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  • Author or Editor: Yi Huang x
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Yu-Fen Huang
and
Yi-Leng Chen

Abstract

The seasonal variations of rainfall over the island of Hawaii are studied using the archives of the daily model run from the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) from June 2004 to February 2010. Local effects mainly drive the rainfall on the Kona coast in the early morning and the lower slopes in the afternoon. During the summer, the incoming trade winds are more persistent and moister than in winter. The moisture content in the wake zone is higher than open-ocean values because of the convergent airflow associated with dual counterrotating vortices. As the westerly reversed flow moves toward the Kona coast, it decelerates with increasing moisture and a moisture maximum over the coastal area, especially in the afternoon hours in summer months. The higher afternoon rainfall on the Kona lower slopes in summer than in winter is caused by a moister (>6 mm) westerly reversed flow bringing moisture inland and merging with a stronger upslope flow resulting from solar heating. Higher nocturnal rainfall off the Kona coast in summer than in winter is caused by the low-level convergence between a moister westerly reversed flow and offshore flow. On the windward slopes, the simulated rainfall accumulation in winter is higher because of frequently occurring synoptic disturbances during the winter storm season. Nevertheless, early morning rainfall along the windward coast and afternoon rainfall over the windward slopes of the Kohala Mountains is lower in winter because the incoming trades are drier.

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Fang-Yi Cheng
,
Yu-Ching Hsu
,
Pay-Liam Lin
, and
Tang-Huang Lin

Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) land use (LU) data employed in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model classify most LU types in Taiwan as mixtures of irrigated cropland and forest, which is not an accurate representation of current conditions. The WRF model released after version 3.1 provides an alternative LU dataset retrieved from 2001 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite products. The MODIS data correctly identify most LU-type distributions, except that they represent western Taiwan as being extremely urbanized. A new LU dataset, obtained using 2007 Système Probatoire d’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite imagery [from the National Central University of Taiwan (NCU)], accurately shows the major metropolitan cities as well as other land types. Three WRF simulations were performed, each with a different LU dataset. Owing to the overestimation of urban area in the MODIS data, WRF-MODIS overpredicts daytime temperatures in western Taiwan. Conversely, WRF-USGS underpredicts daytime temperatures. The temperature variation estimated by WRF-NCU falls between those estimated by the other two simulations. Over the ocean, WRF-MODIS predicts the strongest onshore sea breezes, owing to the enhanced temperature gradient between land and sea, while WRF-USGS predicts the weakest onshore flow. The intensity of the onshore breeze predicted by WRF-NCU is between those predicted by WRF-MODIS and WRF-USGS. Over Taiwan, roughness length is the key parameter influencing wind speed. WRF-USGS significantly overpredicts the surface wind speed owing to the shorter roughness length of its elements, while the surface wind speeds estimated by WRF-NCU and WRF-MODIS are in better agreement with the observed data.

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Chao-Lin Wang
,
Shao-Bo Zhong
,
Guan-Nan Yao
, and
Quan-Yi Huang

Abstract

Drought disasters cause great economic losses in China every year, especially in its southwest, and they have had a major influence on economic development, lives, and property. In this study, precipitation and drought hazards were examined for a region covering Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi Provinces to assess the spatial and temporal distribution of different drought hazard grades in this region. Annual precipitation data from 90 meteorological stations in or around the study area were collected and organized for the period of 1964–2013. A spatiotemporal covariance model was calculated and fitted. The Bayesian maximum entropy (BME) method, which considers physical knowledge bases to reduce errors, was used to provide an optimal estimation of annual precipitation. Regional annual precipitation distributions were determined. To analyze the spatiotemporal patterns of the drought hazard, the annual standardized precipitation index was used to measure drought severity. A method that involves space–time scan statistics was used to detect the most likely spatiotemporal clusters of the drought hazards. Test-significance p values for all of the calculated clusters were less than 0.001, indicating a high significance level. The results showed that Yunnan Province was a drought-prone area, especially in its northwest and center, followed by Guizhou Province. In addition, Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces were cluster areas of severe and extreme drought. The most likely cluster year was 1966; it was clustered five times during the study period. In this study, the evolutionary process of drought hazards, including spatiotemporal distribution and spatiotemporal clustering characteristics, was considered. The results may be used to provide support for prevention and mitigation of drought in the study area such as optimizing the distribution of drought-resisting resources, drought monitoring, and evaluating potential drought impacts.

