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  • Author or Editor: D. Atlas x
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D. Atlas
and
S. C. Mossop

A simple method is described for calibrating a weather radar by means of a standard spherical target, thus permitting the radar to be used for quantitative measurements of storm reflectivity. The technique involves determination of that storm reflectivity which provides an echo equivalent to that from the known target. The sphere, suspended from a balloon, is tracked as it leaves the radar site. Its echo is “measured” by reducing the receiver gain control to the threshold of visibility. The threshold gain setting is thereby calibrated and subsequently provides an accurate measure of storm reflectivity. There is no need for any other test equipment such as a microwave-signal generator. Absolute accuracy is greater than that attainable with a signal generator since no reliance need be placed on the generator calibration or upon the specified antenna gain.

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G. R. Gray
,
R. J. Serafin
,
D. Atlas
,
R. E. Rinehart
, and
J. J. Boyajian

Color enhancement of images has become a powerful tool in rapid evaluation of grey-scale information. Recent advances in semiconductor technology have made possible the construction of an inexpensive digital real-time color-enhanced (or false-color) display for meteorological radar information such as reflectivity and Doppler velocities. Variable magnification allows detailed analysis of selected areas of the radar coverage.

The display was interfaced to a Doppler/reflectivity processor on the NHRE S-band radar at Grover, Colorado, during the 1974 hail season. A preliminary meteorological analysis of the Doppler color displays of the storm of 7 August 1974 demonstrates a large variety of significant features which may be observed either in real-time or subsequently. These include the regions of convergence and vorticity, major inflow and outflow regions, and turbulence. Most importantly, it is shown that the updraft cores can be identified with the easterly-momentum air which has been transported upward with the drafts from the lower levels. In view of the slow eastward motion of the storm system, the very large Doppler components found at the leading edge of the higher-level echo pattern also indicate rapid evaporation of the particles as they move out into the clear, dry environmental air. It is the resulting evaporative cooling which is responsible for the downdrafts in this vicinity. Among the many real-time applications of the color Doppler display, perhaps the most important in the artificial modification of convective storms is the location of the major inflow and updraft regions. These determine where seeding should be focused. The use of the color display also permits the ready discrimination of storm echoes from ground clutter in which they are frequently obscured. Its applicability to the detection of tornado cyclones and hurricane velocity mapping is also self-evident.

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R. E. Carbone
,
D. Atlas
,
P. Eccles
,
R. Fetter
, and
E. Mueller

Results of the first real-time dual wavelength radar hail detection are given. The fundamental theoretical basis for detection is briefly discussed and preliminary qualitative conclusions are drawn as to the physical significance of the measurements. The results show that hail signatures gradually become more likely in regions of increasing reflectivity. The data support the concept of water storage in severe convective storms, but suggest that such regions are not necessarily accompanied by the growth of large hail.

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A. L. Conaty
,
J. C. Jusem
,
L. Takacs
,
D. Keyser
, and
R. Atlas

The realism of extratropical cyclones, fronts, jet streams, and the tropopause in the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) general circulation model (GCM), implemented in assimilation and simulation modes, is evaluated from climatological and case-study perspectives using the GEOS-1 reanalysis climatology and applicable conceptual models as benchmarks for comparison. The latitude-longitude grid spacing of the datasets derived from the GEOS GCM ranges from 2° × 2.5° to 0.5° × 0.5°. Frontal systems in the higher-resolution datasets are characterized by horizontal potential temperature gradients that are narrower in scale and larger in magnitude than their lower-resolution counterparts, and various structural features in the Shapiro–Keyser cyclone model are replicated with reasonable fidelity at 1° × 1° resolution. The remainder of the evaluation focuses on a 3-month Northern Hemisphere winter simulation of the GEOS GCM at 1° × 1° resolution. The simulation realistically reproduces various large-scale circulation features related to the North Pacific and Atlantic jet streams when compared with the GEOS-1 reanalysis climatology, and conforms closely to a conceptualization of the zonally averaged troposphere and stratosphere proposed originally by Napier Shaw and revised by Hoskins. An extratropical cyclone that developed over the North Atlantic Ocean in the simulation features surface and tropopause evolutions corresponding to the Norwegian cyclone model and to the LC2 life cycle proposed by Thorncroft et al., respectively. These evolutions are related to the position of the developing cyclone with respect to upper-level jets identified in the time-mean and instantaneous flow fields. This article concludes with the enumeration of several research opportunities that may be addressed through the use of state-of-the-art GCMs possessing sufficient resolution to represent mesoscale phenomena and processes explicitly.

