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  • Author or Editor: J. C. Alpert x
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J. C. Alpert and S. K. Avery


A steady-state, linear, quasi-geostrophic model of stationary waves on a sphere is employed to study the lower boundary forcing of airflow over topography and the internal forcing that results from the geographical distribution of diabatic heating. The lower boundary vertical motions forced by airflow over topography are shown to depend on the following: 1) whether or not consideration is made of the horizontal deflection of airflow around topographic features; 2) the level of the wind profile at which flow over topography is assumed to take place; and 3) the topographic data set that was used in the forcing formulation. Different methods of calculating the lower boundary vertical motions give rise to sizeable differences in the calculated planetary waves. Large uncertainties are also found in the modeled results depending on the choices made as to the vertical distribution of the forcing by diabatic heating. Given these uncertainties, the relative roles of topographic forcing and diabatic heating in forcing stationary planetary waves are explored in an alternative manner. The lower boundary forcing is taken to be given by the observed stationary planetary wave in lower boundary (900 mb) geopotential height, and the internal forcing is computed using the planetary wave propagation equation on the observed wave structure. Using this method, it is found that the lower boundary forcing generally accounts for the phase structure of the stationary planetary waves, and the response to the internal forcing generally acts to destructively interfere with the response from the lower boundary forcing. This interference is larger for wavenumber 2 in the stratosphere than for wavenumber 1.

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M. Kanamitsu, J.C. Alpert, K.A. Campana, P.M. Caplan, D.G. Deaven, M. Iredell, B. Katz, H.-L. Pan, J. Sela, and G.H. White


A number of improvements were implemented on 6 March 1991 into the National Meteorological Center's global model, which is used in the global data assimilation system (GDAS), the aviation (AVN) forecast, and the medium-range forecast (MRF):

  • The horizontal resolution of the forecast model was increased from triangular truncation T80 to T126, which corresponds to an equivalent increase in grid resolution from 160 km to 105 km.
  • The use of enhanced orography has been discontinued and replaced by mean orography.
  • A new marine-stratus parameterization was introduced.
  • A new mass-conservation constraint was implemented.
  • The horizontal diffusion in the medium scales was reduced by adopting the Leith formulation.
  • A new, more accurate sea-surface temperature analysis is now used.

In this note, we discuss each of the changes and briefly review the new model performance.

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P. Drobinski, V. Ducrocq, P. Alpert, E. Anagnostou, K. Béranger, M. Borga, I. Braud, A. Chanzy, S. Davolio, G. Delrieu, C. Estournel, N. Filali Boubrahmi, J. Font, V. Grubišić, S. Gualdi, V. Homar, B. Ivančan-Picek, C. Kottmeier, V. Kotroni, K. Lagouvardos, P. Lionello, M. C. Llasat, W. Ludwig, C. Lutoff, A. Mariotti, E. Richard, R. Romero, R. Rotunno, O. Roussot, I. Ruin, S. Somot, I. Taupier-Letage, J. Tintore, R. Uijlenhoet, and H. Wernli

The Mediterranean countries are experiencing important challenges related to the water cycle, including water shortages and floods, extreme winds, and ice/snow storms, that impact critically the socioeconomic vitality in the area (causing damage to property, threatening lives, affecting the energy and transportation sectors, etc.). There are gaps in our understanding of the Mediterranean water cycle and its dynamics that include the variability of the Mediterranean Sea water budget and its feedback on the variability of the continental precipitation through air–sea interactions, the impact of precipitation variability on aquifer recharge, river discharge, and soil water content and vegetation characteristics specific to the Mediterranean basin and the mechanisms that control the location and intensity of heavy precipitating systems that often produce floods. The Hydrological Cycle in Mediterranean Experiment (HyMeX) program is a 10-yr concerted experimental effort at the international level that aims to advance the scientific knowledge of the water cycle variability in all compartments (land, sea, and atmosphere) and at various time and spatial scales. It also aims to improve the processes-based models needed for forecasting hydrometeorological extremes and the models of the regional climate system for predicting regional climate variability and evolution. Finally, it aims to assess the social and economic vulnerability to hydrometeorological natural hazards in the Mediterranean and the adaptation capacity of the territories and populations therein to provide support to policy makers to cope with water-related problems under the influence of climate change, by linking scientific outcomes with related policy requirements.

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D. A. Knopf, K. R. Barry, T. A. Brubaker, L. G. Jahl, K. A. Jankowski, J. Li, Y. Lu, L. W. Monroe, K. A. Moore, F. A. Rivera-Adorno, K. A. Sauceda, Y. Shi, J. M. Tomlin, H. S. K. Vepuri, P. Wang, N. N. Lata, E. J. T. Levin, J. M. Creamean, T. C. J. Hill, S. China, P. A. Alpert, R. C. Moffet, N. Hiranuma, R. C. Sullivan, A. M. Fridlind, M. West, N. Riemer, A. Laskin, P. J. DeMott, and X. Liu


Prediction of ice formation in clouds presents one of the grand challenges in the atmospheric sciences. Immersion freezing initiated by ice-nucleating particles (INPs) is the dominant pathway of primary ice crystal formation in mixed-phase clouds, where supercooled water droplets and ice crystals coexist, with important implications for the hydrological cycle and climate. However, derivation of INP number concentrations from an ambient aerosol population in cloud-resolving and climate models remains highly uncertain. We conducted an aerosol–ice formation closure pilot study using a field-observational approach to evaluate the predictive capability of immersion freezing INPs. The closure study relies on collocated measurements of the ambient size-resolved and single-particle composition and INP number concentrations. The acquired particle data serve as input in several immersion freezing parameterizations, which are employed in cloud-resolving and climate models, for prediction of INP number concentrations. We discuss in detail one closure case study in which a front passed through the measurement site, resulting in a change of ambient particle and INP populations. We achieved closure in some circumstances within uncertainties, but we emphasize the need for freezing parameterization of potentially missing INP types and evaluation of the choice of parameterization to be employed. Overall, this closure pilot study aims to assess the level of parameter details and measurement strategies needed to achieve aerosol–ice formation closure. The closure approach is designed to accurately guide immersion freezing schemes in models, and ultimately identify the leading causes for climate model bias in INP predictions.

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