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Howard B. Bluestein, Zachary B. Wienhoff, David D. Turner, Dylan W. Reif, Jeffrey C. Snyder, Kyle J. Thiem, and Jana B. Houser

Abstract

The objectives of this study are to determine the finescale characteristics of the wind and temperature fields associated with a prefrontal wind-shift line and to contrast them with those associated with a strong cold front. Data from a mobile, polarimetric, X-band, Doppler radar and from a surveillance S-band radar, temperature profiles retrieved from a thermodynamic sounder, and surface observations from the Oklahoma Mesonet are used to analyze a prefrontal wind-shift line in Oklahoma on 11 November 2013. Data from the same mobile radar and the Oklahoma Mesonet are used to identify the finescale characteristics of the wind field associated with a strong surface cold front in Oklahoma on 9 April 2013. It is shown that the prefrontal wind-shift line has a kinematic and thermodynamic structure similar to that of an intrusion (elevated density current), while the cold front has a kinematic structure similar to that of a classic density current. Other characteristics of the prefrontal wind-shift line and front are also discussed. Evidence of waves generated at the leading edge of the prefrontal wind-shift line is presented.

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S. G. Gopalakrishnan, David P. Bacon, Nash'at N. Ahmad, Zafer Boybeyi, Thomas J. Dunn, Mary S. Hall, Yi Jin, Pius C. S. Lee, Douglas E. Mays, Rangarao V. Madala, Ananthakrishna Sarma, Mark D. Turner, and Timothy R. Wait

Abstract

The Operational Multiscale Environment model with Grid Adaptivity (OMEGA) is an atmospheric simulation system that links the latest methods in computational fluid dynamics and high-resolution gridding technologies with numerical weather prediction. In the fall of 1999, OMEGA was used for the first time to examine the structure and evolution of a hurricane (Floyd, 1999). The first simulation of Floyd was conducted in an operational forecast mode; additional simulations exploiting both the static as well as the dynamic grid adaptation options in OMEGA were performed later as part of a sensitivity–capability study. While a horizontal grid resolution ranging from about 120 km down to about 40 km was employed in the operational run, resolutions down to about 15 km were used in the sensitivity study to explicitly model the structure of the inner core. All the simulations produced very similar storm tracks and reproduced the salient features of the observed storm such as the recurvature off the Florida coast with an average 48-h position error of 65 km. In addition, OMEGA predicted the landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, with an accuracy of less than 100 km up to 96 h in advance. It was found that a higher resolution in the eyewall region of the hurricane, provided by dynamic adaptation, was capable of generating better-organized cloud and flow fields and a well-defined eye with a central pressure lower than the environment by roughly 50 mb. Since that time, forecasts were performed for a number of other storms including Georges (1998) and six 2000 storms (Tropical Storms Beryl and Chris, Hurricanes Debby and Florence, Tropical Storm Helene, and Typhoon Xangsane). The OMEGA mean track error for all of these forecasts of 101, 140, and 298 km at 24, 48, and 72 h, respectively, represents a significant improvement over the National Hurricane Center (NHC) 1998 average of 156, 268, and 374 km, respectively. In a direct comparison with the GFDL model, OMEGA started with a considerably larger position error yet came within 5% of the GFDL 72-h track error. This paper details the simulations produced and documents the results, including a comparison of the OMEGA forecasts against satellite data, observed tracks, reported pressure lows and maximum wind speed, and the rainfall distribution over land.