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
,
D. S. Johnson
,
D. Atlas
,
W. W. Kellogg
,
F. G. Shuman
,
W. H. Best
,
P. D. McTaggart-Cowan
,
K. C. Spengler
, and
D. F. Landrigan
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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE**
,
D. Atlas
,
C. L. Hosler Jr.
,
D. S. Johnson
,
W. H. Best Jr.
,
P. M. Austin
,
E. S. Epstein
,
K. C. Spengler
, and
D. F. Landrigan
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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE2
,
C. L. Hosler
,
W. A. Baum
,
D. Atlas
,
P. M. Austin
,
E. S. Epstein
,
R. L. Leep Jr.
,
K. C. Spengler
, and
D. F. Landrigan
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R. Atlas
,
R. N. Hoffman
,
S. M. Leidner
,
J. Sienkiewicz
,
T.-W. Yu
,
S. C. Bloom
,
E. Brin
,
J. Ardizzone
,
J. Terry
,
D. Bungato
, and
J. C. Jusem

Satellite scatterometer observations of the ocean surface wind speed and direction improve the depiction of storms at sea. Over the ocean, scatterometer surface winds are deduced from multiple measurements of reflected radar power made from several directions. In the nominal situation, the scattering mechanism is Bragg scattering from centimeter-scale waves, which are in equilibrium with the local wind. These data are especially valuable where observations are otherwise sparse—mostly in the Southern Hemisphere extratropics and Tropics, but also on occasion in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. The history of scatterometer winds research and its application to weather analysis and forecasting is reviewed here. Two types of data impact studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of satellite data, including satellite scatterometer data, for NWP. These are simulation experiments (or observing system simulation experiments or OSSEs) designed primarily to assess the potential impact of planned satellite observing systems, and real data impact experiments (or observing system experiments or OSEs) to evaluate the actual impact of available space-based data. Both types of experiments have been applied to the series of satellite scatterometers carried on the Seasat, European Remote Sensing-1 and -2, and the Advanced Earth Observing System-1 satellites, and the NASA Quick Scatterometer. Several trends are evident: The amount of scatterometer data has been increasing. The ability of data assimilation systems and marine forecasters to use the data has improved substantially. The ability of simulation experiments to predict the utility of new sensors has also improved significantly.

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Wayman E. Baker
,
George D. Emmitt
,
Franklin Robertson
,
Robert M. Atlas
,
John E. Molinari
,
David A. Bowdle
,
Jan Paegle
,
R. Michael Hardesty
,
Robert T. Menzies
,
T. N. Krishnamurti
,
Robert A. Brown
,
Madison J. Post
,
John R. Anderson
,
Andrew C. Lorenc
, and
James McElroy

The deployment of a space-based Doppler lidar would provide information that is fundamental to advancing the understanding and prediction of weather and climate.

This paper reviews the concepts of wind measurement by Doppler lidar, highlights the results of some observing system simulation experiments with lidar winds, and discusses the important advances in earth system science anticipated with lidar winds.

Observing system simulation experiments, conducted using two different general circulation models, have shown 1) that there is a significant improvement in the forecast accuracy over the Southern Hemisphere and tropical oceans resulting from the assimilation of simulated satellite wind data, and 2) that wind data are significantly more effective than temperature or moisture data in controlling analysis error. Because accurate wind observations are currently almost entirely unavailable for the vast majority of tropical cyclones worldwide, lidar winds have the potential to substantially improve tropical cyclone forecasts. Similarly, to improve water vapor flux divergence calculations, a direct measure of the ageostrophic wind is needed since the present level of uncertainty cannot be reduced with better temperature and moisture soundings alone.

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David M. Tratt
,
John A. Hackwell
,
Bonnie L. Valant-Spaight
,
Richard L. Walterscheid
,
Lynette J. Gelinas
,
James H. Hecht
,
Charles M. Swenson
,
Caleb P. Lampen
,
M. Joan Alexander
,
Lars Hoffmann
,
David S. Nolan
,
Steven D. Miller
,
Jeffrey L. Hall
,
Robert Atlas
,
Frank D. Marks Jr.
, and
Philip T. Partain

Abstract

The prediction of tropical cyclone rapid intensification is one of the most pressing unsolved problems in hurricane forecasting. The signatures of gravity waves launched by strong convective updrafts are often clearly seen in airglow and carbon dioxide thermal emission spectra under favorable atmospheric conditions. By continuously monitoring the Atlantic hurricane belt from the main development region to the vulnerable sections of the continental United States at high cadence, it will be possible to investigate the utility of storm-induced gravity wave observations for the diagnosis of impending storm intensification. Such a capability would also enable significant improvements in our ability to characterize the 3D transient behavior of upper-atmospheric gravity waves and point the way to future observing strategies that could mitigate the risk to human life caused by severe storms. This paper describes a new mission concept involving a midinfrared imager hosted aboard a geostationary satellite positioned at approximately 80°W longitude. The sensor’s 3-km pixel size ensures that the gravity wave horizontal structure is adequately resolved, while a 30-s refresh rate enables improved definition of the dynamic intensification process. In this way the transient development of gravity wave perturbations caused by both convective and cyclonic storms may be discerned in near–real time.

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