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Don Cline
,
Simon Yueh
,
Bruce Chapman
,
Boba Stankov
,
Al Gasiewski
,
Dallas Masters
,
Kelly Elder
,
Richard Kelly
,
Thomas H. Painter
,
Steve Miller
,
Steve Katzberg
, and
Larry Mahrt

Abstract

This paper describes the airborne data collected during the 2002 and 2003 Cold Land Processes Experiment (CLPX). These data include gamma radiation observations, multi- and hyperspectral optical imaging, optical altimetry, and passive and active microwave observations of the test areas. The gamma observations were collected with the NOAA/National Weather Service Gamma Radiation Detection System (GAMMA). The CLPX multispectral optical data consist of very high-resolution color-infrared orthoimagery of the intensive study areas (ISAs) by TerrainVision. The airborne hyperspectral optical data consist of observations from the NASA Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS). Optical altimetry measurements were collected using airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) by TerrainVision. The active microwave data include radar observations from the NASA Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR), the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Polarimetric Ku-band Scatterometer (POLSCAT), and airborne GPS bistatic radar data collected with the NASA GPS radar delay mapping receiver (DMR). The passive microwave data consist of observations collected with the NOAA Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR). All of the airborne datasets described here and more information describing data collection and processing are available online.

Full access
Steve Keighton
,
Douglas K. Miller
,
David Hotz
,
Patrick D. Moore
,
L. Baker Perry
,
Laurence G. Lee
, and
Daniel T. Martin

Abstract

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy tracked along the eastern U.S. coastline and made landfall over New Jersey after turning sharply northwest and becoming posttropical while interacting with a complex upper-level low pressure system that had brought cold air into the Appalachian region. The cold air, intensified by the extreme low pressure tracking just north of the region, combined with deep moisture and topographically enhanced ascent to produce an unusual and high-impact early season northwest flow snow (NWFS) that has no analog in recent history. This paper investigates the importance of the synoptic-scale pattern, forcing mechanisms, moisture characteristics (content, depth, and likely sources), and low-level winds, as well as the evolution of some of these features compared to more typical NWFS events in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Several other aspects of the Sandy snowfall event are investigated, including low-level stability and mountain wave formation as manifested in vertical profiles and radar observations. The importance to operational forecasters of recognizing and understanding these factors and differences from more common NWFS events is also discussed.

Full access
Michael F. Donovan
,
Earle R. Williams
,
Cathy Kessinger
,
Gary Blackburn
,
Paul H. Herzegh
,
Richard L. Bankert
,
Steve Miller
, and
Frederick R. Mosher

Abstract

Three algorithms based on geostationary visible and infrared (IR) observations are used to identify convective cells that do (or may) present a hazard to aviation over the oceans. The performance of these algorithms in detecting potentially hazardous cells is determined through verification with Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite observations of lightning and radar reflectivity, which provide internal information about the convective cells. The probability of detection of hazardous cells using the satellite algorithms can exceed 90% when lightning is used as a criterion for hazard, but the false-alarm ratio with all three algorithms is consistently large (∼40%), thereby exaggerating the presence of hazardous conditions. This shortcoming results in part from the algorithms’ dependence upon visible and IR observations, and can be traced to the widespread prevalence of deep cumulonimbi with weak updrafts but without lightning over tropical oceans, whose origin is attributed to significant entrainment during ascent.

Full access
Thomas E. Lee
,
Steven D. Miller
,
F. Joseph Turk
,
Carl Schueler
,
Richard Julian
,
Steve Deyo
,
Patrick Dills
, and
Sherwood Wang

The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) will feature the Visible-Infrared Imager-Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), a 22-channel imager that will contribute to nearly half of the NPOESS environmental data records. Included on VIIRS will be the Day/Night band (DNB), a visible channel designed to image the Earth and its atmosphere in all conditions ranging from bright solar illumination, to nocturnal lunar illumination, and negligible external illumination. Drawing heritage from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) instruments orbiting since the late 1960s, the DNB will be used to detect clouds at night, understand patterns of urban development based on the emissions of cities, monitor fires, and image scenes of snow and ice at the surface of the Earth. Thanks to significant engineering improvements, the DNB will produce superior capabilities to the OLS for a number of new applications.

