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Harry J. Cooper
and
Eric A. Smith

The local meteorological events leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis on 2 August 1991 were captured in full-resolution GOES visible data being archived for the Convection and Precipitation/Electrification Experiment. The postponement of the launch on 1 August, and the successful lift-off on the following day provide a good example of the important role played by nowcasting and short-term forecasting at Cape Canaveral. In this brief article, we discuss the local weather conditions prior to, during, and after the launch and demonstrate the importance of short-term forecasting capabilities around the cape during launch operations.

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David W. Reynolds
and
Eric A. Smith

A technique is developed to digitally composite satellite and radar imagery in a common coordinate reference frame. Results obtained from using Geosynchronous Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) visible and infrared data, 5 cm radar data, and recording raingage data are presented. The composite displays are created on Colorado State University's All Digital Video Imaging System for Atmospheric Research (ADVISAR), an interactive image processing system that uses modern high fidelity digital video display technology. An efficient methodology based on analytic transforms for remapping dissimilar digital image formats into common map projections is discussed. Applications of multi-sensor composite images are demonstrated with the use of two case studies. The technique is shown to enhance our understanding of a) convective development, b) organization of mesoscale features as they relate to the synoptic scale, c) severe storm development, and d) precipitation mechanisms. Our final comments concern the compositing technique's potential for on-line interactive forecast systems, particularly in terms of an embedding approach.

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Eric A. Smith
,
Kyung Whan Oh
, and
Matthew R. Smith

A PC-based interactive image processing system has been developed for aiding the analysis of Indian Geosynchronous Satellite (INSAT) data for Asian monsoon studies. In view of its diminutive stature, the system has been given the name “MIDGET,” for a Micro-based Image Display and Graphics Enhancement Tool. Various analysis procedures involving INSAT data and other monsoon datasets are described in conjunction with the MIDGET system. These include the use of the system for monitoring monsoon evolution and the behavior of organized tropical storms, analysis of low-frequency intraseasonal oscillations, diagnostic studies of cloudiness, retrieval of monsoon precipitation and its relationship to satellite cloudiness, and statistical prediction of monsoon cloud bands associated with low-frequency intraseasonal fluctuations of monsoon rainfall.

The system is designed as a workstation terminal in a supercomputer environment. The basic virtue of this system is that it is an inexpensive approach for generating a high-resolution video time-lapse of large satellite datasets in an interactive environment familiar to PC users. The motivation for developing this system derives from a new source of Indian satellite data that has been made available to United States scientists through archive holdings at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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Alberto Mugnai
,
Harry J. Cooper
,
Eric A. Smith
, and
Gregory J. Tripoli

A simulation of the appearance of an intense hailstorm in the passive microwave spectrum is conducted in order to characterize the vertical sources of radiation that contribute to the top-of-atmosphere microwave brightness temperatures (TB ) which can be measured by satellite-borne radiometers. The study focuses on four frequencies corresponding to those used on the USAF Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I), a recently launched payload flown on the U.S. Air Force DMSP satellites. Computation of the microwave brightness temperatures is based on a vertically, angularly, and spectrally detailed radiative transfer scheme that has been applied to the highly resolved thermodynamical and microphysical output from the three-dimensional Colorado State University (CSU) Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). The RAMS model was used to carry out a 4-h simulation of an intense hailstorm that occurred on 11 July 1986 in the vicinity of Eldridge, Alabama. Initial conditions for the cloud model run were developed from the 1986-COHMEX data archive.

Two types of vertically resolved radiative structure functions referred to as a “generalized weighting function” and an “emission source weighting function” are used to describe the process by which radiation originates and reaches the satellite radiometer. In addition, these weighting functions are subdivided into individual contributions by the various hydrometeor species generated by the cloud model. Along with the surface contribution and cosmic background radiation, these weighting functions provide a normalized description of where radiation originates and how it ultimately reaches the satellite. It is emphasized that this information provides an indepth understanding of how precipitation retrieval algorithms should be designed vis-à-vis the passive microwave problem.

