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Clemente Lopez-Bravo
,
Claire L. Vincent
,
Yi Huang
, and
Todd P. Lane

Abstract

A West Sumatra squall line occurred on 10 January 2016, with a clear offshore propagation of convection. Satellite-derived products from Himawari-8 Advanced Himawari Imager and the Geostationary Cloud Algorithm Testbed Geocat are used to investigate the westward propagation of cloudiness from Sumatra to the Indian Ocean with a lifetime of 1.5 days. A convective mask based on deep convective cell detection and a cell-tracking algorithm are used to estimate the propagation speed of the cloud system. Two distinct mesoscale convective responses are identified: 1) a rapid development in South Sumatra is influenced by the convective environment over the Indian Ocean. The propagation speed is estimated to be ∼5 m s−1 within the first 200 km from the coast. This speed is consistent with density currents. In contrast, 2) the coupling to the inertia–gravity wave is only evident for the northwest of Sumatra with speeds of ∼12 m s−1. The analysis of brightness temperature from the 10.4-μm spectral band and cloud-top temperature showed that the lifetime of the squall line is approximately 30 h with a propagating distance of ∼1000 km. Retrieved cloud properties and tracking of the offshore propagation indicated that the cloud structure consisted of multiple types of cells, propagating as envelopes of convection, and revealed the influence of large-scale variability of the Indian Ocean. Filtered OLR anomalies, satellite-derived rainfall, moisture flux convergence, and background winds flow around Sumatra are used to explore the effects of Kelvin wave activity that likely influenced the lifetime of the squall line.

Free access
Artur Gevorgyan
,
Luis Ackermann
,
Yi Huang
,
Steven Siems
, and
Michael Manton

Abstract

The case study of a heavy precipitation event associated with the passage of cold front over the Australian Snowy Mountains (ASM) on 3 August 2018 has been examined using the observational data from an intensive field campaign and high-resolution (1 km) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) simulation. We divided this event into prefrontal, cold front, and postfrontal periods. The cold front and postfrontal periods were characterized by higher production of graupel, while relatively low graupel was produced in the prefrontal period. Overall, aggregation along with deposition are likely the main growth mechanisms of snow in the prefrontal clouds, while heavy rain was produced below the melting level over windward slopes of the ASM. The simulated melting level is lower compared to the observations, which is consistent with model cold bias. Stronger orographic uplift and frontal forcing were mainly responsible for the enhanced supercooled liquid water (SLW) production over the ASM in the cold front period. A drop in elevation of the freezing level and increase in low-level relative humidity further enhanced the SLW production. The production of graupel through riming processes was highly efficient in the cold front period given the high concentration of ice-phase hydrometeors in the frontal clouds and the development of clouds comprising supercooled liquid water. The orographic updrafts and embedded convection were the main dynamical processes generating postfrontal SLW clouds and graupel. Ice initiation processes were activated once SLW cloud tops reached −15°C level followed by graupel production through riming processes.

Free access
Yi Huang
,
Steven T. Siems
,
Michael J. Manton
, and
Gregory Thompson

Abstract

The representation of the marine boundary layer (BL) clouds remains a formidable challenge for state-of-the-art simulations. A recent study by Bodas-Salcedo et al. using the Met Office Unified Model highlights that the underprediction of the low/midlevel postfrontal clouds contributes to the largest bias of the surface downwelling shortwave radiation over the Southern Ocean (SO). A-Train observations and limited in situ measurements have been used to evaluate the Weather Research and Forecasting Model, version 3.3.1 (WRFV3.3.1), in simulating the postfrontal clouds over Tasmania and the SO. The simulated cloud macro/microphysical properties are compared against the observations. Experiments are also undertaken to test the sensitivity of model resolution, microphysical (MP) schemes, planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes, and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentration. The simulations demonstrate a considerable level of skill in representing the clouds during the frontal passages and, to a lesser extent, in the postfrontal environment. The simulations, however, have great difficulties in portraying the widespread marine BL clouds that are not immediately associated with fronts. This shortcoming is persistent to the changes of model configuration and physical parameterization. The representation of large-scale conditions and their connections with the BL clouds are discussed. A lack of BL moisture is the most obvious explanation for the shortcoming, which may be a consequence of either strong entrainment or weak surface fluxes. It is speculated that the BL wind shear/turbulence may be an issue over the SO. More comprehensive observations are necessary to fully investigate the deficiency of the simulations.

