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  • Author or Editor: R. A. Brown x
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D. P. Brown and R. A. Harvey

An integrator, which automatically and periodically records the weighted average solar radiation from the previous period, has been developed. The instrument is used to obtain a measure of the average solar radiant energy per day. This measurement was previously obtained by manual—and often tedious—graphical analysis.

Theoretical considerations involving averaging by passive networks are presented with experimental results which show the accuracy of the instrument.

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A. L. Westerling, A. Gershunov, T. J. Brown, D. R. Cayan, and M. D. Dettinger

A 21-yr gridded monthly fire-starts and acres-burned dataset from U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs fire reports recreates the seasonality and interannual variability of wild fire in the western United States. Despite pervasive human influence in western fire regimes, it is striking how strongly these data reveal a fire season responding to variations in climate. Correlating anomalous wildfire frequency and extent with the Palmer Drought Severity Index illustrates the importance of prior and accumulated precipitation anomalies for future wildfire season severity. This link to antecedent seasons' moisture conditions varies widely with differences in predominant fuel type. Furthermore, these data demonstrate that the relationship between wildfire season severity and observed moisture anomalies from antecedent seasons is strong enough to forecast fire season severity at lead times of one season to a year in advance.

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Rodger A. Brown, Donald W. Burgess, John K. Carter, Leslie R. Lemon, and Dale Sirmans

Some results of the first 10 cm dual-Doppler radar measurements in a tornadic storm are presented. A mesoscale cyclonic circulation confirms proposed single Doppler vortex signature and indicates that the curved reflectivity hook echo is around the periphery of the circulation. The interpolated tornado position is within the mesocyclone where high-variance Doppler velocity spectra suggest strong velocity gradients.

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R. J. Barthelmie, P. Crippa, H. Wang, C. M. Smith, R. Krishnamurthy, A. Choukulkar, R. Calhoun, D. Valyou, P. Marzocca, D. Matthiesen, G. Brown, and S. C. Pryor

The 3D wind and turbulence characteristics of the atmospheric boundary layer experiment (3D Wind) was conducted to evaluate innovative remote sensing and in situ platforms for measurements of wind and turbulence regimes. The experiment is part of a planned series that focuses on quantifying wind and turbulence characteristics at the scales of modern wind turbines and wind farms and was conducted in northern Indiana in May 2012. 3D Wind had the following specific objectives: (i) intercomparison experiments evaluating wind speed profiles across the wind turbine rotor plane from traditional cup anemometers and wind vanes on a meteorological mast and from a tethered balloon, sonic anemometers (mast mounted and on an unmanned aerial vehicle), three vertical-pointing (continuous wave) lidars and a pulsed scanning lidar, and (ii) integrate these measurements and output from 3-km-resolution (over the inner domain) simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model to develop a detailed depiction of the atmospheric flow, upwind, within, and downwind of a large, irregularly spaced wind farm. This paper provides an overview of the measurement techniques, their advantages and disadvantages focusing on the integration of wind and turbulence characteristics that are necessary for wind farm development and operation. Analyses of the measurements are summarized to characterize instrument cross comparison, wind profiles, and spatial gradients and wind turbine wakes.

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Leslie R. Lemon, Ralph J. Donaldson Jr., Donald W. Burgess, and Rodger A. Brown

Significant advances in single-Doppler radar application to severe storm study and identification have been made since 1965. Mesocyclones have been detected by Doppler radar and found to precede severe weather occurrence by several tens of minutes. A typical mesocyclone evolution leading to tornado development has also been documented. The tornado vortex itself has a revealing signature in Doppler radar data, the tornadic vortex signature (TVS). Statistics of both mesocyclone and TVS association with confirmed severe weather are presented in this paper. Doppler radar provides the potential for improving severe thunderstorm warnings. Experiments are underway to test the operational use of this new tool in storm warning and flight advisory services.

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J. D. Price, S. Vosper, A. Brown, A. Ross, P. Clark, F. Davies, V. Horlacher, B. Claxton, J. R. McGregor, J. S. Hoare, B. Jemmett-Smith, and P. Sheridan

During stable nighttime periods, large variations in temperature and visibility often occur over short distances in regions of only moderate topography. These are of great practical significance and yet pose major forecasting challenges because of a lack of detailed understanding of the processes involved and because crucial topographic variations are often not resolved in current forecast models. This paper describes a field and numerical modeling campaign, Cold-Air Pooling Experiment (COLPEX), which addresses many of the issues.

The observational campaign was run for 15 months in Shropshire, United Kingdom, in a region of small hills and valleys with typical ridge–valley heights of 75–150 m and valley widths of 1–3 km. The instrumentation consisted of three sites with instrumented flux towers, a Doppler lidar, and a network of 30 simpler meteorological stations. Further instrumentation was deployed during intensive observation periods including radiosonde launches from two sites, a cloud droplet probe, aerosol monitoring equipment, and an instrumented car. Some initial results from the observations are presented illustrating the range of conditions encountered.