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V. Chandrasekar
,
Arthur Hou
,
Eric Smith
,
V. N. Bringi
,
S. A. Rutledge
,
E. Gorgucci
,
W. A. Petersen
, and
Gail Skofronick Jackson

Dual-polarization weather radars have evolved significantly in the last three decades culminating in operational deployment by the National Weather Service. In addition to operational applications in the weather service, dual-polarization radars have shown significant potential in contributing to the research fields of ground-based remote sensing of rainfall microphysics, the study of precipitation evolution, and hydrometeor classification. Microphysical characterization of precipitation and quantitative precipitation estimation are important applications that are critical in the validation of satellite-borne precipitation measurements and also serve as valuable tools in algorithm development. This paper presents the important role played by dual-polarization radar in validating spaceborne precipitation measurements. Examples of raindrop size distribution retrievals and hydrometeor-type classification are discussed. The quantitative precipitation estimation is a product of direct relevance to spaceborne observations. During the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) program substantial advancement was made with ground-based polarization radars collecting unique observations in the tropics, which are noted. The scientific accomplishments of relevance to spaceborne measurements of precipitation are summarized. The potential of dual-polarization radars and opportunities in the era of the global precipitation measurement mission is also discussed.

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Elmar R. Reiter
,
J. D. Sheaffer
,
J. E. Bossert
,
Eric A. Smith
,
Greg Stone
,
Robert McBeth
, and
Qinglin Zheng

A long-planned field-measurement program to determine surface-energy budgets at two sites in Tibet was carried out during June 1986 in collaboration with scientists from the State Meteorological Administration, Academy of Meteorological Sciences, People's Republic of China. The data set obtained in Tibet is unique for this remote region of the world. The present report describes some of the experiences of the United States scientific team and its medical officer, M. Otteman of Ft. Collins, Colorado. The data are presently being archived on computer tapes. Preliminary analysis results are presented as typical examples of the conditions encountered at the two experimental sites near Lhasa (3635 m) and Nagqu (4500 m).

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Britton B. Stephens
,
Matthew C. Long
,
Ralph F. Keeling
,
Eric A. Kort
,
Colm Sweeney
,
Eric C. Apel
,
Elliot L. Atlas
,
Stuart Beaton
,
Jonathan D. Bent
,
Nicola J. Blake
,
James F. Bresch
,
Joanna Casey
,
Bruce C. Daube
,
Minghui Diao
,
Ernesto Diaz
,
Heidi Dierssen
,
Valeria Donets
,
Bo-Cai Gao
,
Michelle Gierach
,
Robert Green
,
Justin Haag
,
Matthew Hayman
,
Alan J. Hills
,
Martín S. Hoecker-Martínez
,
Shawn B. Honomichl
,
Rebecca S. Hornbrook
,
Jorgen B. Jensen
,
Rong-Rong Li
,
Ian McCubbin
,
Kathryn McKain
,
Eric J. Morgan
,
Scott Nolte
,
Jordan G. Powers
,
Bryan Rainwater
,
Kaylan Randolph
,
Mike Reeves
,
Sue M. Schauffler
,
Katherine Smith
,
Mackenzie Smith
,
Jeff Stith
,
Gregory Stossmeister
,
Darin W. Toohey
, and
Andrew S. Watt

