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W. McKeown, F. Bretherton, H. L. Huang, W. L. Smith, and H. L. Revercomb

Abstract

Evidence for the radiometric determination of air–water interface temperature gradients is presented. Inherent radiometric characteristics in the water molecule cause variations in the absorption coefficient that allow radiation at near-infrared frequencies (2000–5000 wavenumbers, 2.0–5.0 μm) to carry information about subsurface water temperatures. This radiation leaving the surface is predominantly sensitive to water temperature in the layer between the surface and the “effective optical depth” (inverse of the absorption coefficient). Where atmospheric transmittance is high and/or the instrument is near the liquid, the radiance variations with frequency record temperature variations with depth. To measure the small radiance variations with frequency, an instrument must be radiometrically stable in suitable frequency bands with low instrument noise.

A simulation of this technique's use for airborne beat flux measurement indicated feasibility from low altitudes at night. Laboratory experiments produced radiometric signals that strongly indicated that the thermal structures in an air–water interface can be studied in detail. Corrected for variations of emissivity and reflectivity with frequency, the water spectra showed multiple correlations with those gradients inferred from bulk temperature measurements that assumed conductive heat loss. The use of high spectral resolution increased the vertical resolution of the interface thermal structures. Although high spectral resolution is not required for a field application, problems of system noise, atmospheric absorption, and solar reflection are more tractable with its use.

This technique may be useful in laboratory studies of thermal structures relevant to heat and gas flow that reside in the air–water interface.

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J. Mielikainen, B. Huang, H.-L. A. Huang, M. D. Goldberg, and A. Mehta

Abstract

The Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) double-moment 6-class microphysics scheme (WDM6) implements a double-moment bulk microphysical parameterization of clouds and precipitation and is applicable in mesoscale and general circulation models. WDM6 extends the WRF single-moment 6-class microphysics scheme (WSM6) by incorporating the number concentrations for cloud and rainwater along with a prognostic variable of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) number concentration. Moreover, it predicts the mixing ratios of six water species (water vapor, cloud droplets, cloud ice, snow, rain, and graupel), similar to WSM6. This paper describes improving the computational performance of WDM6 by exploiting its inherent fine-grained parallelism using the NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU). Compared to the single-threaded CPU, a single GPU implementation of WDM6 obtains a speedup of 150× with the input/output (I/O) transfer and 206× without the I/O transfer. Using four GPUs, the speedup reaches 347× and 715×, respectively.

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E. Mollo-Christensen, N. E. Huang, L. F. Bliven, and S. R. Long

Abstract

A wave sensor, consisting of parallel, evenly spaced capacitance wires, whose output is the sum of the water surface deflections at the wires, has been built and tested in a wave tank. The probe output simulates Bragg scattering of electromagnetic waves from a water surface with waves; it can be used to simulate electromagnetic probing of the sea surface by radar. Our study establishes that the wave probe, called the “Harp” for short, will simulate Bragg scattering, and that it can also be used to study nonlinear wave processes.

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M. Thurai, G. J. Huang, V. N. Bringi, W. L. Randeu, and M. Schönhuber

Abstract

Drop shapes derived from a previously conducted artificial rain experiment using a two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD) are presented. The experiment involved drops falling over a distance of 80 m to achieve their terminal velocities as well as steady-state oscillations. The previous study analyzed the measured axis ratios (i.e., ratio of maximum vertical to maximum horizontal chord) as a function of equivolumetric spherical drop diameter (D eq) for over 115 000 drops ranging from 1.5 to 9 mm. In this paper, the actual contoured shapes of the drops are reported, taking into account the finite quantization limits of the instrument. The shapes were derived from the fast line-scanning cameras of the 2DVD. The drops were categorized into D eq intervals of 0.25-mm width and the smoothed contours for each drop category were superimposed on each other to obtain their most probable shapes and their variations due to drop oscillations. The most probable shapes show deviation from oblate spheroids for D eq > 4 mm, the larger drops having a more flattened base, in good agreement with the equilibrium (nonoblate) shape model of Beard and Chuang. Deviations were noted from the Beard and Chuang model shapes for diameters larger than 6 mm. However, the 2DVD measurements of the most probable contour shapes are the first to validate the Beard and Chuang model shapes for large drops, and further to demonstrate the differences from the equivalent oblate shapes. The purpose of this paper is to document the differences in radar polarization parameters and the range of error incurred when using the equivalent oblate shapes versus the most probable contoured shapes measured with the 2DVD especially for drop size distributions (DSDs) with large median volume diameters (>2 mm).

The measured contours for D eq > 1.5 mm were fitted to a modified conical equation, and scattering calculations were performed to derive the complex scattering amplitudes for forward and backscatter for H and V polarizations primarily at 5.34 GHz (C band) but also at 3 GHz (S band) and 9 GHz (X band). Calculations were also made to derive the relevant dual-polarization radar parameters for measured as well as model-based drop size distributions. When comparing calculations using the contoured shapes against the equivalent oblate spheroid shapes, good agreement was obtained for cases with median volume diameter (D 0) less than around 2 mm. Small systematic differences in the differential reflectivity (Z dr) values of up to 0.3 dB were seen for the larger D 0 values when using the oblate shapes, which can be primarily attributed to the shape differences in the resonance region, which occurs in the 5.5–7-mm-diameter range at C band. Lesser systematic differences were present in the resonance region at X band (3–4 mm). At S band, the impact of shape differences in the polarimetric parameters were relatively minor for D 0 up to 2.5 mm. Unusual DSDs with very large D 0 values (>3 mm) (e.g., as can occur along the leading edge of severe convective storms or aloft due localized “big drop” zones) can accentuate the Z dr difference between the contoured shape and the oblate spheroid equivalent, especially at C band. For attenuation-correction schemes based on differential propagation phase, it appears that the equivalent oblate shape approximation is sufficient using a fit to the axis ratios from the 80-m fall experiment given in this paper. For high accuracy in developing algorithms for predicting D 0 from Z dr, it is recommended that the fit to the most probable contoured shapes as given in this paper be used especially at C band.