The modeling phase of COLPEX includes use of the Met Office Unified Model at 100-m resolution, and some brief results for a simulation of an intensive observation period are presented showing the model capturing a cold-pool event. As well as aiding interpretation of the observations, results from this study are expected to inform the design of future generations of operational forecasting systems

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L. Magnusson, J.-R. Bidlot, M. Bonavita, A. R. Brown, P. A. Browne, G. De Chiara, M. Dahoui, S. T. K. Lang, T. McNally, K. S. Mogensen, F. Pappenberger, F. Prates, F. Rabier, D. S. Richardson, F. Vitart, and S. Malardel


Tropical cyclones are some of the most devastating natural hazards and the “three beasts”—Harvey, Irma, and Maria—during the Atlantic hurricane season 2017 are recent examples. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is working on fulfilling its 2016–25 strategy in which early warnings for extreme events will be made possible by a high-resolution Earth system ensemble forecasting system. Several verification reports acknowledge deterministic and probabilistic tropical cyclone tracks from ECMWF as world leading. However, producing reliable intensity forecasts is still a difficult task for the ECMWF global forecasting model, especially regarding maximum wind speed. This article will put the ECMWF strategy into a tropical cyclone perspective and highlight some key research activities, using Harvey, Irma, and Maria as examples. We describe the observation usage around tropical cyclones in data assimilation and give examples of their impact. From a model perspective, we show the impact of running at 5-km resolution and also the impact of applying ocean coupling. Finally, we discuss the future challenges to tackle the errors in intensity forecasts for tropical cyclones.

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I. A. Renfrew, G. W. K. Moore, J. E. Kristjánsson, H. Ólafsson, S. L. Gray, G. N. Petersen, K. Bovis, P. R. A. Brown, I. Føre, T. Haine, C. Hay, E. A. Irvine, A Lawrence, T. Ohigashi, S. Outten, R. S. Pickart, M. Shapiro, D. Sproson, R. Swinbank, A. Woolley, and S. Zhang

Greenland has a major influence on the atmospheric circulation of the North Atlantic-western European region, dictating the location and strength of mesoscale weather systems around the coastal seas of Greenland and directly influencing synoptic-scale weather systems both locally and downstream over Europe. High winds associated with the local weather systems can induce large air-sea fluxes of heat, moisture, and momentum in a region that is critical to the overturning of the thermohaline circulation, and thus play a key role in controlling the coupled atmosphere-ocean climate system.

The Greenland Flow Distortion Experiment (GFDex) is investigating the role of Greenland in defining the structure and predictability of both local and downstream weather systems through a program of aircraft-based observation and numerical modeling. The GFDex observational program is centered upon an aircraft-based field campaign in February and March 2007, at the dawn of the International Polar Year. Twelve missions were flown with the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements' BAe-146, based out of the Keflavik, Iceland. These included the first aircraft-based observations of a reverse tip jet event, the first aircraft-based observations of barrier winds off of southeast Greenland, two polar mesoscale cyclones, a dramatic case of lee cyclogenesis, and several targeted observation missions into areas where additional observations were predicted to improve forecasts.

In this overview of GFDex the background, aims and objectives, and facilities and logistics are described. A summary of the campaign is provided, along with some of the highlights of the experiment.

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D. N. Williams, R. Ananthakrishnan, D. E. Bernholdt, S. Bharathi, D. Brown, M. Chen, A. L. Chervenak, L. Cinquini, R. Drach, I. T. Foster, P. Fox, D. Fraser, J. Garcia, S. Hankin, P. Jones, D. E. Middleton, J. Schwidder, R. Schweitzer, R. Schuler, A. Shoshani, F. Siebenlist, A. Sim, W. G. Strand, M. Su, and N. Wilhelmi

By leveraging current technologies to manage distributed climate data in a unified virtual environment, the Earth System Grid (ESG) project is promoting data sharing between international research centers and diverse users. In transforming these data into a collaborative community resource, ESG is changing the way global climate research is conducted.

Since ESG's production beginnings in 2004, its most notable accomplishment was to efficiently store and distribute climate simulation data of some 20 global coupled ocean-atmosphere models to the scores of scientific contributors to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the IPCC collective scientific achievement was recognized by the award of a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Other international climate stakeholders such as the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) and the developers of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and of the Climate Science Computational End Station (CCES) also have endorsed ESG technologies for disseminating data to their respective user communities. In coming years, the recently created Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technology (ESG-CET) will extend these methods to assist the international climate community in its efforts to better understand the global climate system.

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T. Keenan, P. Joe, J. Wilson, C. Collier, B. Golding, D. Burgess, P. May, C. Pierce, J. Bally, A. Crook, A. Seed, D. Sills, L. Berry, R. Potts, I. Bell, N. Fox, E. Ebert, M. Eilts, K. O'Loughlin, R. Webb, R. Carbone, K. Browning, R. Roberts, and C. Mueller

The first World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) Forecast Demonstration Project (FDP), with a focus on nowcasting, was conducted in Sydney, Australia, from 4 September to 21 November 2000 during a period associated with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Through international collaboration, nine nowcasting systems from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia were deployed at the Sydney Office of the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to demonstrate the capability of modern forecast systems and to quantify the associated benefits in the delivery of a real-time nowcast service. On-going verification and impact studies supported by international committees assisted by the WWRP formed an integral part of this project. A description is given of the project, including component systems, the weather, and initial outcomes. Initial results show that the nowcasting systems tested were transferable and able to provide valuable information enhancing BOM nowcasts. The project provided for unprecedented interchange of concepts and ideas between forecasters, researchers, and end users in an operational framework where they all faced common issues relevant to real time nowcast decision making. A training workshop sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was also held in conjunction with the project so that other member nations could benefit from the FDP.

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