Full access
Chung-Chieh Wang
,
George Tai-Jen Chen
, and
Shin-Yi Huang

Abstract

In this study, the heavy-rainfall event over central Taiwan during the mei-yu season on 8 June 2007 is investigated, with an emphasis on the triggering mechanism for the deep convection that produced the rain. Observations indicate that there existed two lines of forcing with convection prior to the rain: one over the northern Taiwan Strait along the mei-yu front and the other over the southern Taiwan Strait. Yet, the convection in question developed over the central strait between these two lines, in an unstable environment with strong westerly vertical wind shear. This motivated the authors to carry out the present study.

The Cloud-Resolving Storm Simulation (CReSS) of Nagoya University was used and the event was reproduced at a horizontal grid size of 2 km, including the initiation of new convection over the central strait at the correct location and time. The model results suggest a crucial role played by the series of active, persistent, and propagating storms in the southern strait (along the aforementioned second forcing line). On their back (northern) side, these storms repeatedly produced pulses of cold outflow that traveled toward the north-northeast with positive pressure perturbation. With characteristics of gravity waves, the perturbation propagated faster than the cold air and the associated increase in forward-directed (horizontal) pressure gradient force led to northward acceleration of near-surface flow (by up to 4–5 m s−1 h−1). The stronger southerly flow in turn enhanced downstream convergence, and the deep convection was triggered in the central strait near the arrival of the gravity wave ahead of the cold air. When the convection moved eastward over Taiwan, heavy rainfall resulted. The mechanism presented here for remote triggering of convection over the ocean has not been documented near Taiwan during the mei-yu season. With a better understanding about the behavior of convection, these results can contribute to the improvement of quantitative precipitation forecasts and hazard prevention and reduction.

Full access
Yi-Hsuan Huang
,
Chun-Chieh Wu
, and
Yuqing Wang

Abstract

High-resolution simulations for Typhoon Krosa (2007) and a set of idealized experiments are conducted using a full-physics model to investigate the eminent deflection of typhoon track prior to its landfall over mountainous island topography. The terrain height of Taiwan plays the most important role in Typhoon Krosa’s looping motion at its landfall, while the surface properties, details in the topographic shape of Taiwan, and the cloud microphysics are shown to be secondary to the track deflection. A simulation with 3-km resolution and realistic model settings reproduces the observed Krosa’s track, while that with 9-km resolution fails, suggesting that high resolution to better resolve the typhoon–terrain interactions is important for the prediction and simulation of typhoon track deflection prior to landfall. Results from idealized experiments with model configurations mimicking those of Supertyphoon Krosa show that vortices approaching the northern and central topography are significantly deflected to the south before making sharp turns to the north, forming a kinked track pattern prior to and during landfall. This storm movement is consistent with the observed looping cases in Taiwan.

Both real-case and idealized simulations show strong channel winds enhanced between the storm and the terrain when deflection occurs. Backward trajectory analyses support the concept of the channeling effect, which has been previously found to be crucial to the looping motion of Typhoon Haitang (2005) as well. However, the inner-core asymmetric ventilation flow does not match the movement of a deflected typhoon perfectly, partly because the steering flow is not well defined and could not completely capture the terrain-induced deflection in the simulation and in nature.

Full access
Chun-Chieh Wu
,
Yi-Hsuan Huang
, and
Guo-Yuan Lien

Abstract

Typhoon Sinlaku (2008) is a case in point under The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) with the most abundant flight observations taken and with great potential to address major scientific issues in T-PARC such as structure change, targeted observations, and extratropical transition. A new method for vortex initialization based on ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) data assimilation and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is adopted in this study. By continuously assimilating storm positions (with an update cycle every 30 min), the mean surface wind structure, and all available measurement data, this study constructs a unique high-spatial/temporal-resolution and model/observation-consistent dataset for Sinlaku during a 4-day period. Simulations of Sinlaku starting at different initial times are further investigated to assess the impact of the data. It is striking that some of the simulations are able to capture Sinlaku’s secondary eyewall formation, while others starting the simulation earlier with less data assimilated are not. This dataset provides a unique opportunity to study the dynamical processes of concentric eyewall formation in Sinlaku. In Part I of this work, results from the data assimilation and simulations are presented, including concentric eyewall evolution and the precursors to its formation, while detailed dynamical analyses are conducted in follow-up research.