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David P. Bacon, Nash’at N. Ahmad, Zafer Boybeyi, Thomas J. Dunn, Mary S. Hall, Pius C. S. Lee, R. Ananthakrishna Sarma, Mark D. Turner, Kenneth T. Waight III, Steve H. Young, and John W. Zack

Abstract

The Operational Multiscale Environment Model with Grid Adaptivity (OMEGA) and its embedded Atmospheric Dispersion Model is a new atmospheric simulation system for real-time hazard prediction, conceived out of a need to advance the state of the art in numerical weather prediction in order to improve the capability to predict the transport and diffusion of hazardous releases. OMEGA is based upon an unstructured grid that makes possible a continuously varying horizontal grid resolution ranging from 100 km down to 1 km and a vertical resolution from a few tens of meters in the boundary layer to 1 km in the free atmosphere. OMEGA is also naturally scale spanning because its unstructured grid permits the addition of grid elements at any point in space and time. In particular, unstructured grid cells in the horizontal dimension can increase local resolution to better capture topography or the important physical features of the atmospheric circulation and cloud dynamics. This means that OMEGA can readily adapt its grid to stationary surface or terrain features, or to dynamic features in the evolving weather pattern. While adaptive numerical techniques have yet to be extensively applied in atmospheric models, the OMEGA model is the first model to exploit the adaptive nature of an unstructured gridding technique for atmospheric simulation and hence real-time hazard prediction. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the OMEGA model, the OMEGA system, and a detailed comparison of OMEGA forecast results with data.

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Bart Geerts, David Parsons, Conrad L. Ziegler, Tammy M. Weckwerth, Michael I. Biggerstaff, Richard D. Clark, Michael C. Coniglio, Belay B. Demoz, Richard A. Ferrare, William A. Gallus Jr., Kevin Haghi, John M. Hanesiak, Petra M. Klein, Kevin R. Knupp, Karen Kosiba, Greg M. McFarquhar, James A. Moore, Amin R. Nehrir, Matthew D. Parker, James O. Pinto, Robert M. Rauber, Russ S. Schumacher, David D. Turner, Qing Wang, Xuguang Wang, Zhien Wang, and Joshua Wurman

Abstract

The central Great Plains region in North America has a nocturnal maximum in warm-season precipitation. Much of this precipitation comes from organized mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). This nocturnal maximum is counterintuitive in the sense that convective activity over the Great Plains is out of phase with the local generation of CAPE by solar heating of the surface. The lower troposphere in this nocturnal environment is typically characterized by a low-level jet (LLJ) just above a stable boundary layer (SBL), and convective available potential energy (CAPE) values that peak above the SBL, resulting in convection that may be elevated, with source air decoupled from the surface. Nocturnal MCS-induced cold pools often trigger undular bores and solitary waves within the SBL. A full understanding of the nocturnal precipitation maximum remains elusive, although it appears that bore-induced lifting and the LLJ may be instrumental to convection initiation and the maintenance of MCSs at night.

To gain insight into nocturnal MCSs, their essential ingredients, and paths toward improving the relatively poor predictive skill of nocturnal convection in weather and climate models, a large, multiagency field campaign called Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) was conducted in 2015. PECAN employed three research aircraft, an unprecedented coordinated array of nine mobile scanning radars, a fixed S-band radar, a unique mesoscale network of lower-tropospheric profiling systems called the PECAN Integrated Sounding Array (PISA), and numerous mobile-mesonet surface weather stations. The rich PECAN dataset is expected to improve our understanding and prediction of continental nocturnal warm-season precipitation. This article provides a summary of the PECAN field experiment and preliminary findings.

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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.

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Volker Wulfmeyer, David D. Turner, B. Baker, R. Banta, A. Behrendt, T. Bonin, W. A. Brewer, M. Buban, A. Choukulkar, E. Dumas, R. M. Hardesty, T. Heus, J. Ingwersen, D. Lange, T. R. Lee, S. Metzendorf, S. K. Muppa, T. Meyers, R. Newsom, M. Osman, S. Raasch, J. Santanello, C. Senff, F. Späth, T. Wagner, and T. Weckwerth

Abstract

Forecast errors with respect to wind, temperature, moisture, clouds, and precipitation largely correspond to the limited capability of current Earth system models to capture and simulate land–atmosphere feedback. To facilitate its realistic simulation in next-generation models, an improved process understanding of the related complex interactions is essential. To this end, accurate 3D observations of key variables in the land–atmosphere (L–A) system with high vertical and temporal resolution from the surface to the free troposphere are indispensable.

