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M. Zupanski and J. McGinley


Recent diagnostic and numerical studies have been shown that cyclogensis events in the lee of the Alps occur when: 1) an upper-level trough is upstream: 2) a low-level frontal system impinges on the Alps and, 3) an upper-level streak on the west side of trough moves into the northern Mediterranean.

Three case studies focusing on the rapid development stage of Alpine lee cyclogensis are investigated by performing a set of numerical experiments, with emphasis on the above mentioned factors. In order to create slightly different initial fields, we have used a two layer smoothing technique, alternatively reducing low-level available potential energy testing (2)], or reducing an upper-level wind maxima [testing (3)]. Once this is done we readjust the mass and momentum fields using a variational initialization scheme with weak geostrophic constraints.

Based on the results of these cases of lee cyclogensis, the weaker lee developments were significantly reduced by decreasing the low-level frontal intensity (2), which implied a greater influence of the low level dynamical processes (frontal impingement) relative to jet streak processes (geostrophic adjustment). In the case of relatively strong cyclogensis, dynamical processes associated with the upper-level jet streak become more important factor than low forcing. An overall inhibitory effect of the Alps was obvious in all three cases. particularly in the case of strong cyclogensis. However, these experiments did show localization of development as manifested by a high-low dipole structure of the mountain induced pressure perturbations.

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T. Vukicevic, T. Greenwald, M. Zupanski, D. Zupanski, T. Vonder Haar, and A. S. Jones


This study focuses on cloudy atmosphere state estimation from high-resolution visible and infrared satellite remote sensing measurements and a mesoscale model with explicit cloud prediction. The cloud state is defined as 3D spatially distributed hydrometeors characterized with microphysical properties: mixing ratio, number concentration, and size distribution. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-9 (GOES-9) imager visible and infrared measurements were used in a new four-dimensional variational data assimilation (4DVAR) mesoscale algorithm for a warm continental stratus cloud system case to test the impact of these observations on the cloud simulation. The new data assimilation algorithm includes the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) with explicit cloud state prediction, the associated adjoint system, and an observational operator for forward and adjoint integrations of the GOES radiances. The results show positive impact of GOES imager measurements on the 3D cloud short-term simulation during and after the assimilation. The impact was achieved through sensitivity of the radiances to the cloud droplet mixing ratio at observation time and a 4D correlation between the cloud and atmospheric thermal and dynamical environment in the forecast model. The dynamical response to the radiance observations was through enhanced large mesoscale vertical mixing while horizontal advection was weak in the case of stable continental stratus evolution.

Although the current experiments show measurable positive impact of the cloudy radiance measurements on the stratus cloud simulation, they clearly suggest the need to further address the problem of negative cloud cover forecast errors. These errors were only weakly corrected in the current study because of the small sensitivity of the visible and infrared window radiances to the cloud-free atmosphere.

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Sara Q. Zhang, T. Matsui, S. Cheung, M. Zupanski, and C. Peters-Lidard


This work assimilates multisensor precipitation-sensitive microwave radiance observations into a storm-scale NASA Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF) Model simulation of the West African monsoon. The analysis consists of a full description of the atmospheric states and a realistic cloud and precipitation distribution that is consistent with the observed dynamic and physical features. The analysis shows an improved representation of monsoon precipitation and its interaction with dynamics over West Africa. Most significantly, assimilation of precipitation-affected microwave radiance has a positive impact on the distribution of precipitation intensity and also modulates the propagation of cloud precipitation systems associated with the African easterly jet. Using an ensemble-based assimilation technique that allows state-dependent forecast error covariance among dynamical and microphysical variables, this work shows that the assimilation of precipitation-sensitive microwave radiances over the West African monsoon rainband enables initialization of storms. These storms show the characteristics of continental tropical convection that enhance the connection between tropical waves and organized convection systems.

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