Full access
Steve Keighton
,
Laurence Lee
,
Blair Holloway
,
David Hotz
,
Steven Zubrick
,
Jeffrey Hovis
,
Gary Votaw
,
L. Baker Perry
,
Gary Lackmann
,
Sandra E. Yuter
,
Charles Konrad
,
Douglas Miller
, and
Brian Etherton

Upslope-enhanced snowfall events during periods of northwesterly flow in the southern Appalachians have been recognized as a significant winter forecasting problem for some time. However, only in recent years has this problem received noteworthy attention by both the academic and operational communities. The complex meteorology of these events includes significant topographic influences, as well as a linkage between the upstream Great Lakes and resultant southern Appalachian snowfall. A unique collaborative team has recently formed, working toward the goals of improving the physical understanding of the mechanisms at work in these events and developing more accurate forecasts and more detailed climatologies. The literature shows only limited attention to this problem through the 1990s. However, with modernization of the National Weather Service (NWS) in the mid-1990s came opportunities to bring more attention to new or poorly understood forecast problems. These opportunities included the establishment of new forecast offices, often collocated with universities, the deployment of the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) network, expansion of the surface observational network in both space and time, improved access to sophisticated numerical models, and growth of the spotter and cooperative observer networks.

A collaborative team, consisting of faculty from five universities and meteorologists from six NWS forecast offices, has established an ongoing, structured dialogue to help advance the understanding and improve the forecasting of these events. The team utilizes a variety of communication strategies to discuss emerging research findings, review recent events, and share data and ideas. The ultimate goal is to continue fostering working relationships among research and operational meteorologists, climatologists, and students, all with a common motivation of continually improving forecasts and understanding of this important phenomenon. This group may serve as a model for other collaborative efforts between the research and operational communities interested in a common forecast problem.

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John R. Gyakum
,
Marco Carrera
,
Da-Lin Zhang
,
Steve Miller
,
James Caveen
,
Robert Benoit
,
Thomas Black
,
Andrea Buzzi
,
Cliément Chouinard
,
M. Fantini
,
C. Folloni
,
Jack J. Katzfey
,
Ying-Hwa Kuo
,
François Lalaurette
,
Simon Low-Nam
,
Jocelyn Mailhot
,
P. Malguzzi
,
John L. McGregor
,
Masaomi Nakamura
,
Greg Tripoli
, and
Clive Wilson

Abstract

The authors evaluate the performance of current regional models in an intercomparison project for a case of explosive secondary marine cyclogenesis occurring during the Canadian Atlantic Storms Project and the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment of 1986. Several systematic errors are found that have been identified in the refereed literature in prior years. There is a high (low) sea level pressure bias and a cold (warm) tropospheric temperature error in the oceanic (continental) regions. Though individual model participants produce central pressures of the secondary cyclone close to the observed during the final stages of its life cycle, systematically weak systems are simulated during the critical early stages of the cyclogenesis. Additionally, the simulations produce an excessively weak (strong) continental anticyclone (cyclone); implications of these errors are discussed in terms of the secondary cyclogenesis. Little relationship between strong performance in predicting the mass field and skill in predicting a measurable amount of precipitation is found. The bias scores in the precipitation study indicate a tendency for all models to overforecast precipitation. Results for the measurable threshold (0.2 mm) indicate the largest gain in precipitation scores results from increasing the horizontal resolution from 100 to 50 km, with a negligible benefit occurring as a consequence of increasing the resolution from 50 to 25 km. The importance of a horizontal resolution increase from 100 to 50 km is also generally shown for the errors in the mass field. However, little improvement in the prediction of the cyclogenesis is found by increasing the horizontal resolution from 50 to 25 km.