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Zhan Wang
,
Steven T. Siems
,
Danijel Belusic
,
Michael J. Manton
, and
Yi Huang

Abstract

Macquarie Island (54.50°S, 158.94°E) is an isolated island with modest orography in the midst of the Southern Ocean with precipitation records dating back to 1948. These records (referred to as MAC) are of particular interest because of the relatively large biases in the energy and water budgets commonly found in climate simulations and reanalysis products over the region. A basic climatology of the surface precipitation P is presented and compared with the ERA-Interim (ERA-I) reanalysis. The annual ERA-I precipitation (953 mm) is found to underestimate the annual MAC precipitation (1023 mm) by 6.8% from 1979 to 2011. The frequency of 3-h surface precipitation at MAC is 36.4% from 2003 to 2011. Light precipitation (0.066 ≤ P < 0.5 mm h−1) dominates this dataset (29.7%), and heavy precipitation (P ≥ 1.5 mm h−1) is rare (1.1%). Drizzle (0 < P < 0.066 mm h−1) is commonly produced by ERA-I (43.9%) but is weaker than the detectable threshold of MAC. Warm rain intensity and frequency from CloudSat products were compared with those from MAC. These CloudSat products also recorded considerable drizzle (16%–30%) but were not significantly different from MAC when P ≥ 0.5 mm h−1. Heavy precipitation events were, in general, more commonly associated with fronts and cyclonic lows. Some heavy precipitation events were found to arise from weaker fronts and lows that were not adequately represented in the reanalysis products. Yet other heavy precipitation events were observed at points/times not associated with either fronts or cyclonic lows. Two case studies are employed to further examine this finding.

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Zhan Wang
,
Danijel Belusic
,
Yi Huang
,
Steven T. Siems
, and
Michael J. Manton

Abstract

The meteorological observations on Macquarie Island have become of increasing value for efforts to understand the unique nature of atmospheric processes over the Southern Ocean. While the island is of modest elevation (peak altitude of 410 m), the orographic effects on observations on this island are still not clear. High-resolution numerical simulations [Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model] with and without terrain have been used to identify orographic effects for four cases representing common synoptic patterns at Macquarie Island: a cold front, a warm front, postfrontal drizzle, and a midlatitude cyclone. Although the simulations cannot capture every possible feature of the precipitation, preliminary results show that clouds and precipitation can readily be perturbed by the island with the main enhancement of precipitation normally in the lee in accordance with the nondimensional mountain height being much less than 1. The weather station is located at the far north end of the island and is only in the lee to southerly and southwesterly winds, which are normally associated with drizzle. The station is on the upwind side for strong northwesterly winds, which are most common and can bring heavier frontal precipitation. Overall the orographic effect on the precipitation record is not found to be significant, except for the enhancement of drizzle found in southwesterly winds. Given the strong winds over the Southern Ocean and the shallow height of the island, the 3D nondimensional mountain height is smaller than 1 in 93.5% of the soundings. As a result, boundary layer flow commonly passes over the island, with the greatest impact in the lee.