Recently, we developed a synergy of innovative ground-based, scanning active remote sensing systems for 2D to 3D measurements of wind, temperature, and water vapor from the surface to the lower troposphere that is able to provide comprehensive datasets for characterizing L–A feedback independently of any model input. Several new applications are introduced, such as the mapping of surface momentum, sensible heat, and latent heat fluxes in heterogeneous terrain; the testing of Monin–Obukhov similarity theory and turbulence parameterizations; the direct measurement of entrainment fluxes; and the development of new flux-gradient relationships. An experimental design taking advantage of the sensors’ synergy and advanced capabilities was realized for the first time during the Land Atmosphere Feedback Experiment (LAFE), conducted at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Southern Great Plains site in August 2017. The scientific goals and the strategy of achieving them with the LAFE dataset are introduced. We envision the initiation of innovative L–A feedback studies in different climate regions to improve weather forecast, climate, and Earth system models worldwide.

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CLOUDS AND MORE: ARM Climate Modeling Best Estimate Data

A New Data Product for Climate Studies

Shaocheng Xie, Renata B. McCoy, Stephen A. Klein, Richard T. Cederwall, Warren J. Wiscombe, Michael P. Jensen, Karen L. Johnson, Eugene E. Clothiaux, Krista L. Gaustad, Charles N. Long, James H. Mather, Sally A. McFarlane, Yan Shi, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Yanluan Lin, Stefanie D. Hall, Raymond A. McCord, Giri Palanisamy, and David D. Turner

Abstract

No Abstract available.

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Indirect and Semi-direct Aerosol Campaign

The Impact of Arctic Aerosols on Clouds

Greg M. McFarquhar, Steven Ghan, Johannes Verlinde, Alexei Korolev, J. Walter Strapp, Beat Schmid, Jason M. Tomlinson, Mengistu Wolde, Sarah D. Brooks, Dan Cziczo, Manvendra K. Dubey, Jiwen Fan, Connor Flynn, Ismail Gultepe, John Hubbe, Mary K. Gilles, Alexander Laskin, Paul Lawson, W. Richard Leaitch, Peter Liu, Xiaohong Liu, Dan Lubin, Claudio Mazzoleni, Ann-Marie Macdonald, Ryan C. Moffet, Hugh Morrison, Mikhail Ovchinnikov, Matthew D. Shupe, David D. Turner, Shaocheng Xie, Alla Zelenyuk, Kenny Bae, Matt Freer, and Andrew Glen

Abstract

A comprehensive dataset of microphysical and radiative properties of aerosols and clouds in the boundary layer in the vicinity of Barrow, Alaska, was collected in April 2008 during the Indirect and Semi-Direct Aerosol Campaign (ISDAC). ISDAC's primary aim was to examine the effects of aerosols, including those generated by Asian wildfires, on clouds that contain both liquid and ice. ISDAC utilized the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Pro- gram's permanent observational facilities at Barrow and specially deployed instruments measuring aerosol, ice fog, precipitation, and radiation. The National Research Council of Canada Convair-580 flew 27 sorties and collected data using an unprecedented 41 stateof- the-art cloud and aerosol instruments for more than 100 h on 12 different days. Aerosol compositions, including fresh and processed sea salt, biomassburning particles, organics, and sulfates mixed with organics, varied between flights. Observations in a dense arctic haze on 19 April and above, within, and below the single-layer stratocumulus on 8 and 26 April are enabling a process-oriented understanding of how aerosols affect arctic clouds. Inhomogeneities in reflectivity, a close coupling of upward and downward Doppler motion, and a nearly constant ice profile in the single-layer stratocumulus suggests that vertical mixing is responsible for its longevity observed during ISDAC. Data acquired in cirrus on flights between Barrow and Fairbanks, Alaska, are improving the understanding of the performance of cloud probes in ice. Ultimately, ISDAC data will improve the representation of cloud and aerosol processes in models covering a variety of spatial and temporal scales, and determine the extent to which surface measurements can provide retrievals of aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and radiative heating.