Full access
Tim Boyer
,
Ellen Bartow-Gillies
,
A. Abida
,
Melanie Ades
,
Robert Adler
,
Susheel Adusumilli
,
W. Agyakwah
,
Brandon Ahmasuk
,
Laura S. Aldeco
,
Mihai Alexe
,
Eric J. Alfaro
,
Richard P. Allan
,
Adam Allgood
,
Lincoln. M. Alves
,
Jorge A. Amador
,
John Anderson
,
B. Andrade
,
Orlane Anneville
,
Yasuyuki Aono
,
Anthony Arguez
,
Carlo Arosio
,
C. Atkinson
,
John A. Augustine
,
Grinia Avalos
,
Cesar Azorin-Molina
,
Stacia A. Backensto
,
Stephan Bader
,
Julian Baez
,
Rebecca Baiman
,
Thomas J. Ballinger
,
Alison F. Banwell
,
M. Yu Bardin
,
Jonathan Barichivich
,
John E. Barnes
,
Sandra Barreira
,
Rebecca L. Beadling
,
Hylke E. Beck
,
Emily J. Becker
,
E. Bekele
,
Guillem Martín Bellido
,
Nicolas Bellouin
,
Angela Benedetti
,
Rasmus Benestad
,
Christine Berne
,
Logan. T. Berner
,
Germar H. Bernhard
,
Uma S. Bhatt
,
A. E. Bhuiyan
,
Siiri Bigalke
,
Tiago Biló
,
Peter Bissolli
,
W. Bjerke Jarle
,
Kevin Blagrave
,
Eric S. Blake
,
Stephen Blenkinsop
,
Jessica Blunden
,
Oliver Bochníček
,
Olivier Bock
,
Xavier Bodin
,
Michael Bosilovich
,
Olivier Boucher
,
Deniz Bozkurt
,
Brian Brettschneider
,
Francis G. Bringas
,
Francis Bringas
,
Dennis Buechler
,
Stefan A. Buehler
,
Brandon Bukunt
,
Blanca Calderón
,
Suzana J. Camargo
,
Jayaka Campbell
,
Diego Campos
,
Laura Carrea
,
Brendan R. Carter
,
Ivona Cetinić
,
Don P. Chambers
,
Duo Chan
,
Elise Chandler
,
Kai-Lan Chang
,
Hua Chen
,
Lin Chen
,
Lijing Cheng
,
Vincent Y. S. Cheng
,
Leah Chomiak
,
Hanne H. Christiansen
,
John R. Christy
,
Eui-Seok Chung
,
Laura M. Ciasto
,
Leonardo Clarke
,
Kyle R. Clem
,
Scott Clingan
,
Caio A.S. Coelho
,
Judah L. Cohen
,
Melanie Coldewey-Egbers
,
Steve Colwell
,
Owen R. Cooper
,
Richard C. Cornes
,
Kris Correa
,
Felipe Costa
,
Curt Covey
,
Lawrence Coy
,
Jean-François Créatux
,
Lenka Crhova
,
Theresa Crimmins
,
Meghan F. Cronin
,
Thomas Cropper
,
Molly Crotwell
,
Joshua Culpepper
,
Ana P. Cunha
,
Diego Cusicanqui
,
Rajashree T. Datta
,
Sean M. Davis
,
Veerle De Bock
,
Richard A. M. de Jeu
,
Jos De Laat
,
Bertrand Decharme
,
Doug Degenstein
,
Reynald Delaloye
,
Mesut Demircan
,
Chris Derksen
,
Ricardo Deus
,
K. R. Dhurmea
,
Howard J. Diamond
,
S. Dirkse
,
Dmitry Divine
,
Martin T. Dokulil
,
Markus G. Donat
,
Shenfu Dong
,
Wouter A. Dorigo
,
Caroline Drost Jensen
,
Matthew L. Druckenmiller
,
Paula Drumond
,
Marcel du Plessis
,
Hilary A. Dugan
,
Dashkhuu Dulamsuren
,
Devon Dunmire
,
Robert J. H. Dunn
,
Imke Durre
,
Geoff Dutton
,
Gregory Duveiller
,
Mithat Ekici
,
Alesksandra Elias Chereque
,
M. ElKharrim
,
Howard E. Epstein
,
Jhan-Carlo Espinoza
,
Thomas W. Estilow
,
Nicole Estrella
,
