding of energy and water cycling in the Mackenzie River basin (MRB) and to initiate and test atmospheric, hydrologic, and coupled models that will project the sensitivity of these cycles to climate change and to human activities. Major findings from the study are outlined in this paper. Absorbed solar radiation is a primary driving force of energy and water, and shows dramatic temporal and spatial variability. Cloud amounts feature large diurnal, seasonal, and interannual fluctuations. Seasonality in moisture inputs and outputs is pronounced. Winter in the northern MRB features deep thermal inversions. Snow hydrological processes are very significant in this high-latitude environment and are being successfully modeled for various landscapes. Runoff processes are distinctive in the major terrain units, which is important to overall water cycling. Lakes and wetlands compose much of MRB and are prominent as hydrologic storage systems that must be incorporated into models. Additionally, they are very efficient and variable evaporating systems that are highly sensitive to climate variability. Mountainous high-latitude sub-basins comprise a mosaic of land surfaces with distinct hydrological attributes that act as variable source areas for runoff generation. They also promote leeward cyclonic storm generation. The hard rock terrain of the Canadian Shield exhibits a distinctive energy flux regimen and hydrologic regime. The MRB has been warming dramatically recently, and ice breakup and spring outflow into the Polar Sea has been occurring progressively earlier. This paper presents initial results from coupled atmospheric-hydrologic modeling and delineates distinctive cold region inputs needed for developments in regional and global climate modeling.

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D. S. Gutzler, L. N. Long, J. Schemm, S. Baidya Roy, M. Bosilovich, J. C. Collier, M. Kanamitsu, P. Kelly, D. Lawrence, M.-I. Lee, R. Lobato Sánchez, B. Mapes, K. Mo, A. Nunes, E. A. Ritchie, J. Roads, S. Schubert, H. Wei, and G. J. Zhang


The second phase of the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) Model Assessment Project (NAMAP2) was carried out to provide a coordinated set of simulations from global and regional models of the 2004 warm season across the North American monsoon domain. This project follows an earlier assessment, called NAMAP, that preceded the 2004 field season of the North American Monsoon Experiment. Six global and four regional models are all forced with prescribed, time-varying ocean surface temperatures. Metrics for model simulation of warm season precipitation processes developed in NAMAP are examined that pertain to the seasonal progression and diurnal cycle of precipitation, monsoon onset, surface turbulent fluxes, and simulation of the low-level jet circulation over the Gulf of California. Assessment of the metrics is shown to be limited by continuing uncertainties in spatially averaged observations, demonstrating that modeling and observational analysis capabilities need to be developed concurrently. Simulations of the core subregion (CORE) of monsoonal precipitation in global models have improved since NAMAP, despite the lack of a proper low-level jet circulation in these simulations. Some regional models run at higher resolution still exhibit the tendency observed in NAMAP to overestimate precipitation in the CORE subregion; this is shown to involve both convective and resolved components of the total precipitation. The variability of precipitation in the Arizona/New Mexico (AZNM) subregion is simulated much better by the regional models compared with the global models, illustrating the importance of transient circulation anomalies (prescribed as lateral boundary conditions) for simulating precipitation in the northern part of the monsoon domain. This suggests that seasonal predictability derivable from lower boundary conditions may be limited in the AZNM subregion.

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Paolo M. Ruti, Oksana Tarasova, Julia H. Keller, Greg Carmichael, Øystein Hov, Sarah C. Jones, Deon Terblanche, Cheryl Anderson-Lefale, Ana P. Barros, Peter Bauer, Véronique Bouchet, Guy Brasseur, Gilbert Brunet, Phil DeCola, Victor Dike, Mariane Diop Kane, Christopher Gan, Kevin R. Gurney, Steven Hamburg, Wilco Hazeleger, Michel Jean, David Johnston, Alastair Lewis, Peter Li, Xudong Liang, Valerio Lucarini, Amanda Lynch, Elena Manaenkova, Nam Jae-Cheol, Satoru Ohtake, Nadia Pinardi, Jan Polcher, Elizabeth Ritchie, Andi Eka Sakya, Celeste Saulo, Amith Singhee, Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan, Andrea Steiner, Alan Thorpe, and Moeka Yamaji


Whether on an urban or planetary scale, covering time scales of a few minutes or a few decades, the societal need for more accurate weather, climate, water, and environmental information has led to a more seamless thinking across disciplines and communities. This challenge, at the intersection of scientific research and society’s need, is among the most important scientific and technological challenges of our time. The “Science Summit on Seamless Research for Weather, Climate, Water, and Environment” organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 2017, has brought together researchers from a variety of institutions for a cross-disciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas relating to seamless Earth system science. The outcomes of the Science Summit, and the interactions it sparked, highlight the benefit of a seamless Earth system science approach. Such an approach has the potential to break down artificial barriers that may exist due to different observing systems, models, time and space scales, and compartments of the Earth system. In this context, the main future challenges for research infrastructures have been identified. A value cycle approach has been proposed to guide innovation in seamless Earth system prediction. The engagement of researchers, users, and stakeholders will be crucial for the successful development of a seamless Earth system science that meets the needs of society.

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