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Christopher R. Williams, V. N. Bringi, Lawrence D. Carey, V. Chandrasekar, Patrick N. Gatlin, Ziad S. Haddad, Robert Meneghini, S. Joseph Munchak, Stephen W. Nesbitt, Walter A. Petersen, Simone Tanelli, Ali Tokay, Anna Wilson, and David B. Wolff
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John R. Mecikalski, Wayne F. Feltz, John J. Murray, David B. Johnson, Kristopher M. Bedka, Sarah T. Bedka, Anthony J. Wimmers, Michael Pavolonis, Todd A. Berendes, Julie Haggerty, Pat Minnis, Ben Bernstein, and Earle Williams

Advanced Satellite Aviation Weather Products (ASAP) was jointly initiated by the NASA Applied Sciences Program and the NASA Aviation Safety and Security Program in 2002. The initiative provides a valuable bridge for transitioning new and existing satellite information and products into Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) efforts to increase the safety and efficiency of project addresses hazards such as convective weather, turbulence (clear air and cloud induced), icing, and volcanic ash, and is particularly applicable in extending the monitoring of weather over data-sparse areas, such as the oceans and other observationally remote locations.

ASAP research is conducted by scientists from NASA, the FAA AWRP's Product Development Teams (PDT), NOAA, and the academic research community. In this paper we provide a summary of activities since the inception of ASAP that emphasize the use of current-generation satellite technologies toward observing and mitigating specified aviation hazards. A brief overview of future ASAP goals is also provided in light of the next generation of satellite sensors (e.g., hyperspectral; high spatial resolution) to become operational in the 2007–18 time frame.

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Earle R. Williams, David J. Smalley, Michael F. Donovan, Robert G. Hallowell, Kenta T. Hood, Betty J. Bennett, Raquel Evaristo, Adam Stepanek, Teresa Bals-Elsholz, Jacob Cobb, Jaclyn Ritzman, Alexei Korolev, and Mengistu Wolde

Abstract

The organized behavior of differential radar reflectivity (ZDR) is documented in the cold regions of a wide variety of stratiform precipitation types occurring in both winter and summer. The radar targets and attendant cloud microphysical conditions are interpreted within the context of measurements of ice crystal types in laboratory diffusion chambers in which humidity and temperature are both stringently controlled. The overriding operational interest here is in the identification of regions prone to icing hazards with long horizontal paths. Two predominant regimes are identified: category A, which is typified by moderate reflectivity (from 10 to 30 dBZ) and modest +ZDR values (from 0 to +3 dB) in which both supercooled water and dendritic ice crystals (and oriented aggregates of ice crystals) are present at a mean temperature of −13°C, and category B, which is typified by small reflectivity (from −10 to +10 dBZ) and the largest +ZDR values (from +3 to +7 dB), in which supercooled water is dilute or absent and both flat-plate and dendritic crystals are likely. The predominant positive values for ZDR in many case studies suggest that the role of an electric field on ice particle orientation is small in comparison with gravity. The absence of robust +ZDR signatures in the trailing stratiform regions of vigorous summer squall lines may be due both to the infusion of noncrystalline ice particles (i.e., graupel and rimed aggregates) from the leading deep convection and to the effects of the stronger electric fields expected in these situations. These polarimetric measurements and their interpretations underscore the need for the accurate calibration of ZDR.

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A. Park Williams, Richard Seager, Max Berkelhammer, Alison K. Macalady, Michael A. Crimmins, Thomas W. Swetnam, Anna T. Trugman, Nikolaus Buenning, Natalia Hryniw, Nate G. McDowell, David Noone, Claudia I. Mora, and Thom Rahn

Abstract

In 2011, exceptionally low atmospheric moisture content combined with moderately high temperatures to produce a record-high vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in the southwestern United States (SW). These conditions combined with record-low cold-season precipitation to cause widespread drought and extreme wildfires. Although interannual VPD variability is generally dominated by temperature, high VPD in 2011 was also driven by a lack of atmospheric moisture. The May–July 2011 dewpoint in the SW was 4.5 standard deviations below the long-term mean. Lack of atmospheric moisture was promoted by already very dry soils and amplified by a strong ocean-to-continent sea level pressure gradient and upper-level convergence that drove dry northerly winds and subsidence upwind of and over the SW. Subsidence drove divergence of rapid and dry surface winds over the SW, suppressing southerly moisture imports and removing moisture from already dry soils. Model projections developed for the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) suggest that by the 2050s warming trends will cause mean warm-season VPD to be comparable to the record-high VPD observed in 2011. CMIP5 projections also suggest increased interannual variability of VPD, independent of trends in background mean levels, as a result of increased variability of dewpoint, temperature, vapor pressure, and saturation vapor pressure. Increased variability in VPD translates to increased probability of 2011-type VPD anomalies, which would be superimposed on ever-greater background VPD levels. Although temperature will continue to be the primary driver of interannual VPD variability, 2011 served as an important reminder that atmospheric moisture content can also drive impactful VPD anomalies.