Nicolas Fauchereau
,
Robert S. Fausto
,
Richard A. Feely
,
Chris Fenimore
,
David Fereday
,
Xavier Fettweis
,
vitali E. Fioletov
,
Johannes Flemming
,
Chris Fogarty
,
Ryan L. Fogt
,
Bruce C. Forbes
,
Michael J. Foster
,
Bryan A. Franz
,
Natalie M. Freeman
,
Helen A. Fricker
,
Stacey M. Frith
,
Lucien Froidevaux
,
Gerald V. Frost
,
Steven Fuhrman
,
Martin Füllekrug
,
Catherine Ganter
,
Meng Gao
,
Alex S. Gardner
,
Judith Garforth
,
Jay Garg
,
Sebastian Gerland
,
Badin Gibbes
,
Sarah T. Gille
,
John Gilson
,
Karin Gleason
,
Nadine Gobron
,
Scott J. Goetz
,
Stanley B. Goldenberg
,
Gustavo Goni
,
Steven Goodman
,
Atsushi Goto
,
Jens-Uwe Grooß
,
Alexander Gruber
,
Guojun Gu
,
Charles “Chip” P. Guard
,
S. Hagos
,
Sebastian Hahn
,
Leopold Haimberger
,
Bradley D. Hall
,
Benjamin D. Hamlington
,
Edward Hanna
,
Inger Hanssen-Bauer
,
Daniel S. Harnos
,
Ian Harris
,
Qiong He
,
Richard R. Heim Jr.
,
Sverker Hellström
,
Deborah L. Hemming
,
Stefan Hendricks
,
J. Hicks
,
Hugo G. Hidalgo
,
Martin Hirschi
,
Shu-peng Ho
,
W. Hobbs
,
Robert M. Holmes
,
Robert Holzworth
,
Filip Hrbáček
,
Guojie Hu
,
Zeng-Zhen Hu
,
Boyin Huang
,
Hongjie Huang
,
Dale F. Hurst
,
Iolanda Ialongo
,
Antje Inness
,
Ketil Isaksen
,
Masayoshi Ishii
,
Gerardo Jadra
,
Svetlana Jevrejeva
,
Viju O. John
,
W. Johns
,
Bjørn Johnsen
,
Bryan Johnson
,
Gregory C. Johnson
,
Philip D. Jones
,
Timothy Jones
,
Simon A. Josey
,
G. Jumaux
,
Robert Junod
,
Andreas Kääb
,
K. Kabidi
,
Johannes W. Kaiser
,
Robb S.A. Kaler
,
Lars Kaleschke
,
Viktor Kaufmann
,
Amin Fazl Kazemi
,
Linda M. Keller
,
Andreas Kellerer-Pirklbauer
,
Mike Kendon
,
John Kennedy
,
Elizabeth C. Kent
,
Kenneth Kerr
,
Valentina Khan
,
Mai Van Khiem
,
Richard Kidd
,
Mi Ju Kim
,
Seong-Joong Kim
,
Zak Kipling
,
Philip J. Klotzbach
,
John A. Knaff
,
Akash Koppa
,
Natalia N. Korshunova
,
Benjamin M. Kraemer
,
Natalya A. Kramarova
,
A. C. Kruger
,
Andries Kruger
,
Arun Kumar
,
Michelle L’Heureux
,
Sofia La Fuente
,
Alo Laas
,
Zachary M. Labe
,
Rick Lader
,
Mónika Lakatos
,
Kaisa Lakkala
,
Hoang Phuc Lam
,
Xin Lan
,
Peter Landschützer
,
Chris W. Landsea
,
Timothy Lang
,
Matthias Lankhorst
,
Kathleen O. Lantz
,
Mark J. Lara
,
Waldo Lavado-Casimiro
,
David A. Lavers
,
Matthew A. Lazzara
,
Thierry Leblanc
,
Tsz-Cheung Lee
,
Eric M. Leibensperger
,
Chris Lennard
,
Eric Leuliette
,
Kinson H. Y. Leung
,
Jan L. Lieser
,
Tanja Likso
,
I-I. Lin
,
Jackie Lindsey
,
Yakun Liu
,
Ricardo Locarnini
,
Norman G. Loeb
,
Bryant D. Loomis
,
Andrew M. Lorrey
,
Diego Loyola
,
Rui Lu
,
Rick Lumpkin
,
Jing-Jia Luo
,
Kari Luojus
,
John M. Lyman
,
Stephen C. Maberly
,
Matthew J. Macander
,
Michael MacFerrin
