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Ying Lin, Peter S. Ray, and Kenneth W. Johnson


A method is developed to initialize convective storm simulations with Doppler radar-derived fields. Input fields for initialization include velocity, rainwater derived from radar reflectivity, and pressure and temperature fields obtained through thermodynamic retrieval. A procedure has been developed to fill in missing wind data, followed by a variational adjustment to the filled wind field to minimize “shocks” that would otherwise cause the simulated fields to deteriorate rapidly.

A series of experiments using data from a simulated storm establishes the feasibility of the initialization method. Multiple-Doppler radar observations from the 20 May 1977 Del City tornadic storm are used for the initialization experiments. Simulation results are shown and compared to observations taken at a later time. The simulated storm shows good agreement with the subsequent observations, though the simulated storm appears to be evolving faster than observed. Possible reasons for the discrepancies are discussed.

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Kenneth W. Johnson, Peter S. Ray, Brenda C. Johnson, and Robert P. Davies-Jones


Observations of the 20 May 1977 tornadic storms are used to evaluate recent theories on the initiation of rotation at mid-and low levels and to verify recent thermodynamic retrieval results. Using the lengthy data record from a variety of sensors available for this day, it appears that the mechanism that initiates low-level rotation is different from that at midlevels. Attempts to identify the source of the low-level rotation as vertical tilting baroclinically generated horizontal vorticity were inconclusive.

The recent thermodynamic retrieval results of Hane and Ray and of Brandes for these storms are in good agreement with independent measurements where available. However, verification is hindered by the sparseness of these measurements. Noticeable differences in the region of the rear-flank downdraft suggest that there is room for improvement in the retrieval methods.

Investigation of the cyclic generation of rotation along gust fronts indicates that the source of low-level rotation is not derived from baroclinically generated horizontal vorticity as seems to be the case with the initial mesocyclone core. Instead, vertical vorticity amplification along the gust front leading to successive generation of mesocyclone cores and discrete mesocyclone propagation is the result of the concentration of low-level preexisting vertical vorticity through convergence.

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Kenneth W. Johnson, Jeff Bauer, Gregory A. Riccardi, Kelvin K. Droegemeier, and Ming Xue


This paper describes the parallelization of a mesoscale-cloud-scale numerical weather prediction model and experiments conducted to assess its performance. The model used is the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS), a limited-area nonhydrostatic model suitable for cloud-scale and mesoscale studies. Because models such as ARPS are usually memory and CPU bound, the motivation here is to decrease the computer time required for running the model and/or increase the size of the problem that can be run. A domain decomposition strategy using a network of workstations produced a significant decrease in elapsed time and increase in problem size relative to a single-workstation run. The performance of the resulting program is described by deprived formulas (collectively known as a performance model), which predict the execution time and speedup for different numbers of processors and problem sizes. The interprocessor communication speeds are shown to be the major obstacle to achieving full processor use. The effect of faster communication networks on parallel performance is predicted based on this performance model. Parallelization experiments using the ARPS code were run on a cluster of IBM RS6000 workstations connected via Ethernet. The message-passing paradigm implemented here made use of the library of routines from the Parallel Virtual Machine software package.

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