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  • Author or Editor: Ping Huang x
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Samy Kamal, Huei-Ping Huang, and Soe W. Myint

Abstract

In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model and its embedded land surface and urban canopy model are used to simulate effects of urbanization on the local climate of the Las Vegas, Nevada, metropolitan area. High-resolution simulations are performed with a 3-km horizontal resolution over the city. With identical lateral boundary conditions, three land use/land cover (LULC) maps for 2006, 1992, and hypothetical 1900 are used in multiple simulations. The differences in the simulated climate among those cases are used to quantify the urban effect. The study found that urbanization in Las Vegas produces a classic urban heat island (UHI) at night but a minor cooling trend during the day. An analysis of the surface energy balance helps illustrate the major roles of the decreases in surface albedo of solar radiation and increases in the effective emissivity of longwave radiation in shaping the local climate change in Las Vegas. In addition, the emerging urban structures are found to have a mechanical effect of slowing down the climatological wind field over the urban area as a result of an increased effective surface roughness. The slowing down of the diurnal circulation leads to a secondary modification of temperature, which exhibits a complicated diurnal dependence. This suggests the need for more investigations into the coupling of thermodynamic and mechanical effects of urbanization on local climate.

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Chien-Ben Chou, Ching-Yuang Huang, Huei-Ping Huang, Kung-Hwa Wang, and Tien-Chiang Yeh

Abstract

In this study, the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) data are used to retrieve the temperature and velocity fields of typhoons and assimilate them with the three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) routines for uses in numerical model predictions for typhoons. The authors’ procedure of an end-to-end typhoon prediction using an AMSU-based initial condition is similar to the framework developed by Zhu et al. in 2002 but differs from it by considering a downward integration approach in part of the retrieval process and with the starting point of the integration chosen as a constant 50-hPa field without any structure. The typhoon circulation from this retrieval is thus determined objectively from the AMSU observation alone, without a preimposed typhoon vortex structure, allowing an asymmetric structure even at the inner core of a typhoon. The results show that this procedure is capable of retrieving a reasonable typhoon circulation from the AMSU data. The impact of the AMSU data on the assimilated initial condition for prediction is shown to be especially notable in its modification of the upper-level circulation of the typhoons. With the downward integration, the error accumulates downward such that the current approach provides a relatively more accurate estimate of the upper-level circulation, important for the steering of a typhoon. Consistent with this, it is demonstrated that the inclusion of the AMSU data helps to improve the forecast of typhoon tracks for selected cases of typhoons. This approach is less satisfying in producing an accurate retrieval and prediction of the intensity of typhoons. The reasons for this shortcoming and possible future remedies are discussed.

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Ping Yang, Zhibo Zhang, George W. Kattawar, Stephen G. Warren, Bryan A. Baum, Hung-Lung Huang, Yong X. Hu, David Winker, and Jean Iaquinta

Abstract

Bullet rosette particles are common in ice clouds, and the bullets may often be hollow. Here the single-scattering properties of randomly oriented hollow bullet rosette ice particles are investigated. A bullet, which is an individual branch of a rosette, is defined as a hexagonal column attached to a hexagonal pyramidal tip. For this study, a hollow structure is included at the end of the columnar part of each bullet branch and the shape of the hollow structure is defined as a hexagonal pyramid. A hollow bullet rosette may have between 2 and 12 branches. An improved geometric optics method is used to solve for the scattering of light in the particle. The primary optical effect of incorporating a hollow end in each of the bullets is to decrease the magnitude of backscattering. In terms of the angular distribution of scattered energy, the hollow bullets increase the scattering phase function values within the forward scattering angle region from 1° to 20° but decrease the phase function values at side- and backscattering angles of 60°–180°. As a result, the presence of hollow bullets tends to increase the asymmetry factor. In addition to the scattering phase function, the other elements of the phase matrix are also discussed. The backscattering depolarization ratios for hollow and solid bullet rosettes are found to be very different. This may have an implication for active remote sensing of ice clouds, such as from polarimetric lidar measurements. In a comparison of solid and hollow bullet rosettes, the effect of the differences on the retrieval of both the ice cloud effective particle size and optical thickness is also discussed. It is found that the presence of hollow bullet rosettes acts to decrease the inferred effective particle size and to increase the optical thickness in comparison with the use of solid bullet rosettes.

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Jun Li, Hung-Lung Huang, Chian-Yi Liu, Ping Yang, Timothy J. Schmit, Heli Wei, Elisabeth Weisz, Li Guan, and W. Paul Menzel

Abstract

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) measurements from the NASA Earth Observing System Aqua satellite enable global monitoring of the distribution of clouds during day and night. The MODIS is able to provide a high-spatial-resolution (1–5 km) cloud mask, cloud classification mask, cloud-phase mask, cloud-top pressure (CTP), and effective cloud amount during both the daytime and the nighttime, as well as cloud particle size (CPS) and cloud optical thickness (COT) at 0.55 μm during the daytime. The AIRS high-spectral-resolution measurements reveal cloud properties with coarser spatial resolution (13.5 km at nadir). Combined, MODIS and AIRS provide cloud microphysical properties during both the daytime and nighttime. A fast cloudy radiative transfer model for AIRS that accounts for cloud scattering and absorption is described in this paper. One-dimensional variational (1DVAR) and minimum-residual (MR) methods are used to retrieve the CPS and COT from AIRS longwave window region (790–970 cm−1 or 10.31–12.66 μm, and 1050–1130 cm−1 or 8.85–9.52 μm) cloudy radiance measurements. In both 1DVAR and MR procedures, the CTP is derived from the AIRS radiances of carbon dioxide channels while the cloud-phase information is derived from the collocated MODIS 1-km phase mask for AIRS CPS and COT retrievals. In addition, the collocated 1-km MODIS cloud mask refines the AIRS cloud detection in both 1DVAR and MR procedures. The atmospheric temperature profile, moisture profile, and surface skin temperature used in the AIRS cloud retrieval processing are from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts forecast analysis. The results from 1DVAR are compared with the operational MODIS products and MR cloud microphysical property retrieval. A Hurricane Isabel case study shows that 1DVAR retrievals have a high correlation with either the operational MODIS cloud products or MR cloud property retrievals. 1DVAR provides an efficient way for cloud microphysical property retrieval during the daytime, and MR provides the cloud microphysical property retrievals during both the daytime and nighttime.

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