,
Graeme A. MacGilchrist
,
Michelle L. MacLennan
,
Remi Madelon
,
Andrew D. Magee
,
Florence Magnin
,
Jostein Mamen
,
Ken D. Mankoff
,
Gloria L. Manney
,
Izolda Marcinonienė
,
Jose A. Marengo
,
Mohammadi Marjan
,
Ana E. Martínez
,
Robert A. Massom
,
Shin-Ichiro Matsuzaki
,
Linda May
,
Michael Mayer
,
Matthew R. Mazloff
,
Stephanie A. McAfee
,
C. McBride
,
Matthew F. McCabe
,
James W. McClelland
,
Michael J. McPhaden
,
Tim R. Mcvicar
,
Carl A. Mears
,
Walter N. Meier
,
A. Mekonnen
,
Annette Menzel
,
Christopher J. Merchant
,
Mark A. Merrifield
,
Michael F. Meyer
,
Tristan Meyers
,
David E. Mikolajczyk
,
John B. Miller
,
Diego G. Miralles
,
Noelia Misevicius
,
Alexey Mishonov
,
Gary T. Mitchum
,
Ben I. Moat
,
Leander Moesinger
,
Aurel Moise
,
Jorge Molina-Carpio
,
Ghislaine Monet
,
Stephan A. Montzka
,
Twila A. Moon
,
G. W. K. Moore
,
Natali Mora
,
Johnny Morán
,
Claire Morehen
,
Colin Morice
,
A. E. Mostafa
,
Thomas L. Mote
,
Ivan Mrekaj
,
Lawrence Mudryk
,
Jens Mühle
,
Rolf Müller
,
David Nance
,
Eric R. Nash
,
R. Steven Nerem
,
Paul A. Newman
,
Julien P. Nicolas
,
Juan J. Nieto
,
Jeannette Noetzli
,
Ben Noll
,
Taylor Norton
,
Kelsey E. Nyland
,
John O’Keefe
,
Naomi Ochwat
,
Yoshinori Oikawa
,
Yuka Okunaka
,
Timothy J. Osborn
,
James E. Overland
,
Taejin Park
,
Mark Parrington
,
Julia K. Parrish
,
Richard J. Pasch
,
Reynaldo Pascual Ramírez
,
Cécile Pellet
,
Mauri S. Pelto
,
Melita Perčec Tadić
,
Donald K. Perovich
,
Guðrún Nína Petersen
,
Kyle Petersen
,
Irina Petropavlovskikh
,
Alek Petty
,
Alexandre B. Pezza
,
Luciano P. Pezzi
,
Coda Phillips
,
Gareth K. Phoenix
,
Don Pierson
,
Izidine Pinto
,
Vanda Pires
,
Michael Pitts
,
Stephen Po-Chedley
,
Paolo Pogliotti
,
Kristin Poinar
,
Lorenzo Polvani
,
Wolfgang Preimesberger
,
Colin Price
,
Merja Pulkkanen
,
Sarah G. Purkey
,
Bo Qiu
,
Kenny Quisbert
,
Willy R. Quispe
,
M. Rajeevan
,
Andrea M. Ramos
,
William J. Randel
,
Mika Rantanen
,
Marilyn N. Raphael
,
James Reagan
,
Cristina Recalde
,
Phillip Reid
,
Samuel Rémy
,
Alejandra J. Reyes Kohler
,
Lucrezia Ricciardulli
,
Andrew D. Richardson
,
Robert Ricker
,
David A. Robinson
,
M. Robjhon
,
Willy Rocha
,
Matthew Rodell
,
Esteban Rodriguez Guisado
,
Nemesio Rodriguez-Fernandez
,
Vladimir E. Romanovsky
,
Josyane Ronchail
,
Matthew Rosencrans
,
Karen H. Rosenlof
,
Benjamin Rösner
,
Henrieke Rösner
,
Alexei Rozanov
,
Jozef Rozkošný
,
Frans Rubek
,
Olga O. Rusanovskaya
,
This Rutishauser
,
C. T. Sabeerali
,
Roberto Salinas
,
Ahira Sánchez-Lugo
,
Michelle L. Santee
,
Marcelo Santini
,
Katsunari Sato
,
Parnchai Sawaengphokhai
,
A. Sayouri
,
Theodore Scambos
,
Verena Schenzinger