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Christopher R. Williams, V. N. Bringi, Lawrence D. Carey, V. Chandrasekar, Patrick N. Gatlin, Ziad S. Haddad, Robert Meneghini, S. Joseph Munchak, Stephen W. Nesbitt, Walter A. Petersen, Simone Tanelli, Ali Tokay, Anna Wilson, and David B. Wolff
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David C. Leon, Jeffrey R. French, Sonia Lasher-Trapp, Alan M. Blyth, Steven J. Abel, Susan Ballard, Andrew Barrett, Lindsay J. Bennett, Keith Bower, Barbara Brooks, Phil Brown, Cristina Charlton-Perez, Thomas Choularton, Peter Clark, Chris Collier, Jonathan Crosier, Zhiqiang Cui, Seonaid Dey, David Dufton, Chloe Eagle, Michael J. Flynn, Martin Gallagher, Carol Halliwell, Kirsty Hanley, Lee Hawkness-Smith, Yahui Huang, Graeme Kelly, Malcolm Kitchen, Alexei Korolev, Humphrey Lean, Zixia Liu, John Marsham, Daniel Moser, John Nicol, Emily G. Norton, David Plummer, Jeremy Price, Hugo Ricketts, Nigel Roberts, Phil D. Rosenberg, David Simonin, Jonathan W. Taylor, Robert Warren, Paul I. Williams, and Gillian Young

Abstract

The Convective Precipitation Experiment (COPE) was a joint U.K.–U.S. field campaign held during the summer of 2013 in the southwest peninsula of England, designed to study convective clouds that produce heavy rain leading to flash floods. The clouds form along convergence lines that develop regularly as a result of the topography. Major flash floods have occurred in the past, most famously at Boscastle in 2004. It has been suggested that much of the rain was produced by warm rain processes, similar to some flash floods that have occurred in the United States. The overarching goal of COPE is to improve quantitative convective precipitation forecasting by understanding the interactions of the cloud microphysics and dynamics and thereby to improve numerical weather prediction (NWP) model skill for forecasts of flash floods. Two research aircraft, the University of Wyoming King Air and the U.K. BAe 146, obtained detailed in situ and remote sensing measurements in, around, and below storms on several days. A new fast-scanning X-band dual-polarization Doppler radar made 360° volume scans over 10 elevation angles approximately every 5 min and was augmented by two Met Office C-band radars and the Chilbolton S-band radar. Detailed aerosol measurements were made on the aircraft and on the ground. This paper i) provides an overview of the COPE field campaign and the resulting dataset, ii) presents examples of heavy convective rainfall in clouds containing ice and also in relatively shallow clouds through the warm rain process alone, and iii) explains how COPE data will be used to improve high-resolution NWP models for operational use.

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Diana Greenslade, Mark Hemer, Alex Babanin, Ryan Lowe, Ian Turner, Hannah Power, Ian Young, Daniel Ierodiaconou, Greg Hibbert, Greg Williams, Saima Aijaz, João Albuquerque, Stewart Allen, Michael Banner, Paul Branson, Steve Buchan, Andrew Burton, John Bye, Nick Cartwright, Amin Chabchoub, Frank Colberg, Stephanie Contardo, Francois Dufois, Craig Earl-Spurr, David Farr, Ian Goodwin, Jim Gunson, Jeff Hansen, David Hanslow, Mitchell Harley, Yasha Hetzel, Ron Hoeke, Nicole Jones, Michael Kinsela, Qingxiang Liu, Oleg Makarynskyy, Hayden Marcollo, Said Mazaheri, Jason McConochie, Grant Millar, Tim Moltmann, Neal Moodie, Joao Morim, Russel Morison, Jana Orszaghova, Charitha Pattiaratchi, Andrew Pomeroy, Roger Proctor, David Provis, Ruth Reef, Dirk Rijnsdorp, Martin Rutherford, Eric Schulz, Jake Shayer, Kristen Splinter, Craig Steinberg, Darrell Strauss, Greg Stuart, Graham Symonds, Karina Tarbath, Daniel Taylor, James Taylor, Darshani Thotagamuwage, Alessandro Toffoli, Alireza Valizadeh, Jonathan van Hazel, Guilherme Vieira da Silva, Moritz Wandres, Colin Whittaker, David Williams, Gundula Winter, Jiangtao Xu, Aihong Zhong, and Stefan Zieger

Abstract

The Australian marine research, industry, and stakeholder community has recently undertaken an extensive collaborative process to identify the highest national priorities for wind-waves research. This was undertaken under the auspices of the Forum for Operational Oceanography Surface Waves Working Group. The main steps in the process were first, soliciting possible research questions from the community via an online survey; second, reviewing the questions at a face-to-face workshop; and third, online ranking of the research questions by individuals. This process resulted in 15 identified priorities, covering research activities and the development of infrastructure. The top five priorities are 1) enhanced and updated nearshore and coastal bathymetry; 2) improved understanding of extreme sea states; 3) maintain and enhance the in situ buoy network; 4) improved data access and sharing; and 5) ensemble and probabilistic wave modeling and forecasting. In this paper, each of the 15 priorities is discussed in detail, providing insight into why each priority is important, and the current state of the art, both nationally and internationally, where relevant. While this process has been driven by Australian needs, it is likely that the results will be relevant to other marine-focused nations.

