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L. J. Anderson

A simple instrument is described for measuring or recording wind speed, using a 1-in. length of heated platinum wire as the sensing element. As a practical laboratory and field device, its main virtues are its excellent response at low wind speeds and its utility in confined spaces. Calibration techniques are described, and the circuit diagram is included for a three-range instrument.

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Lloyd J. Anderson

Meteorological equipment for taking detailed temperature and humidity soundings to 3000 ft. altitude is discussed. It consists of a captive balloon wired-sonde system using a ceramic temperature element and an electrolytic hygrometer strip. Similar equipment is also adapted for use in airplane soundings. Calibration techniques and results are discussed, together with a method for correcting the humidity strip to ± 1% R.H. Temperature accuracy is ± 0.1°C. The limitations of the balloon and airplane equipment are discussed and the two are found to be complementary.

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Lloyd J. Anderson

Measurements on rainfall near Hilo, Hawaii are described. Quartile deviations of drop-size distributions are plotted versus rainfall intensity. Comparison is made with similar data of Laws and Parsons, and certain similarities and differences are pointed out.

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F. R. Bellaire
and
L. J. Anderson

A new thermocouple psychrometer, designed to indicate true air temperature and humidity in remote locations, is described. In order to minimize maintenance, it utilizes natural ventilation, but provides adequate shielding of sensing elements against radiation. Wet and dry bulb temperature errors of less than + 0.1C° are obtained in winds above 1 mph.

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L. J. Anderson
and
H. L. Heibeck

The equipment described is suitable for measuring lag coefficients, as small as 0.1 second, of temperature recording systems. The sensing element is suspended alternately in two air streams of different temperature. The ratio of indicated to actual temperature difference is used to compute the lag coefficient. Measurements indicate that the lag of the amplifier-recorder is small compared to that of the elements tested.

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Albert D. Anderson
and
Henry J. Mastenbrook

A new concept of upper-air data collection utilizes instrumented balloons controlled to float along given constant-pressure surfaces in the atmosphere. A system of instrumentation, named the transosonde (trans-oceanic-sonde) has been developed for implementing this concept. Field tests have established the technical and meteorological feasibility of the system. In the course of the tests, transosonde balloons were tracked over distances of thousands of miles using a network of shore-based high-frequency radio-direction-finder stations. Emphasis has been placed upon the trajectory of the balloon as the primary source of meteorological data. Wind velocities and accelerations can be derived directly from constant-pressure surface trajectories, providing valuable synoptic and research data. Balloon trajectories in passing through major troughs and ridges define these features, giving information of importance for synoptic analysis and long-range forecasting. In addition, a sequence of trajectories provides a measure of the acceleration and deceleration of these entities. The transosonde system has additional data-gathering potentials for temperature, lapse rate, wind shear and other parameters. It is concluded that the system can be employed over those regions of the globe where upper-air data are lacking at a cost competitive with present-day systems.

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J. Shukla
,
J. Anderson
,
D. Baumhefner
,
C. Brankovic
,
Y. Chang
,
E. Kalnay
,
L. Marx
,
T. Palmer
,
D. Paolino
,
J. Ploshay
,
S. Schubert
,
D. Straus
,
M. Suarez
, and
J. Tribbia

Dynamical Seasonal Prediction (DSP) is an informally coordinated multi-institution research project to investigate the predictability of seasonal mean atmospheric circulation and rainfall. The basic idea is to test the feasibility of extending the technology of routine numerical weather prediction beyond the inherent limit of deterministic predictability of weather to produce numerical climate predictions using state-of-the-art global atmospheric models. Atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) either forced by predicted sea surface temperature (SST) or as part of a coupled forecast system have shown in the past that certain regions of the extratropics, in particular, the Pacific–North America (PNA) region during Northern Hemisphere winter, can be predicted with significant skill especially during years of large tropical SST anomalies. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about how much the details of various AGCMs impact conclusions about extratropical seasonal prediction and predictability.

DSP is designed to compare seasonal simulation and prediction results from five state-of-the-art U.S. modeling groups (NCAR, COLA, GSFC, GFDL, NCEP) in order to assess which aspects of the results are robust and which are model dependent. The initial emphasis is on the predictability of seasonal anomalies over the PNA region. This paper also includes results from the ECMWF model, and historical forecast skill over both the PNA region and the European region is presented for all six models.

It is found that with specified SST boundary conditions, all models show that the winter season mean circulation anomalies over the Pacific–North American region are highly predictable during years of large tropical sea surface temperature anomalies. The influence of large anomalous boundary conditions is so strong and so reproducible that the seasonal mean forecasts can be given with a high degree of confidence. However, the degree of reproducibility is highly variable from one model to the other, and quantities such as the PNA region signal to noise ratio are found to vary significantly between the different AGCMs. It would not be possible to make reliable estimates of predictability of the seasonal mean atmosphere circulation unless causes for such large differences among models are understood.