,
Semjon Schimanke
,
Robert W. Schlegel
,
Claudia Schmid
,
Martin Schmid
,
Udo Schneider
,
Carl J. Schreck
,
Cristina Schultz
,
Science Systems and Applications Inc. Science Systems and Applications Inc.
,
Z. T. Segele
,
Serhat Sensoy
,
Shawn P. Serbin
,
Mark C. Serreze
,
Amsari Mudzakir Setiawan
,
Fumi Sezaki
,
Sapna Sharma
,
Jonathan D. Sharp
,
Gay Sheffield
,
Jia-Rui Shi
,
Lei Shi
,
Alexander I. Shiklomanov
,
Nikolay I. Shiklomanov
,
Svetlana V. Shimaraeva
,
R. Shukla
,
David A. Siegel
,
Eugene A. Silow
,
F. Sima
,
Adrian J. Simmons
,
David A. Smeed
,
Adam Smith
,
Sharon L. Smith
,
Brian J. Soden
,
Viktoria Sofieva
,
Everaldo Souza
,
Tim H. Sparks
,
Jacqueline Spence-Hemmings
,
Robert G. M. Spencer
,
Sandra Spillane
,
O. P. Sreejith
,
A. K. Srivastava
,
Paul W. Stackhouse Jr.
,
Sharon Stammerjohn
,
Ryan Stauffer
,
Wolfgang Steinbrecht
,
Andrea K. Steiner
,
Jose L. Stella
,
Tannecia S. Stephenson
,
Pietro Stradiotti
,
Susan E. Strahan
,
Dmitry A. Streletskiy
,
Divya E. Surendran
,
Anya Suslova
,
Tove Svendby
,
William Sweet
,
Kiyotoshi Takahashi
,
Kazuto Takemura
,
Suzanne E. Tank
,
Michael A. Taylor
,
Marco Tedesco
,
Stephen J. Thackeray
,
W. M. Thiaw
,
Emmanuel Thibert
,
Richard L. Thoman
,
Andrew F. Thompson
,
Philip R. Thompson
,
Xiangshan Tian-Kunze
,
Mary-Louise Timmermans
,
Maxim A. Timofeyev
,
Skie Tobin
,
Hans Tømmervik
,
Kleareti Tourpali
,
Lidia Trescilo
,
Mikhail Tretiakov
,
Blair C. Trewin
,
Joaquin A. Triñanes
,
Adrian Trotman
,
Ryan E. Truchelut
,
Luke D. Trusel
,
Mari R. Tye
,
Ronald van der A
,
Robin van der Schalie
,
Gerard van der Schrier
,
Cedric J. Van Meerbeeck
,
Arnold J.H. van vliet
,
Ahad Vazife
,
Piet Verburg
,
Jean-Paul Vernier
,
Isaac J. Vimont
,
Katrina Virts
,
Sebastián Vivero
,
Denis L. Volkov
,
Holger Vömel
,
Russell S. Vose
,
Donald A. Walker
,
John E. Walsh
,
Bin Wang
,
Hui Wang
,
Muyin Wang
,
Ray H. J. Wang
,
Xinyue Wang
,
Rik Wanninkhof
,
Taran Warnock
,
Mark Weber
,
Melinda Webster
,
Adrian Wehrlé
,
Caihong Wen
,
Toby K. Westberry
,
Matthew J. Widlansky
,
David N. Wiese
,
Jeannette D. Wild
,
Jonathan D. Wille
,
An Willems
,
Kate M. Willett
,
Earle Williams
,
J. Willis
,
Takmeng Wong
,
Kimberly M. Wood
,
Richard Iestyn Woolway
,
Ping-Ping Xie
,
Dedi Yang
,
Xungang Yin
,
Ziqi Yin
,
Zhenzhong Zeng
,
Huai-min Zhang
,
Li Zhang
,
Peiqun Zhang
,
Lin Zhao
,
Xinjia Zhou
,
Zhiwei Zhu
,
Jerry R. Ziemke
,
Markus Ziese
,
Scott Zolkos
,
Ruxandra M. Zotta
,
Cheng-Zhi Zou
,
Jessicca Allen
,
Amy V. Camper
,
Bridgette O. Haley
,
Gregory Hammer
,
S. Elizabeth Love-Brotak
,
Laura Ohlmann
,
Lukas Noguchi
,
Deborah B. Riddle
, and
Sara W. Veasey

