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S. Cocke
and
T. E. LaRow

Abstract

This paper describes a new climate model and its potential application to the study of ENSO impacts. The model is a regional spectral model embedded within a global coupled ocean–atmosphere model. The atmospheric part of the model consists of a global spectral model with triangular truncation T63 and a nested regional spectral model. The regional model is a relocatable spectral perturbation model that can be run at any horizontal resolution. In this paper the regional model was run with a resolution of 40 km. The global atmosphere model is coupled to the Max Planck global ocean model. No flux correction or anomaly coupling is used.

An ensemble of 120-day integrations was conducted using the coupled nested system for the boreal winters of 1987 and 1988. A control integration was also performed in which observed SSTs were used in both the global and regional models. Two domains were chosen for the regional model: the southeast United States and western North America.

Results from the global models show that the models reproduce many of the large-scale ENSO climate variations including the shifts in the Pacific ITCZ and SPCZ along with a Pacific–North America response in the 500-hPa height field. These results are compared against the corresponding ECMWF and Global Precipitation Climatology Centre analysis. Over the southeast United States both the global and regional models captured the precipitation variations between the two years as compared with the monthly mean cooperative station data. It is shown that the regional model solution is consistent with the global model solution, but with more realistic detail. Finally prospects for using this coupled nested ocean–atmosphere regional spectral model for downscaling are discussed.

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T. E. LaRow
,
S. D. Cocke
, and
D. W. Shin

Abstract

A six-member multicoupled model ensemble is created by using six state-of-the-art deep atmospheric convective schemes. The six convective schemes are used inside a single model and make up the ensemble. This six-member ensemble is compared against a multianalysis ensemble, which is created by varying the initial start dates of the atmospheric component of the coupled model. Both ensembles were integrated for seven months (November–May) over a 12-yr period from 1987 to 1998. Examination of the sea surface temperature and precipitation show that while deterministic skill scores are slightly better for the multicoupled model ensemble the probabilistic skill scores favor the multimodel approach. Combining the two ensembles to create a larger ensemble size increases the probabilistic skill score compared to the multimodel. This altering physics approach to create a multimodel ensemble is seen as an easy way for small modeling centers to generate ensembles with better reliability than by only varying the initial conditions.

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T. E. LaRow
,
Y-K. Lim
,
D. W. Shin
,
E. P. Chassignet
, and
S. Cocke

Abstract

An ensemble of seasonal Atlantic hurricane simulations is conducted using The Florida State University/Center for Ocean–Atmospheric Prediction Studies (FSU–COAPS) global spectral model (Cocke and LaRow) at a resolution of T126L27 (a Gaussian grid spacing of 0.94°). Four integrations comprising the ensembles were generated using the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) time-lagged initial atmospheric conditions centered on 1 June for the 20 yr from 1986 to 2005. The sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were updated weekly using the Reynolds et al. observed data. An objective-tracking algorithm obtained from the ECMWF and modified for this model’s resolution was used to detect and track the storms. It was found that the model’s composite storm structure and track lengths are realistic. In addition, the 20-yr interannual variability was well simulated by the ensembles with a 0.78 ensemble mean rank correlation. The ensembles tend to overestimate (underestimate) the numbers of storms during July (September) and produced only one CAT4–level storm on the Saffir–Simpson scale. Similar problems are noted in other global model simulations. All ensembles did well in simulating the large number of storms forming in the Atlantic basin during 1995 and showed an increase in the number of storms during La Niña and a decrease during El Niño events. The results are found to be sensitive to the choices of convection schemes and diffusion coefficients. The overall conclusion is that models such as the one used here are needed to better hindcast the interannual variability; however, going to an even higher resolution does not guarantee better interannual variability, tracks, or intensity. Improved physical parameterizations, such as using an explicit convection scheme and better representation of surface roughness at high wind speeds, are likely to more accurately represent hurricane intensity.

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D. W. Shin
,
J. G. Bellow
,
T. E. LaRow
,
S. Cocke
, and
James J. O'Brien

Abstract

An advanced land model [the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Land Model, version 2 (CLM2)] is coupled to the Florida State University (FSU) regional spectral model to improve seasonal surface climate outlooks at very high spatial and temporal resolution and to examine its potential for crop yield estimation. The regional model domain is over the southeast United States and is run at 20-km resolution, roughly resolving the county level. Warm-season (March–September) simulations from the regional model coupled to the CLM2 are compared with those from the model with a simple land surface scheme (i.e., the original FSU model). In this comparison, two convective schemes are also used to evaluate their roles in simulating seasonal climate, primarily for rainfall. It is shown that the inclusion of the CLM2 produces consistently better seasonal climate scenarios of surface maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, and shortwave radiation, and hence provides superior inputs to a site-based crop model to simulate crop yields. The FSU regional model with the CLM2 exhibits some capability in the simulation of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) yields, depending upon the convective scheme employed and the site selected.