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Sisi Chen
,
Lulin Xue
,
Sarah Tessendorf
,
Thomas Chubb
,
Andrew Peace
,
Luis Ackermann
,
Artur Gevorgyan
,
Yi Huang
,
Steven Siems
,
Roy Rasmussen
,
Suzanne Kenyon
, and
Johanna Speirs

Abstract

This study presents the first numerical simulations of seeded clouds over the Snowy Mountains of Australia. WRF-WxMod, a novel glaciogenic cloud-seeding model, was utilized to simulate the cloud response to winter orographic seeding under various meteorological conditions. Three cases during the 2018 seeding periods were selected for model evaluation, coinciding with an intensive ground-based measurement campaign. The campaign data were used for model validation and evaluation. Comparisons between simulations and observations demonstrate that the model realistically represents cloud structures, liquid water path, and precipitation. Sensitivity tests were performed to pinpoint key uncertainties in simulating natural and seeded clouds and precipitation processes. They also shed light on the complex interplay between various physical parameters/processes and their interaction with large-scale meteorology. Our study found that in unseeded scenarios, the warm and cold biases in different initialization datasets can heavily influence the intensity and phase of natural precipitation. Secondary ice production via Hallett–Mossop processes exerts a secondary influence. On the other hand, the seeding impacts are primarily sensitive to aerosol conditions and the natural ice nucleation process. Both factors alter the supercooled liquid water availability and the precipitation phase, consequently impacting the silver iodide (AgI) nucleation rate. Furthermore, model sensitivities were inconsistent across cases, indicating that no single model configuration optimally represents all three cases. This highlights the necessity of employing an ensemble approach for a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of the seeding impact.

Significance Statement

Winter orographic cloud seeding has been conducted for decades over the Snowy Mountains of Australia for securing water resources. However, this study is the first to perform cloud-seeding simulation for a robust, event-based seeding impact evaluation. A state-of-the-art cloud-seeding model (WRF-WxMod) was used to simulate the cloud seeding and quantified its impact on the region. The Southern Hemisphere, due to low aerosol emissions and highly pristine cloud conditions, has distinctly different cloud microphysical characteristics than the Northern Hemisphere, where WRF-WxMod has been successfully applied in a few regions over the United States. The results showed that WRF-WxMod could accurately capture the clouds and precipitation in both the natural and seeded conditions.

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Jun Li
,
Hung-Lung Huang
,
Chian-Yi Liu
,
Ping Yang
,
Timothy J. Schmit
,
Heli Wei
,
Elisabeth Weisz
,
Li Guan
, and
W. Paul Menzel

Abstract

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) measurements from the NASA Earth Observing System Aqua satellite enable global monitoring of the distribution of clouds during day and night. The MODIS is able to provide a high-spatial-resolution (1–5 km) cloud mask, cloud classification mask, cloud-phase mask, cloud-top pressure (CTP), and effective cloud amount during both the daytime and the nighttime, as well as cloud particle size (CPS) and cloud optical thickness (COT) at 0.55 μm during the daytime. The AIRS high-spectral-resolution measurements reveal cloud properties with coarser spatial resolution (13.5 km at nadir). Combined, MODIS and AIRS provide cloud microphysical properties during both the daytime and nighttime. A fast cloudy radiative transfer model for AIRS that accounts for cloud scattering and absorption is described in this paper. One-dimensional variational (1DVAR) and minimum-residual (MR) methods are used to retrieve the CPS and COT from AIRS longwave window region (790–970 cm−1 or 10.31–12.66 μm, and 1050–1130 cm−1 or 8.85–9.52 μm) cloudy radiance measurements. In both 1DVAR and MR procedures, the CTP is derived from the AIRS radiances of carbon dioxide channels while the cloud-phase information is derived from the collocated MODIS 1-km phase mask for AIRS CPS and COT retrievals. In addition, the collocated 1-km MODIS cloud mask refines the AIRS cloud detection in both 1DVAR and MR procedures. The atmospheric temperature profile, moisture profile, and surface skin temperature used in the AIRS cloud retrieval processing are from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts forecast analysis. The results from 1DVAR are compared with the operational MODIS products and MR cloud microphysical property retrieval. A Hurricane Isabel case study shows that 1DVAR retrievals have a high correlation with either the operational MODIS cloud products or MR cloud property retrievals. 1DVAR provides an efficient way for cloud microphysical property retrieval during the daytime, and MR provides the cloud microphysical property retrievals during both the daytime and nighttime.

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