Abstract

The Southern Ocean plays a critical role in the global climate system by mediating atmosphere–ocean partitioning of heat and carbon dioxide. However, Earth system models are demonstrably deficient in the Southern Ocean, leading to large uncertainties in future air–sea CO2 flux projections under climate warming and incomplete interpretations of natural variability on interannual to geologic time scales. Here, we describe a recent aircraft observational campaign, the O2/N2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) study, which collected measurements over the Southern Ocean during January and February 2016. The primary research objective of the ORCAS campaign was to improve observational constraints on the seasonal exchange of atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen with the Southern Ocean. The campaign also included measurements of anthropogenic and marine biogenic reactive gases; high-resolution, hyperspectral ocean color imaging of the ocean surface; and microphysical data relevant for understanding and modeling cloud processes. In each of these components of the ORCAS project, the campaign has significantly expanded the amount of observational data available for this remote region. Ongoing research based on these observations will contribute to advancing our understanding of this climatically important system across a range of topics including carbon cycling, atmospheric chemistry and transport, and cloud physics. This article presents an overview of the scientific and methodological aspects of the ORCAS project and highlights early findings.

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Karen A. Kosiba
,
Anthony W. Lyza
,
Robert J. Trapp
,
Erik N. Rasmussen
,
Matthew Parker
,
Michael I. Biggerstaff
,
Stephen W. Nesbitt
,
Christopher C. Weiss
,
Joshua Wurman
,
Kevin R. Knupp
,
Brice Coffer
,
Vanna C. Chmielewski
,
Daniel T. Dawson
,
Eric Bruning
,
Tyler M. Bell
,
Michael C. Coniglio
,
Todd A. Murphy
,
Michael French
,
Leanne Blind-Doskocil
,
Anthony E. Reinhart
,
Edward Wolff
,
Morgan E. Schneider
,
Miranda Silcott
,
Elizabeth Smith
,
Joshua Aikins
,
Melissa Wagner
,
Paul Robinson
,
James M. Wilczak
,
Trevor White
,
David Bodine
,
Matthew R. Kumjian
,
Sean M. Waugh
,
A. Addison Alford
,
Kim Elmore
,
Pavlos Kollias
, and
David D. Turner

Abstract

Quasi-linear convective systems (QLCSs) are responsible for approximately a quarter of all tornado events in the U.S., but no field campaigns have focused specifically on collecting data to understand QLCS tornadogenesis. The Propagation, Evolution, and Rotation in Linear System (PERiLS) project was the first observational study of tornadoes associated with QLCSs ever undertaken. Participants were drawn from more than 10 universities, laboratories, and institutes, with over 100 students participating in field activities. The PERiLS field phases spanned two years, late winters and early springs of 2022 and 2023, to increase the probability of intercepting significant tornadic QLCS events in a range of large-scale and local environments. The field phases of PERiLS collected data in nine tornadic and nontornadic QLCSs with unprecedented detail and diversity of measurements. The design and execution of the PERiLS field phase and preliminary data and ongoing analyses are shown.

Open access
Andrey Y. Shcherbina
,
Miles A. Sundermeyer
,
Eric Kunze
,
Eric D’Asaro
,
Gualtiero Badin
,
Daniel Birch
,
Anne-Marie E. G. Brunner-Suzuki
,
Jörn Callies
,
Brandy T. Kuebel Cervantes
,
Mariona Claret
,
Brian Concannon
,
Jeffrey Early
,
Raffaele Ferrari
,
Louis Goodman
,
Ramsey R. Harcourt
,
Jody M. Klymak
,
Craig M. Lee
,
M.-Pascale Lelong
,
Murray D. Levine
,
Ren-Chieh Lien
,
Amala Mahadevan
,
James C. McWilliams
,
M. Jeroen Molemaker
,
Sonaljit Mukherjee
,
Jonathan D. Nash
,
Tamay Özgökmen
,
Stephen D. Pierce
,
Sanjiv Ramachandran
,
Roger M. Samelson
,
Thomas B. Sanford
,
R. Kipp Shearman
,
Eric D. Skyllingstad
,
K. Shafer Smith
,
Amit Tandon
,
John R. Taylor
,
Eugene A. Terray
,
Leif N. Thomas
, and
James R. Ledwell