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F. Martin Ralph
,
Jonathan J. Rutz
,
Jason M. Cordeira
,
Michael Dettinger
,
Michael Anderson
,
David Reynolds
,
Lawrence J. Schick
, and
Chris Smallcomb

Abstract

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) play vital roles in the western United States and related regions globally, not only producing heavy precipitation and flooding, but also providing beneficial water supply. This paper introduces a scale for the intensity and impacts of ARs. Its utility may be greatest where ARs are the most impactful storm type and hurricanes, nor’easters, and tornadoes are nearly nonexistent. Two parameters dominate the hydrologic outcomes and impacts of ARs: vertically integrated water vapor transport (IVT) and AR duration [i.e., the duration of at least minimal AR conditions (IVT ≥ 250 kg m–1 s–1)]. The scale uses an observed or predicted time series of IVT at a given geographic location and is based on the maximum IVT and AR duration at that point during an AR event. AR categories 1–5 are defined by thresholds for maximum IVT (3-h average) of 250, 500, 750, 1,000, and 1,250 kg m–1 s–1, and by IVT exceeding 250 kg m–1 s–1 continuously for 24–48 h. If the AR event duration is less than 24 h, it is downgraded by one category. If it is longer than 48 h, it is upgraded one category. The scale recognizes that weak ARs are often mostly beneficial because they can enhance water supply and snowpack, while stronger ARs can become mostly hazardous, for example, if they strike an area with antecedent conditions that enhance vulnerability, such as burn scars or wet conditions. Extended durations can enhance impacts. Short durations can mitigate impacts.

Open access
Thomas P. Ackerman
,
Amy J. Braverman
,
David J. Diner
,
Theodore L. Anderson
,
Ralph A. Kahn
,
John V. Martonchik
,
Joyce E. Penner
,
Philip J. Rasch
,
Bruce A. Wielicki
, and
Bin Yu

Given the breadth and complexity of available data, constructing a measurement-based description of global tropospheric aerosols that will effectively confront and constrain global three-dimensional models is a daunting task. Because data are obtained from multiple sources and acquired with nonuniform spatial and temporal sampling, scales, and coverage, protocols need to be established that will organize this vast body of knowledge. Currently, there is no capability to assemble the existing aerosol data into a unified, interoperable whole. Technology advancements now being pursued in high-performance distributed computing initiatives can accomplish this objective. Once the data are organized, there are many approaches that can be brought to bear upon the problem of integrating data from different sources. These include data-driven approaches, such as geospatial statistics formulations, and model-driven approaches, such as assimilation or chemical transport modeling. Establishing a data interoperability framework will stimulate algorithm development and model validation and will facilitate the exploration of synergies between different data types. Data summarization and mining techniques can be used to make statistical inferences about climate system relationships and interpret patterns of aerosol-induced change. Generating descriptions of complex, nonlinear relationships among multiple parameters is critical to climate model improvement and validation. Finally, determining the role of aerosols in past and future climate change ultimately requires the use of fully coupled climate and chemistry models, and the evaluation of these models is required in order to trust their results. The set of recommendations presented here address one component of the Progressive Aerosol Retrieval and Assimilation Global Observing Network (PARAGON) initiative. Implementing them will produce the most accurate four-dimensional representation of global aerosols, which can then be used for testing, constraining, and validating models. These activities are critical components of a sustained program to quantify aerosol effects on global climate.

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Jerome M. Schmidt
,
Piotr J. Flatau
,
Paul R. Harasti
,
Robert. D. Yates
,
David J. Delene
,
Nicholas J. Gapp
,
William J. Kohri
,
Jerome R. Vetter
,
Jason E. Nachamkin
,
Mark G. Parent
,
Joshua D. Hoover
,
Mark J. Anderson
,
Seth Green
, and
James E. Bennett

Abstract

Descriptions of the experimental design and research highlights obtained from a series of four multiagency field projects held near Cape Canaveral, Florida, are presented. The experiments featured a 3 MW, dual-polarization, C-band Doppler radar that serves in a dual capacity as both a precipitation and cloud radar. This duality stems from a combination of the radar’s high sensitivity and extremely small-resolution volumes produced by the narrow 0.22° beamwidth and the 0.543 m along-range resolution. Experimental highlights focus on the radar’s real-time aircraft tracking capability as well as the finescale reflectivity and eddy structure of a thin nonprecipitating stratus layer. Examples of precipitating storm systems focus on the analysis of the distinctive and nearly linear radar reflectivity signatures (referred to as “streaks”) that are caused as individual hydrometeors traverse the narrow radar beam. Each streak leaves a unique radar reflectivity signature that is analyzed with regard to estimating the underlying particle properties such as size, fall speed, and oscillation characteristics. The observed along-streak reflectivity oscillations are complex and discussed in terms of diameter-dependent drop dynamics (oscillation frequency and viscous damping time scales) as well as radar-dependent factors governing the near-field Fresnel radiation pattern and inferred drop–drop interference.

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