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Wayne Higgins, Dave Ahijevych, Jorge Amador, Ana Barros, E. Hugo Berbery, Ernesto Caetano, Richard Carbone, Paul Ciesielski, Rob Cifelli, Miguel Cortez-Vazquez, Art Douglas, Michael Douglas, Gus Emmanuel, Chris Fairall, David Gochis, David Gutzler, Thomas Jackson, Richard Johnson, Clark King, Timothy Lang, Myong-In Lee, Dennis Lettenmaier, Rene Lobato, Victor Magaña, Jose Meiten, Kingtse Mo, Stephen Nesbitt, Francisco Ocampo-Torres, Erik Pytlak, Peter Rogers, Steven Rutledge, Jae Schemm, Siegfried Schubert, Allen White, Christopher Williams, Andrew Wood, Robert Zamora, and Chidong Zhang

The North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) is an internationally coordinated process study aimed at determining the sources and limits of predictability of warm-season precipitation over North America. The scientific objectives of NAME are to promote a better understanding and more realistic simulation of warm-season convective processes in complex terrain, intraseasonal variability of the monsoon, and the response of the warm-season atmospheric circulation and precipitation patterns to slowly varying, potentially predictable surface boundary conditions.

During the summer of 2004, the NAME community implemented an international (United States, Mexico, Central America), multiagency (NOAA, NASA, NSF, USDA) field experiment called NAME 2004. This article presents early results from the NAME 2004 campaign and describes how the NAME modeling community will leverage the NAME 2004 data to accelerate improvements in warm-season precipitation forecasts for North America.

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Nilton O. Rennó, Earle Williams, Daniel Rosenfeld, David G. Fischer, Jürgen Fischer, Tibor Kremic, Arun Agrawal, Meinrat O. Andreae, Rosina Bierbaum, Richard Blakeslee, Anko Boerner, Neil Bowles, Hugh Christian, Ann Cox, Jason Dunion, Akos Horvath, Xianglei Huang, Alexander Khain, Stefan Kinne, Maria C. Lemos, Joyce E. Penner, Ulrich Pöschl, Johannes Quaas, Elena Seran, Bjorn Stevens, Thomas Walati, and Thomas Wagner

The formation of cloud droplets on aerosol particles, technically known as the activation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), is the fundamental process driving the interactions of aerosols with clouds and precipitation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Decadal Survey indicate that the uncertainty in how clouds adjust to aerosol perturbations dominates the uncertainty in the overall quantification of the radiative forcing attributable to human activities.

Measurements by current satellites allow the determination of crude profiles of cloud particle size, but not of the activated CCN that seed them. The Clouds, Hazards, and Aerosols Survey for Earth Researchers (CHASER) mission concept responds to the IPCC and Decadal Survey concerns, utilizing a new technique and high-heritage instruments to measure all the quantities necessary to produce the first global survey maps of activated CCN and the properties of the clouds associated with them. CHASER also determines the activated CCN concentration and cloud thermodynamic forcing simultaneously, allowing the effects of each to be distinguished.

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Gijs de Boer, Mark Ivey, Beat Schmid, Dale Lawrence, Darielle Dexheimer, Fan Mei, John Hubbe, Albert Bendure, Jasper Hardesty, Matthew D. Shupe, Allison McComiskey, Hagen Telg, Carl Schmitt, Sergey Y. Matrosov, Ian Brooks, Jessie Creamean, Amy Solomon, David D. Turner, Christopher Williams, Maximilian Maahn, Brian Argrow, Scott Palo, Charles N. Long, Ru-Shan Gao, and James Mather

Abstract

Thorough understanding of aerosols, clouds, boundary layer structure, and radiation is required to improve the representation of the Arctic atmosphere in weather forecasting and climate models. To develop such understanding, new perspectives are needed to provide details on the vertical structure and spatial variability of key atmospheric properties, along with information over difficult-to-reach surfaces such as newly forming sea ice. Over the last three years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has supported various flight campaigns using unmanned aircraft systems [UASs, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones] and tethered balloon systems (TBSs) at Oliktok Point, Alaska. These activities have featured in situ measurements of the thermodynamic state, turbulence, radiation, aerosol properties, cloud microphysics, and turbulent fluxes to provide a detailed characterization of the lower atmosphere. Alongside a suite of active and passive ground-based sensors and radiosondes deployed by the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program through the third ARM Mobile Facility (AMF-3), these flight activities demonstrate the ability of such platforms to provide critically needed information. In addition to providing new and unique datasets, lessons learned during initial campaigns have assisted in the development of an exciting new community resource.

Open access