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D. W. Shin
,
S. Cocke
,
T. E. LaRow
, and
James J. O’Brien

Abstract

The current Florida State University (FSU) climate model is upgraded by coupling the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Land Model Version 2 (CLM2) as its land component in order to make a better simulation of surface air temperature and precipitation on the seasonal time scale, which is important for crop model application. Climatological and seasonal simulations with the FSU climate model coupled to the CLM2 (hereafter FSUCLM) are compared to those of the control (the FSU model with the original simple land surface treatment). The current version of the FSU model is known to have a cold bias in the temperature field and a wet bias in precipitation. The implementation of FSUCLM has reduced or eliminated this bias due to reduced latent heat flux and increased sensible heat flux. The role of the land model in seasonal simulations is shown to be more important during summertime than wintertime. An additional experiment that assimilates atmospheric forcings produces improved land-model initial conditions, which in turn reduces the biases further. The impact of various deep convective parameterizations is examined as well to further assess model performance. The land scheme plays a more important role than the convective scheme in simulations of surface air temperature. However, each convective scheme shows its own advantage over different geophysical locations in precipitation simulations.

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D. W. Shin
,
G. A. Baigorria
,
Y-K. Lim
,
S. Cocke
,
T. E. LaRow
,
James J. O’Brien
, and
James W. Jones

Abstract

A comprehensive evaluation of crop yield simulations with various seasonal climate data is performed to improve the current practice of crop yield projections. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-based historical data are commonly used to predict the upcoming season crop yields over the southeastern United States. In this study, eight different seasonal climate datasets are generated using the combinations of two global models, a regional model, and a statistical downscaling technique. One of the global models and the regional model are run with two different convective schemes. These datasets are linked to maize and peanut dynamic models to assess their impacts on crop yield simulations and are then compared with the ENSO-based approach. Improvement of crop yield simulations with the climate model data is varying, depending on the model configuration and the crop type. Although using the global climate model data directly provides no improvement, the dynamically and statistically downscaled data show increased skill in the crop yield simulations. A statistically downscaled operational seasonal climate model forecast shows statistically significant (at the 5% level) interannual predictability in the peanut yield simulation. Since the yield amount simulated by the dynamical crop model is highly sensitive to wet/dry spell sequences (water stress) during the growing season, fidelity in simulating the precipitation variability is essential.

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Anne S. Daloz
,
S. J. Camargo
,
J. P. Kossin
,
K. Emanuel
,
M. Horn
,
J. A. Jonas
,
D. Kim
,
T. LaRow
,
Y.-K. Lim
,
C. M. Patricola
,
M. Roberts
,
E. Scoccimarro
,
D. Shaevitz
,
P. L. Vidale
,
H. Wang
,
M. Wehner
, and
M. Zhao

Abstract

A realistic representation of the North Atlantic tropical cyclone tracks is crucial as it allows, for example, explaining potential changes in U.S. landfalling systems. Here, the authors present a tentative study that examines the ability of recent climate models to represent North Atlantic tropical cyclone tracks. Tracks from two types of climate models are evaluated: explicit tracks are obtained from tropical cyclones simulated in regional or global climate models with moderate to high horizontal resolution (1°–0.25°), and downscaled tracks are obtained using a downscaling technique with large-scale environmental fields from a subset of these models. For both configurations, tracks are objectively separated into four groups using a cluster technique, leading to a zonal and a meridional separation of the tracks. The meridional separation largely captures the separation between deep tropical and subtropical, hybrid or baroclinic cyclones, while the zonal separation segregates Gulf of Mexico and Cape Verde storms. The properties of the tracks’ seasonality, intensity, and power dissipation index in each cluster are documented for both configurations. The authors’ results show that, except for the seasonality, the downscaled tracks better capture the observed characteristics of the clusters. The authors also use three different idealized scenarios to examine the possible future changes of tropical cyclone tracks under 1) warming sea surface temperature, 2) increasing carbon dioxide, and 3) a combination of the two. The response to each scenario is highly variable depending on the simulation considered. Finally, the authors examine the role of each cluster in these future changes and find no preponderant contribution of any single cluster over the others.

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