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Barry H. Lynn, David R. Stauffer, Peter J. Wetzel, Wei-Kuo Tao, Pinhas Alpert, Nataly Perlin, R. David Baker, Ricardo Muñoz, Aaron Boone, and Yiqin Jia


Three major modifications to the treatment of land surface processes in the Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research mesoscale model MM5, are tested in a matrix of eight model experiments. Paired together in each dimension of the matrix are versions of the code with and without one of the changes. The three changes involve 1) a sophisticated land surface model [the Parameterization for Land–Atmosphere Convective Exchange (PLACE)], 2) the soil moisture and temperature initial conditions derived from running PLACE offline, and 3) a 1.5-order turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) turbulence boundary layer. The code without changes, defined as the control code, uses the most widely applied land surface, soil initialization, and boundary layer options found in the current MM5 community code. As an initial test of these modifications, a case was chosen in which they should have their greatest effect: conditions where heterogeneous surface forcing dominates over dynamic processes. The case chosen is one with widespread summertime moist convection, during the Convection and Precipitation Electrification Experiment (CaPE) in the middle of the Florida peninsula. Of the eight runs, the code with all three changes (labeled TKE-PLACE) demonstrates the best overall skill in terms of biases of the surface variables, rainfall, and percent and root-mean-square error of cloud cover fraction for this case. An early, isolated convective storm that formed near the east coast, at the downwind edge of a region of anomalous wet soil, and within the dense cluster of CaPE mesoscale observation stations, is correctly simulated only by TKE-PLACE. It does not develop in any of the other seven runs. A factor separation analysis shows that a successful simulation requires the inclusion of the more sophisticated land surface model, realistic initial soil moisture and temperature, and the higher-order closure of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) in order to better represent the effect of joint and synergistic (nonlinear) contributions from the land surface and PBL on the moist convection.

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Stephen D. Eckermann, Jun Ma, Karl W. Hoppel, David D. Kuhl, Douglas R. Allen, James A. Doyle, Kevin C. Viner, Benjamin C. Ruston, Nancy L. Baker, Steven D. Swadley, Timothy R. Whitcomb, Carolyn A. Reynolds, Liang Xu, N. Kaifler, B. Kaifler, Iain M. Reid, Damian J. Murphy, and Peter T. Love


A data assimilation system (DAS) is described for global atmospheric reanalysis from 0- to 100-km altitude. We apply it to the 2014 austral winter of the Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment (DEEPWAVE), an international field campaign focused on gravity wave dynamics from 0 to 100 km, where an absence of reanalysis above 60 km inhibits research. Four experiments were performed from April to September 2014 and assessed for reanalysis skill above 50 km. A four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) run specified initial background error covariances statically. A hybrid-4DVAR (HYBRID) run formed background error covariances from an 80-member forecast ensemble blended with a static estimate. Each configuration was run at low and high horizontal resolution. In addition to operational observations below 50 km, each experiment assimilated 105 observations of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) every 6 h. While all MLT reanalyses show skill relative to independent wind and temperature measurements, HYBRID outperforms 4DVAR. MLT fields at 1-h resolution (6-h analysis and 1–5-h forecasts) outperform 6-h analysis alone due to a migrating semidiurnal (SW2) tide that dominates MLT dynamics and is temporally aliased in 6-h time series. MLT reanalyses reproduce observed SW2 winds and temperatures, including phase structures and 10–15-day amplitude vacillations. The 0–100-km reanalyses reveal quasi-stationary planetary waves splitting the stratopause jet in July over New Zealand, decaying from 50 to 80 km then reintensifying above 80 km, most likely via MLT forcing due to zonal asymmetries in stratospheric gravity wave filtering.

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