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  • Author or Editor: William E. Johns x
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John R. Gerhardt
and
William E. Gordon

The propagation of radio waves above about 30 megacycles is seriously affected by certain weather phenomena. The meteorological aspects of this effect for a particular case are considered and a forecasting technique proposed.

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William L. Chapman
and
John E. Walsh

Feedbacks resulting from the retreat of sea ice and snow contribute to the polar amplification of the greenhouse warming projected by global climate models. A gridded sea-ice database, for which the record length is now approaching four decades for the Arctic and two decades for the Antarctic, is summarized here. The sea-ice fluctuations derived from the dataset are characterized by 1) temporal scales of several seasons to several years and 2) spatial scales of 30°–180° of longitude. The ice data are examined in conjunction with air temperature data for evidence of recent climate change in the polar regions. The arctic sea-ice variations over the past several decades are compatible with the corresponding air temperatures, which show a distinct warming that is strongest over northern land areas during the winter and spring. The temperature trends over the subarctic seas are smaller and even negative in the southern Greenland region. Statistically significant decreases of the summer extent of arctic ice are apparent in the sea-ice data, and new summer minima have been achieved three times in the past 15 years. There is no significant trend of ice extent in the Arctic during winter or in the Antarctic during any season. The seasonal and geographical changes of sea-ice coverage are consistent with the more recent greenhouse experiments performed with coupled atmosphere–ocean models.

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John E. Walsh
,
Stephen J. Vavrus
, and
William L. Chapman
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Elmar R. Reiter
,
John D. Sheaffer
,
James E. Bossert
,
Richard C. Fleming
,
William E. Clements
,
J. T. Lee
,
Sumner Barr
,
John A. Archuleta
, and
Donald E. Hoard

During the late summer of 1985 a field experiment was conducted to investigate mountaintop winds over a broad area of the Rocky Mountains extending from south central Wyoming through northern New Mexico. The principal motivation for this experiment was to further investigate an unexpectedly strong and potentially important wind cycle observed at mountaintop in north central Colorado during August 1984. These winds frequently exhibited nocturnal maxima of 20 to 30 m · s−1 from southeasterly directions and often persisted for eight to ten hours. It appears that these winds originate as outflow from intense mesoscale convective systems that form daily over highland areas along the Continental Divide. However, details of the spatial extent and variability of these winds could not be determined from “routine” regional weather data that are mostly collected in valleys. Although synoptic conditions during much of the 1985 experiment period did not favor diurnally recurring convection over the study area, sufficient data were obtained to verify the regional-scale organization of strong convective outflow at mountaintop elevations. In addition, the usefulness and feasibility of a mountain-peak weather-data network for routine synoptic analysis is demonstrated.

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Mark E. Weber
,
John Y. N. Cho
,
Jeffrey S. Herd
,
James M. Flavin
,
William E. Benner
, and
Garth S. Torok

The U.S. Government operates seven distinct radar networks, providing weather and aircraft surveillance for public weather services, air traffic control, and homeland defense. In this paper, we describe a next-generation multimission phased-array radar (MPAR) concept that could provide enhanced weather and aircraft surveillance services with potentially lower life cycle costs than multiple single-function radar networks. We describe current U.S. national weather and aircraft surveillance radar networks and show that by reducing overlapping airspace coverage, MPAR could reduce the total number of radars required by approximately one-third. A key finding is that weather surveillance requirements dictate the core parameters of a multimission radar—airspace coverage, aperture size, radiated power, and angular resolution. Aircraft surveillance capability can be added to a phased array weather radar at low incremental cost because the agile, electronically steered beam would allow the radar to achieve the much more rapid scan update rates needed for aircraft volume search missions, and additionally to support track modes for individual aircraft targets. We describe an MPAR system design that includes multiple transmit-receive channels and a highly digitized active phased array to generate independently steered beam clusters for weather, aircraft volume search, and aircraft track modes. For each of these modes, we discuss surveillance capability improvements that would be realized relative to today's radars. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has initiated the development of an MPAR “preprototype” that will demonstrate critical subsystem technologies and multimission operational capabilities. Initial subsystem designs have provided a solid basis for estimating MPAR costs for comparison with existing, mechanically scanned operational surveillance radars.

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Francis A. Schiermeier
,
William E. Wilson
,
Francis Pooler
,
Jason K. S. Ching
, and
John F. Clarke

Spurred by the rising sulfate concentrations in the northeastern United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established the Sulfur Transport and Transformation in the Environment (STATE) program to quantitatively determine the impact on local air quality of distant source pollutants and their transformation products. The first major STATE field study was the August 1978 Tennessee Plume Study conducted near the Cumberland Steam Plant in northwestern Tennessee. Representatives from 25 governmental agencies, universities, research institutes, and private contractors participated in this joint meteorological/chemical study in an attempt to define plume transport, dispersion, transformation, and removal rates under various meteorological conditions. A description of the field activities reveals the preplanned experimental guidelines and the flexibility with which the sampling activities were performed. The analytical priorities have since been established and various investigators are performing analyses of the collected data with results to be forthcoming.

