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Jordan C. Alpert

Abstract

An analysis of the kinetic energy budget is made for two intensely developing cyclones over North America. The principal kinetic energy source for the first cyclone is the net horizontal transport of kinetic energy across the boundaries of the region enclosing the cyclone. For the second cyclone, it is the local kinetic energy generation. By investigating the kinetic energy budget of the vertically averaged flow (barotropic part) and the vertical shear flow (baroclinic part) it is found that the horizontal transport contribution to the kinetic energy budget of the first cyclone is evenly divided between the barotropic and baroclinic components. However, the kinetic energy generation is the dominant energy source of the second cyclone, and the horizontal transport is an energy sink. The vertical shear kinetic energy reservoir did not act as a “catalyst” as in hemispheric studies but varied during cyclone development.

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Tsing-Chang Chen
and
Jordan C. Alpert

Abstract

The systematic error in the National Meterological Center's (NMC) medium-range operational forecasts of the global divergence during 1987 and 1988 is examined in this study. As in other operational NWP models the NMC model has too weak an annual mean, annual cycle, and 30–60 day oscillation. This weakness shows up after only a few days, especially over the monsoon region and tropical areas. When the intraseasonal oscillation amplitude is large the model predictive skill is improved. The eastward propagation of the low-frequency mode is well predicted throughout the 10-day forecast period. The north-south migration of the tropical Hadley circulation, depicted primarily by the annual-cycle mode, is also weaker although the phase pattern predicted by the MRF is consistent with analyses.

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Jordan C. Alpert
and
V. Krishna Kumar

Abstract

The spatial and temporal densities of Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) raw radar radial wind represent a rich source of high-resolution observations for initializing numerical weather prediction models. A characteristic of these observations is the presence of a significant degree of redundant information imposing a burden on an operational assimilation system. Potential improvement in data assimilation efficiency can be achieved by constructing averages, called super-obs. In the past, transmission of the radar radial wind from each radar site to a central site was confined to data feeds that filter the resolution and degrade the precision. At the central site, super-obs were constructed from this data feed and called level-3 super-obs. However, the precision and information content of the radial wind can be improved if data at each radar site are directly utilized at the highest resolution and precision found at the WSR-88D radar and then transmitted to a central site for processing in assimilation systems. In addition, with data compression from using super-obs, the volume of data is reduced, allowing quality control information to be included in the data transmission. The super-ob product from each WSR-88D radar site is called level-2.5 super-obs. Parallel, operational runs and case studies of the impact of the level-2.5 radar radial wind super-ob on the NCEP operational 12-km Eta Data Assimilation System (EDAS) and forecast system are compared with Next-Generation Weather Radar level-3 radial wind super-obs, which are spatially filtered and delivered at reduced precision. From the cases studied, it is shown that the level-3 super-obs make little or no impact on the Eta data analysis and subsequent forecasts. The assimilation of the level-2.5 super-ob product in the EDAS and forecast system shows improved precipitation threat scores as well as reduction in RMS and bias height errors, particularly in the upper troposphere. In the few cases studied, the predicted mesoscale precipitation patterns benefit from the level-2.5 super-obs, and more so when greater weight is given to these high-resolution/precision observations. Direct transmission of raw (designated as level 2) radar data to a central site and its use are now imminent, but this study shows that the level-2.5 super-ob product can be used as an operational benchmark to compare with new quality control and assimilation schemes.

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Tsing-Chang Chen
,
Jordan C. Alpert
, and
Thomas W. Schlatter

Abstract

The magnitude of the divergent component of the wind is relatively small compared to that of the nondivergent component in large-scale atmospheric flows; nevertheless, it plays an important role in the case of explosive cyclogenesis examined here. We have calculated the kinetic energy budget for the life cycle of an intense, developing cyclone over North America. The principal kinetic energy source is the net horizontal transport across the boundaries of the region enclosing the cyclone. By investigating the relative importance of the divergent and nondivergent wind components in the kinetic energy budget, we found, as expected, that neglecting the divergent wind component in calculating the magnitude of the kinetic energy is of little consequence, but that the horizontal flux convergence and generation of kinetic energy depend crucially upon the divergent component. Modification of the divergent wind component can result in significant changes in the kinetic energy budget of the synoptic system.

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Tsing-Chang Chen
,
Ming-Cheng Yen
,
Jenq-Dar Tsay
,
Nguyen Thi Tan Thanh
, and
Jordan Alpert

Abstract

The 30–31 October 2008 Hanoi, Vietnam, heavy rainfall–flood (HRF) event occurred unusually farther north than other Vietnam events. The cause of this event is explored with multiple-scale processes in the context of the midlatitude–tropical interaction. In the midlatitudes, the cold surge linked to the Hanoi event can be traced westward to the leeside cyclogenesis between the Altai Mountains and Tianshan. This cyclone developed into a Bering Sea explosive cyclone later, simultaneously with the occurrence of the Hanoi HRF event. In the tropics, a cold surge vortex formed on 26 October, south of the Philippines, through the interaction of an easterly disturbance, an already existing small surface vortex in the Celebes Sea, and the eastern Asian cold surge flow. This cold surge vortex developed into a cyclone, juxtaposed with the surface high of the cold surge flow, and established a strong moist southeasterly flow from the South China Sea to Hanoi, which helped maintain the HRF event. Spectral analysis of the zonal winds north and south of the Hanoi HRF cyclone and rainfall at Hanoi reveal the existence of three monsoon modes: 30–60, 12–24, and 5 days. The cold surge vortex developed into an HRF cyclone in conjunction with the in-phase constructive interference of the three monsoon modes, while the Hanoi HRF event was hydrologically maintained by the northwestward flux of water vapor into Hanoi by these monsoon modes.

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