Abstract

Lateral stirring is a basic oceanographic phenomenon affecting the distribution of physical, chemical, and biological fields. Eddy stirring at scales on the order of 100 km (the mesoscale) is fairly well understood and explicitly represented in modern eddy-resolving numerical models of global ocean circulation. The same cannot be said for smaller-scale stirring processes. Here, the authors describe a major oceanographic field experiment aimed at observing and understanding the processes responsible for stirring at scales of 0.1–10 km. Stirring processes of varying intensity were studied in the Sargasso Sea eddy field approximately 250 km southeast of Cape Hatteras. Lateral variability of water-mass properties, the distribution of microscale turbulence, and the evolution of several patches of inert dye were studied with an array of shipboard, autonomous, and airborne instruments. Observations were made at two sites, characterized by weak and moderate background mesoscale straining, to contrast different regimes of lateral stirring. Analyses to date suggest that, in both cases, the lateral dispersion of natural and deliberately released tracers was O(1) m2 s–1 as found elsewhere, which is faster than might be expected from traditional shear dispersion by persistent mesoscale flow and linear internal waves. These findings point to the possible importance of kilometer-scale stirring by submesoscale eddies and nonlinear internal-wave processes or the need to modify the traditional shear-dispersion paradigm to include higher-order effects. A unique aspect of the Scalable Lateral Mixing and Coherent Turbulence (LatMix) field experiment is the combination of direct measurements of dye dispersion with the concurrent multiscale hydrographic and turbulence observations, enabling evaluation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the observed dispersion at a new level.

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Tim Boyer
,
Huai-Min Zhang
,
Kevin O’Brien
,
James Reagan
,
Stephen Diggs
,
Eric Freeman
,
Hernan Garcia
,
Emma Heslop
,
Patrick Hogan
,
Boyin Huang
,
Li-Qing Jiang
,
Alex Kozyr
,
Chunying Liu
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
Alexey V. Mishonov
,
Christopher Paver
,
Zhankun Wang
,
Melissa Zweng
,
Simone Alin
,
Leticia Barbero
,
John A. Barth
,
Mathieu Belbeoch
,
Just Cebrian
,
Kenneth J. Connell
,
Rebecca Cowley
,
Dmitry Dukhovskoy
,
Nancy R. Galbraith
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Fred Katz
,
Martin Kramp
,
Arun Kumar
,
David M. Legler
,
Rick Lumpkin
,
Clive R. McMahon
,
Denis Pierrot
,
Albert J. Plueddemann
,
Emily A. Smith
,
Adrienne Sutton
,
Victor Turpin
,
Long Jiang
,
V. Suneel
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Robert A. Weller
, and
Annie P. S. Wong

Abstract

The years since 2000 have been a golden age in in situ ocean observing with the proliferation and organization of autonomous platforms such as surface drogued buoys and subsurface Argo profiling floats augmenting ship-based observations. Global time series of mean sea surface temperature and ocean heat content are routinely calculated based on data from these platforms, enhancing our understanding of the ocean’s role in Earth’s climate system. Individual measurements of meteorological, sea surface, and subsurface variables directly improve our understanding of the Earth system, weather forecasting, and climate projections. They also provide the data necessary for validating and calibrating satellite observations. Maintaining this ocean observing system has been a technological, logistical, and funding challenge. The global COVID-19 pandemic, which took hold in 2020, added strain to the maintenance of the observing system. A survey of the contributing components of the observing system illustrates the impacts of the pandemic from January 2020 through December 2021. The pandemic did not reduce the short-term geographic coverage (days to months) capabilities mainly due to the continuation of autonomous platform observations. In contrast, the pandemic caused critical loss to longer-term (years to decades) observations, greatly impairing the monitoring of such crucial variables as ocean carbon and the state of the deep ocean. So, while the observing system has held under the stress of the pandemic, work must be done to restore the interrupted replenishment of the autonomous components and plan for more resilient methods to support components of the system that rely on cruise-based measurements.

Open access