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Chad M. Gravelle
,
John R. Mecikalski
,
William E. Line
,
Kristopher M. Bedka
,
Ralph A. Petersen
,
Justin M. Sieglaff
,
Geoffrey T. Stano
, and
Steven J. Goodman

Abstract

With the launch of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite–R (GOES-R) series in 2016, there will be continuity of observations for the current GOES system operating over the Western Hemisphere. The GOES-R Proving Ground was established in 2008 to help prepare satellite user communities for the enhanced capabilities of GOES-R, including new instruments, imagery, and products that will have increased spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution. This is accomplished through demonstration and evaluation of proxy products that use current GOES data, higher-resolution data provided by polar-orbiting satellites, and model-derived synthetic satellite imagery. The GOES-R demonstration products presented here, made available to forecasters in near–real time (within 20 min) via the GOES-R Proving Ground, include the 0–9-h NearCast model, 0–1-h convective initiation probabilities, convective cloud-top cooling, overshooting top detection, and a pseudo–Geostationary Lightning Mapper total lightning tendency diagnostic. These products are designed to assist in identifying areas of increasing convective instability, pre-radar echo cumulus cloud growth preceding thunderstorm formation, storm updraft intensity, and potential storm severity derived from lightning trends. In turn, they provide the warning forecaster with improved situational awareness and short-term predictive information that enhance their ability to monitor atmospheric conditions preceding and associated with the development of deep convection, a time period that typically occurs between the issuance of National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center convective watches and convective storm warnings issued by NWS forecast offices. This paper will focus on how this GOES-R satellite convective toolkit could have been used by warning forecasters to enhance near-storm environment analysis and the warning-decision-making process prior to and during the 20 May 2013 Moore, Oklahoma, tornado event.

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Wendell A. Nuss
,
John ML Bane
,
William T. Thompson
,
Teddy Holt
,
Clive E. Dorman
,
F. Martin Ralph
,
Richard Rotunno
,
Joseph B. Klemp
,
William C. Skamarock
,
Roger M. Samelson
,
Audrey M. Rogerson
,
Chris Reason
, and
Peter Jackson

Coastally trapped wind reversals along the U.S. west coast, which are often accompanied by a northward surge of fog or stratus, are an important warm-season forecast problem due to their impact on coastal maritime activities and airport operations. Previous studies identified several possible dynamic mechanisms that could be responsible for producing these events, yet observational and modeling limitations at the time left these competing interpretations open for debate. In an effort to improve our physical understanding, and ultimately the prediction, of these events, the Office of Naval Research sponsored an Accelerated Research Initiative in Coastal Meteorology during the years 1993–98 to study these and other related coastal meteorological phenomena. This effort included two field programs to study coastally trapped disturbances as well as numerous modeling studies to explore key dynamic mechanisms. This paper describes the various efforts that occurred under this program to provide an advancement in our understanding of these disturbances. While not all issues have been solved, the synoptic and mesoscale aspects of these events are considerably better understood.

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Paul A. Hirschberg
,
Elliot Abrams
,
Andrea Bleistein
,
William Bua
,
Luca Delle Monache
,
Thomas W. Dulong
,
John E. Gaynor
,
Bob Glahn
,
Thomas M. Hamill
,
James A. Hansen
,
Douglas C. Hilderbrand
,
Ross N. Hoffman
,
Betty Hearn Morrow
,
Brenda Philips
,
John Sokich
, and
Neil Stuart

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) Weather and Climate Enterprise Strategic Implementation Plan for Generating and Communicating Forecast Uncertainty (the Plan) is summarized. The Plan (available on the AMS website at www.ametsoc.org/boardpges/cwce/docs/BEC/ACUF/2011-02-20-ACUF-Final-Report.pdf) is based on and intended to provide a foundation for implementing recent recommendations regarding forecast uncertainty by the National Research Council (NRC), AMS, and World Meteorological Organization. It defines a vision, strategic goals, roles and respon- sibilities, and an implementation road map to guide the weather and climate enterprise (the Enterprise) toward routinely providing the nation with comprehensive, skillful, reliable, and useful information about the uncertainty of weather, water, and climate (hydrometeorological) forecasts. Examples are provided describing how hydrometeorological forecast uncertainty information can improve decisions and outcomes in various socioeconomic areas. The implementation road map defines objectives and tasks that the four sectors comprising the Enterprise (i.e., government, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations) should work on in partnership to meet four key, interrelated strategic goals: 1) understand social and physical science aspects of forecast uncertainty; 2) communicate forecast uncertainty information effectively and collaborate with users to assist them in their decision making; 3) generate forecast uncertainty data, products, services, and information; and 4) enable research, development, and operations with necessary information technology and other infrastructure. The Plan endorses the NRC recommendation that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and, in particular, the National Weather Service, should take the lead in motivating and organizing Enterprise resources and expertise in order to reach the Plan's vision and goals and shift the nation successfully toward a greater understanding and use of forecast uncertainty in decision making.

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atmospheric sciences and problems of society

A series of statements on the relevance of the scientific and technological areas of AMS STAC Committees to national and international problems

Earl G. Droessler
,
John S. Perry
,
Lance F. Bosart
,
Robert F. Dale
,
Walter A. Lyons
,
Robert E. Dickinson
,
Floyd C. Elder
,
Harold W. Baynton
,
J. A. Weinman
,
V. E. Derr
, and
William R. Bandeen
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