Abstract

—J. BLUNDEN, T. BOYER, AND E. BARTOW-GILLIES

Earth’s global climate system is vast, complex, and intricately interrelated. Many areas are influenced by global-scale phenomena, including the “triple dip” La Niña conditions that prevailed in the eastern Pacific Ocean nearly continuously from mid-2020 through all of 2022; by regional phenomena such as the positive winter and summer North Atlantic Oscillation that impacted weather in parts the Northern Hemisphere and the negative Indian Ocean dipole that impacted weather in parts of the Southern Hemisphere; and by more localized systems such as high-pressure heat domes that caused extreme heat in different areas of the world. Underlying all these natural short-term variabilities are long-term climate trends due to continuous increases since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the atmospheric concentrations of Earth’s major greenhouse gases.

In 2022, the annual global average carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere rose to 417.1±0.1 ppm, which is 50% greater than the pre-industrial level. Global mean tropospheric methane abundance was 165% higher than its pre-industrial level, and nitrous oxide was 24% higher. All three gases set new record-high atmospheric concentration levels in 2022.

Sea-surface temperature patterns in the tropical Pacific characteristic of La Niña and attendant atmospheric patterns tend to mitigate atmospheric heat gain at the global scale, but the annual global surface temperature across land and oceans was still among the six highest in records dating as far back as the mid-1800s. It was the warmest La Niña year on record. Many areas observed record or near-record heat. Europe as a whole observed its second-warmest year on record, with sixteen individual countries observing record warmth at the national scale. Records were shattered across the continent during the summer months as heatwaves plagued the region. On 18 July, 104 stations in France broke their all-time records. One day later, England recorded a temperature of 40°C for the first time ever. China experienced its second-warmest year and warmest summer on record. In the Southern Hemisphere, the average temperature across New Zealand reached a record high for the second year in a row. While Australia’s annual temperature was slightly below the 1991–2020 average, Onslow Airport in Western Australia reached 50.7°C on 13 January, equaling Australia's highest temperature on record.

While fewer in number and locations than record-high temperatures, record cold was also observed during the year. Southern Africa had its coldest August on record, with minimum temperatures as much as 5°C below normal over Angola, western Zambia, and northern Namibia. Cold outbreaks in the first half of December led to many record-low daily minimum temperature records in eastern Australia.

The effects of rising temperatures and extreme heat were apparent across the Northern Hemisphere, where snow-cover extent by June 2022 was the third smallest in the 56-year record, and the seasonal duration of lake ice cover was the fourth shortest since 1980. More frequent and intense heatwaves contributed to the second-greatest average mass balance loss for Alpine glaciers around the world since the start of the record in 1970. Glaciers in the Swiss Alps lost a record 6% of their volume. In South America, the combination of drought and heat left many central Andean glaciers snow free by mid-summer in early 2022; glacial ice has a much lower albedo than snow, leading to accelerated heating of the glacier. Across the global cryosphere, permafrost temperatures continued to reach record highs at many high-latitude and mountain locations.