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Matthew T. DeLand, Richard P. Cebula, Liang-Kang Huang, Steven L. Taylor, Richard S. Stolarski, and Richard D. McPeters

Abstract

Satellite measurements using the backscattered ultraviolet technique provide a powerful method for the observation of stratospheric ozone. However, rapid input signal variations over three to four orders of magnitude in several minutes can lead to problems with instrument response. Inflight data have recently been used to characterize a “hysteresis” problem on the NOAA-9 SBUV/2 instrument, which affects measurements made shortly after emerging from darkness. Radiance values observed under these conditions can be up to 2%–3% lower than expected. A correction has been derived for NOAA-9 data that is solar zenith angle dependent and varies in amplitude and time. Typical changes to affected polar total ozone values are on the order of 1% but can reach 5% in some cases. Profile ozone changes are altitude dependent, with maximum values of 4%–5% at 1 hPa. The NOAA-11 and NOAA-14 SBUV/2 instruments have a much smaller hysteresis effect than that observed for NOAA-9 SBUV/2 due to a change in photomultiplier tubes. The Nimbus-7 SBUV instrument also shows a hysteresis effect, which has not been fully characterized at this time.

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Boyin Huang, Michelle L’Heureux, Jay Lawrimore, Chunying Liu, Huai-Min Zhang, Viva Banzon, Zeng-Zhen Hu, and Arun Kumar

Abstract

During June–November 2012, pronounced differences in tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies were observed between three widely used SST products: the extended reconstructed SST version 3b (ERSSTv3b), and the optimum interpolation SST version 2 analyses (OISST), produced weekly (OISSTwk) and daily (OISSTdy). During June–August 2012, the Niño-3.4 SST anomaly (SSTA) index was 0.2°–0.3°C lower in ERSSTv3b than in OISSTwk and OISSTdy, while it was 0.3°–0.4°C higher from September to November 2012. Such differences in the Niño-3.4 SSTA index can impact the assessment of the status of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, which is determined using a threshold of ±0.5°C in the Niño-3.4 SSTA index.

To investigate the reasons for the differences between ERSSTv3b and OISSTdy/OISSTwk, an experimental analysis (called ERSSTsat) is created that is similar to ERSSTv3b but includes satellite-derived SSTs. However, significant differences in the Niño-3.4 SSTA index remained between ERSSTsat and OISSTdy/OISSTwk. Comparisons of ERSSTsat and OISSTdy indicate that their differences are mostly associated with the different schemes for bias adjustment applied to the satellite-based SSTs. It is therefore suggested that the differences in the Niño-3.4 SSTA index between ERSSTv3b and OISSTdy cannot be solely due to the inclusion of but by the bias adjustment methodology of satellite data in OISSTdy.

Finally, the SST products are compared with observations from ships, buoys, and satellites. On the monthly time scale, the area-averaged Niño-3.4 SSTA index in the tropical Pacific is more consistent with in situ observations in ERSSTv3b than in OISSTdy. In contrast, pointwise observations across the tropical Pacific are more consistent with OISSTdy than ERSSTv3b. It is therefore suggested that the differences among SST products are partially due to a structural uncertainty of various SST estimates.

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Yongxiang Hu, David Winker, Mark Vaughan, Bing Lin, Ali Omar, Charles Trepte, David Flittner, Ping Yang, Shaima L. Nasiri, Bryan Baum, Robert Holz, Wenbo Sun, Zhaoyan Liu, Zhien Wang, Stuart Young, Knut Stamnes, Jianping Huang, and Ralph Kuehn

Abstract

The current cloud thermodynamic phase discrimination by Cloud-Aerosol Lidar Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) is based on the depolarization of backscattered light measured by its lidar [Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP)]. It assumes that backscattered light from ice crystals is depolarizing, whereas water clouds, being spherical, result in minimal depolarization. However, because of the relationship between the CALIOP field of view (FOV) and the large distance between the satellite and clouds and because of the frequent presence of oriented ice crystals, there is often a weak correlation between measured depolarization and phase, which thereby creates significant uncertainties in the current CALIOP phase retrieval. For water clouds, the CALIOP-measured depolarization can be large because of multiple scattering, whereas horizontally oriented ice particles depolarize only weakly and behave similarly to water clouds. Because of the nonunique depolarization–cloud phase relationship, more constraints are necessary to uniquely determine cloud phase. Based on theoretical and modeling studies, an improved cloud phase determination algorithm has been developed. Instead of depending primarily on layer-integrated depolarization ratios, this algorithm differentiates cloud phases by using the spatial correlation of layer-integrated attenuated backscatter and layer-integrated particulate depolarization ratio. This approach includes a two-step process: 1) use of a simple two-dimensional threshold method to provide a preliminary identification of ice clouds containing randomly oriented particles, ice clouds with horizontally oriented particles, and possible water clouds and 2) application of a spatial coherence analysis technique to separate water clouds from ice clouds containing horizontally oriented ice particles. Other information, such as temperature, color ratio, and vertical variation of depolarization ratio, is also considered. The algorithm works well for both the 0.3° and 3° off-nadir lidar pointing geometry. When the lidar is pointed at 0.3° off nadir, half of the opaque ice clouds and about one-third of all ice clouds have a significant lidar backscatter contribution from specular reflections from horizontally oriented particles. At 3° off nadir, the lidar backscatter signals for roughly 30% of opaque ice clouds and 20% of all observed ice clouds are contaminated by horizontally oriented crystals.

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