A supplement to this article is available online:

DOI: 10.1175/2010BAMS2935.2

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Robert M. Banta, Yelena L. Pichugina, W. Alan Brewer, Aditya Choukulkar, Kathleen O. Lantz, Joseph B. Olson, Jaymes Kenyon, Harindra J. S. Fernando, Raghu Krishnamurthy, Mark J. Stoelinga, Justin Sharp, Lisa S. Darby, David D. Turner, Sunil Baidar, and Scott P. Sandberg

Abstract

Ground-based Doppler-lidar instrumentation provides atmospheric wind data at dramatically improved accuracies and spatial/temporal resolutions. These capabilities have provided new insights into atmospheric flow phenomena, but they also should have a strong role in NWP model improvement. Insight into the nature of model errors can be gained by studying recurrent atmospheric flows, here a regional summertime diurnal sea breeze and subsequent marine-air intrusion into the arid interior of Oregon–Washington, where these winds are an important wind-energy resource. These marine intrusions were sampled by three scanning Doppler lidars in the Columbia River basin as part of the Second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2), using data from summer 2016. Lidar time–height cross sections of wind speed identified 8 days when the diurnal flow cycle (peak wind speeds at midnight, afternoon minima) was obvious and strong. The 8-day composite time–height cross sections of lidar wind speeds are used to validate those generated by the operational NCEP–HRRR model. HRRR simulated the diurnal wind cycle, but produced errors in the timing of onset and significant errors due to a premature nighttime demise of the intrusion flow, producing low-bias errors of 6 m s−1. Day-to-day and in the composite, whenever a marine intrusion occurred, HRRR made these same errors. The errors occurred under a range of gradient wind conditions indicating that they resulted from the misrepresentation of physical processes within a limited region around the measurement locations. Because of their generation within a limited geographical area, field measurement programs can be designed to find and address the sources of these NWP errors.

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Irina V. Djalalova, Laura Bianco, Elena Akish, James M. Wilczak, Joseph B. Olson, Jaymes S. Kenyon, Larry K. Berg, Aditya Choukulkar, Richard Coulter, Harinda J. S. Fernando, Eric Grimit, Raghavendra Krishnamurthy, Julie K. Lundquist, Paytsar Muradyan, David D. Turner, and Sonia Wharton

Abstract

The second Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP2) is a multiagency field campaign held in the Columbia Gorge area (October 2015–March 2017). The main goal of the project is to understand and improve the forecast skill of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models in complex terrain, particularly beneficial for the wind energy industry. This region is well known for its excellent wind resource. One of the biggest challenges for wind power production is the accurate forecasting of wind ramp events (large changes of generated power over short periods of time). Poor forecasting of the ramps requires large and sudden adjustments in conventional power generation, ultimately increasing the costs of power. A Ramp Tool and Metric (RT&M) was developed during the first WFIP experiment, held in the U.S. Great Plains (September 2011–August 2012). The RT&M was designed to explicitly measure the skill of NWP models at forecasting wind ramp events. Here we apply the RT&M to 80-m (turbine hub-height) wind speeds measured by 19 sodars and three lidars, and to forecasts from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR), 3-km, and from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Nest (HRRRNEST), 750-m horizontal grid spacing, models. The diurnal and seasonal distribution of ramp events are analyzed, finding a noticeable diurnal variability for spring and summer but less for fall and especially winter. Also, winter has fewer ramps compared to the other seasons. The model skill at forecasting ramp events, including the impact of the modification to the model physical parameterizations, was finally investigated.

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