In the high northern latitudes, the annual surface-air temperature across the Arctic was the fifth highest in the 123-year record. The seasonal Arctic minimum sea-ice extent, typically reached in September, was the 11th-smallest in the 43-year record; however, the amount of multiyear ice—ice that survives at least one summer melt season—remaining in the Arctic continued to decline. Since 2012, the Arctic has been nearly devoid of ice more than four years old.

In Antarctica, an unusually large amount of snow and ice fell over the continent in 2022 due to several landfalling atmospheric rivers, which contributed to the highest annual surface mass balance, 15% to 16% above the 1991–2020 normal, since the start of two reanalyses records dating to 1980. It was the second-warmest year on record for all five of the long-term staffed weather stations on the Antarctic Peninsula. In East Antarctica, a heatwave event led to a new all-time record-high temperature of −9.4°C—44°C above the March average—on 18 March at Dome C. This was followed by the collapse of the critically unstable Conger Ice Shelf. More than 100 daily low sea-ice extent and sea-ice area records were set in 2022, including two new all-time annual record lows in net sea-ice extent and area in February.

Across the world’s oceans, global mean sea level was record high for the 11th consecutive year, reaching 101.2 mm above the 1993 average when satellite altimetry measurements began, an increase of 3.3±0.7 over 2021. Globally-averaged ocean heat content was also record high in 2022, while the global sea-surface temperature was the sixth highest on record, equal with 2018. Approximately 58% of the ocean surface experienced at least one marine heatwave in 2022. In the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand’s longest continuous marine heatwave was recorded.

A total of 85 named tropical storms were observed during the Northern and Southern Hemisphere storm seasons, close to the 1991–2020 average of 87. There were three Category 5 tropical cyclones across the globe—two in the western North Pacific and one in the North Atlantic. This was the fewest Category 5 storms globally since 2017. Globally, the accumulated cyclone energy was the lowest since reliable records began in 1981. Regardless, some storms caused massive damage. In the North Atlantic, Hurricane Fiona became the most intense and most destructive tropical or post-tropical cyclone in Atlantic Canada’s history, while major Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people and became the third costliest disaster in the United States, causing damage estimated at $113 billion U.S. dollars. In the South Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai dropped 2044 mm of rain at Commerson Crater in Réunion. The storm also impacted Madagascar, where 121 fatalities were reported.

As is typical, some areas around the world were notably dry in 2022 and some were notably wet. In August, record high areas of land across the globe (6.2%) were experiencing extreme drought. Overall, 29% of land experienced moderate or worse categories of drought during the year. The largest drought footprint in the contiguous United States since 2012 (63%) was observed in late October. The record-breaking megadrought of central Chile continued in its 13th consecutive year, and 80-year record-low river levels in northern Argentina and Paraguay disrupted fluvial transport. In China, the Yangtze River reached record-low values. Much of equatorial eastern Africa had five consecutive below-normal rainy seasons by the end of 2022, with some areas receiving record-low precipitation totals for the year. This ongoing 2.5-year drought is the most extensive and persistent drought event in decades, and led to crop failure, millions of livestock deaths, water scarcity, and inflated prices for staple food items.

In South Asia, Pakistan received around three times its normal volume of monsoon precipitation in August, with some regions receiving up to eight times their expected monthly totals. Resulting floods affected over 30 million people, caused over 1700 fatalities, led to major crop and property losses, and was recorded as one of the world’s costliest natural disasters of all time. Near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petrópolis received 530 mm in 24 hours on 15 February, about 2.5 times the monthly February average, leading to the worst disaster in the city since 1931 with over 230 fatalities.

On 14–15 January, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano in the South Pacific erupted multiple times. The injection of water into the atmosphere was unprecedented in both magnitude—far exceeding any previous values in the 17-year satellite record—and altitude as it penetrated into the mesosphere. The amount of water injected into the stratosphere is estimated to be 146±5 Terragrams, or ∼10% of the total amount in the stratosphere. It may take several years for the water plume to dissipate, and it is currently unknown whether this eruption will have any long-term climate effect.

Open access