Full access
Chuan-Chi Tu
,
Yi-Leng Chen
,
Pay-Liam Lin
, and
Mu-Qun Huang

Abstract

From 0200 to 1000 LST 2 June 2017, the shallow, east–west-oriented mei-yu front (<1 km) cannot move over the Yang-Ming Mountains (with peaks ∼1120 m) when it first arrives. The postfrontal cold air at the surface is deflected by the Yang-Ming Mountains and moves through the Keelung River and Tamsui River valleys into the Taipei basin. The shallow northerly winds are anchored along the northern side of the Yang-Ming Mountains for 8 h. In addition, the southwesterly barrier jet with maximum winds in the 900–950-hPa layer brings in abundant moisture and converges with the northwesterly flow in the southwestern flank of the mei-yu frontal cyclone. Therefore, torrential rain (>600 mm) occurs over the northern side of the Yang-Ming Mountains. From 1100 to 1200 LST, with the gradual deepening of the postfrontal cold air, the front finally passes over the Yang-Ming Mountains and arrives at the Taipei basin, which results in an east–west-oriented rainband with the rainfall maxima over the northwestern coast and Taipei basin. From 1300 to 1400 LST, the frontal rainband continues to move southward with rainfall over the northwestern slopes of the Snow Mountains. In the prefrontal southwesterly flow, the orographic lifting of the moisture-laden low-level winds results in heavy rainfall on the southwestern slopes of the Snow Mountains and the Central Mountain Range. With the terrain of the Yang-Ming Mountains removed in the high-resolution model, the mei-yu front moves quickly southward without a rainfall maximum over the northern tip of Taiwan.

Open access
Yi Zhang
,
Jian Li
,
Rucong Yu
,
Zhuang Liu
,
Yihui Zhou
,
Xiaohan Li
, and
Xiaomeng Huang

Abstract

A multiscale dynamical model for weather forecasting and climate modeling is developed and evaluated in this study. It extends a previously established layer-averaged, unstructured-mesh nonhydrostatic dynamical core (dycore) to moist dynamics and parameterized physics in a dry-mass vertical coordinate. The dycore and tracer transport components are coupled in a mass-consistent manner, with the dycore providing time-averaged horizontal mass fluxes to passive transport, and tracer transport feeding back to the dycore with updated moisture constraints. The vertical mass flux in the tracer transport is obtained by reevaluating the mass continuity equation to ensure compatibility. A general physics–dynamics coupling workflow is established, and a dycore–tracer–physics splitting strategy is designed to couple these components in a flexible and efficient manner. In this context, two major physics–dynamics coupling strategies are examined. Simple-physics packages from the 2016 Dynamical Core Model Intercomparison Project (DCMIP2016) experimental protocols are used to facilitate the investigation of the model behaviors in idealized moist-physics configurations, including cloud-scale modeling, weather forecasting, and climate modeling, and in a real-world test-case setup. Performance evaluation demonstrates that the model is able to produce reasonable sensitivity and variability at various spatiotemporal scales. The consideration and implications of different physics–dynamics coupling options are discussed within this context. The appendix provides discussion on the energetics in the continuous- and discrete-form equations of motion.

Free access
Chu-Chun Huang
,
Shu-Hua Chen
,
Yi-Chiu Lin
,
Kenneth Earl
,
Toshihisa Matsui
,
Hsiang-He Lee
,
I-Chun Tsai
,
Jen-Ping Chen
, and
Chao-Tzuen Cheng

Abstract

This study evaluates the impact of dust–radiation–cloud interactions on the development of a mesoscale convective system (MCS) by comparing numerical experiments run with and without dust–radiation and/or dust–cloud interactions. An MCS that developed over North Africa on 4–6 July 2010 is used as a case study. The CloudSat and Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellites passed over the center of the MCS after it reached maturity, providing valuable profiles of aerosol backscatter and cloud information for model verification. The model best reproduces the MCS’s observed cloud structure and morphology when both dust–radiation and dust–cloud interactions are included. Our results indicate that the dust–radiation effect has a far greater influence on the MCS’s development than the dust-cloud effect. Results show that the dust-radiative effect, both with and without the dust–cloud interaction, briefly delays the MCS’s formation but ultimately produces a stronger storm with a more extensive anvil cloud. This is caused by dust–radiation-induced changes to the MCS’s environment. The impact of the dust–cloud effect on the MCS, on the other hand, is greatly affected by the presence of the dust–radiation interaction. The dust–cloud effect alone slows initial cloud development but enhances heterogeneous ice nucleation and extends cloud lifetime. When the dust–radiation interaction is added, increased transport of dust into the upper portions of the storm—due to a dust–radiation-driven increase in convective intensity—allows dust–cloud processes to more significantly enhance heterogeneous freezing activity earlier in the storm’s development, increasing updraft strength, hydrometeor growth (particularly for ice particles), and rainfall.

Open access