Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for :

  • Author or Editor: William L. Smith Jr. x
  • Monthly Weather Review x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
William L. Smith Jr.
,
Paul F. Hein
, and
Stephen K. Cox

Abstract

On 28 October 1986 the NCAR Sabreliner observed a cirrus cloud layer in the vicinity of Green Bay, Wisconsin. A portion of each flight leg was conducted over western Lake Michigan and over the adjacent western shore. The cirrus layer would be qualitatively described as optically thin and tenuous, yet broadband infrared effective emittances were found between about 0.4 and 0.6 while broadband shortwave extinction values ranged from as low as 5% to 32%. This investigation examines the bulk radiative properties of the cirrus layer and the horizontal variability of these radiative properties. In addition, the microphysical characteristics and the dynamic properties of the layer are presented and analyzed. The broadband infrared volume absorption coefficients were deduced for the cirrus layer and found to be very similar in terms of a dependence on temperature to results recently presented by other authors. Infrared radiative heating rates were calculated and found to be typical of the optically thin cirrus layer examined here. The horizontal structures of the radiative properties of the cirrus cloud layer and the vertical velocity observations were very similar. Both showed a smaller scale variation at the top of the cirrus layer which merged into larger scale common elements near the bases of the layer. Power spectra analyses of along-wind and cross-wind components near the base of the clouds sampled exhibited a steep spectral slope of k −3 at the smaller wave numbers (scalelengths greater than 1 km). This k −3 slope is characteristic of two-dimensional eddies. The same k −3 slope is present in the power spectra of the radiative properties. It is probable that these radiative properties, which are modulated by the cloud elements, have their scales determined by the eddies detected in the analysis of wind components.

Full access
Stanley G. Benjamin
,
Eric P. James
,
Ming Hu
,
Curtis R. Alexander
,
Therese T. Ladwig
,
John M. Brown
,
Stephen S. Weygandt
,
David D. Turner
,
Patrick Minnis
,
William L. Smith Jr.
, and
Andrew K. Heidinger

Abstract

Accurate cloud and precipitation forecasts are a fundamental component of short-range data assimilation/model prediction systems such as the NOAA 3-km High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) or the 13-km Rapid Refresh (RAP). To reduce cloud and precipitation spinup problems, a nonvariational assimilation technique for stratiform clouds was developed within the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system. One goal of this technique is retention of observed stratiform cloudy and clear 3D volumes into the subsequent model forecast. The cloud observations used include cloud-top data from satellite brightness temperatures, surface-based ceilometer data, and surface visibility. Quality control, expansion into spatial information content, and forward operators are described for each observation type. The projection of data from these observation types into an observation-based cloud-information 3D gridded field is accomplished via identification of cloudy, clear, and cloud-unknown 3D volumes. Updating of forecast background fields is accomplished through clearing and building of cloud water and cloud ice with associated modifications to water vapor and temperature. Impact of the cloud assimilation on short-range forecasts is assessed with a set of retrospective experiments in warm and cold seasons using the RAPv5 model. Short-range (1–9 h) forecast skill is improved in both seasons for cloud ceiling and visibility and for 2-m temperature in daytime and with mixed results for other measures. Two modifications were introduced and tested with success: use of prognostic subgrid-scale cloud fraction to condition cloud building (in response to a high bias) and removal of a WRF-based rebalancing.

Open access