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T. N. Krishnamurti, A. K. Mishra, A. Chakraborty, and M. Rajeevan

Abstract

The availability of daily observed rainfall estimates at a resolution of 0.5° × 0.5° latitude–longitude from a collection of over 2100 rain gauge sites over India provided the possibility for carrying out 5-day precipitation forecasts using a downscaling and a multimodel superensemble methodology. This paper addresses the forecast performances and regional distribution of predicted monsoon rains from the downscaling and from the addition of a multimodel superensemble. The extent of rainfall prediction improvements that arise above those of a current suite of operational models are discussed. The design of two algorithms one for downscaling and the other for the construction of multimodel superensembles are both based on the principle of least squares minimization of errors. That combination is shown to provide a robust forecast product through day 5 of the forecast for regional rains over the Indian monsoon region. The equitable threat scores from the downscaled superensemble over India well exceed those noted from the conventional superensemble and member models at current operational large-scale resolution.

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T. N. Krishnamurti, C. Gnanaseelan, A. K. Mishra, and A. Chakraborty

Abstract

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite supplemented with the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program (DMSP) microwave dataset provides accurate rain-rate estimates. Furthermore, infrared radiances from the geostationary satellites provide the possibility for mapping the diurnal change of tropical rainfall. Modeling of the phase and amplitude of the tropical rainfall is the theme of this paper. The present study utilizes a suite of global multimodels that are identical in all respects except for their cumulus parameterization algorithms. Six different cumulus parameterizations are tested in this study. These include the Florida State University (FSU) Modified Kuo Scheme (KUO), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Relaxed Arakawa–Schubert Scheme (RAS1), Naval Research Laboratory–Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NRL–NOGAPS) Relaxed Arakawa–Schubert Scheme (RAS2), NCEP Simplified Arakawa–Schubert Scheme (SAS), NCAR Zhang–McFarlane Scheme (ZM), and NRL–NOGAPS Emanuel Scheme (ECS). The authors carried out nearly 600 experiments with these six versions of the T170 Florida State University global spectral model. These are 5-day NWP experiments where the diurnal change datasets were archived at 3-hourly intervals. This study includes the estimation of skills of the phase and amplitudes of the diurnal rain using these member models, their ensemble mean, a multimodel superensemble, and those from a single unified model. Test results are presented for the global tropics and for some specific regions where the member models show difficulty in predicting the diurnal change of rainfall. The main contribution is the considerable improvement of the modeling of diurnal rain by deploying a multimodel superensemble and by constructing a single unified model. The authors also present a comparison of these findings on the modeling of diurnal rain from another suite of multimodels that utilized different versions of cloud radiation algorithms (instead of different cumulus parameterization schemes) toward defining the suite of multimodels. The principal result is that the superensemble does provide a future forecast for the total daily rain and for the diurnal change of rain through day 5 that is superior to forecasts provided by the best model. The training of the superensemble with good observed estimates of rain, such as those from TRMM, is necessary for such forecasts.

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S. K. Mishra, V. B. Rao, and M. A. Gan

Abstract

Horizontal structure and evolution of large-scale flow and an embedded synoptic-scale cyclonic vortex over northeast Brazil as separate systems and dynamical interaction between them are studied at 200 hPa. A quasi-stationary cyclonic vortex with its average position at 10°S and 35°W that formed and remained active during 5–10 January 1993 is selected for the investigation. The evolution of large-scale flow in the prevortex period 1–4 January is also explored. An efficient and effective scale separation technique is developed and used to separate the large-scale flow and embedded synoptic-scale vortex.

It is shown that a strong positive shear zone developed in the latitude domain 17.5°–7.5°S, within the South Atlantic trough region before the vortex formation. The shear zone has a characteristic meridional (zonal) scale of 1000 km (3000 km) and satisfies strongly the necessary condition for barotropic instability. It is identified that the development of a strong shear zone is associated with the intensification of a Bolivian anticyclone and associated ridge and their eastward shift, and intensification of the South Atlantic trough, east–west orientation of the Atlantic trough, and the presence of a transient trough over the equatorial Atlantic Ocean.

The average structure of vortex including zonal and meridional characteristic scales is computed from the synoptic bandpass flow. The vortex is identified as a nonlinear wave packet with an average zonal wavelength of 2750 km and it is confined to a latitude belt of about 17.5°. The vortex shows a strong westward tilt with latitude; the convergence zone is located to its southwest and it is a weak cold cored system. Maximum cyclonic vorticity of the vortex is −3.24 × 10−5 s−1, which is comparable to the value for embedding flow.

The momentum transports due to the vortex, large-scale eddy, and the vortex–large-scale eddy interaction are computed. It is found that the vortex and vortex–large-scale eddy westerly momentum transports are southward, down the gradient of embedding zonal flow, and their divergence (convergence) is located over the latitudes of large scale westerlies (easterlies). The sensible heat transports are weak. It is noted that the vortex–large-scale flow interaction leads to the weakening of the shear zone and restoration of the large circulation features to their January 1993 mean configuration, which have undergone significant deviation during the prevortex period. The signature of vortex–large-scale interaction is also seen in the evolution of dynamical parameters q y and n 2 (square of refractive index parameter).

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T. N. Krishnamurti, Arindam Chakraborty, and A. K. Mishra

Abstract

Recently the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) project office made available a new product called the convective–stratiform heating (CSH). These are the datasets for vertical profiles of diabatic heating rates (the apparent heat source). These observed estimates of heating are obtained from the TRMM satellite’s microwave radiances and the precipitation radar. The importance of such datasets for defining the vertical distribution of heating was largely the initiative of Dr. W.-K. Tao from NASA’s Goddard Laboratory. The need to examine how well some of the current cumulus parameterization schemes perform toward describing the amplitude and the three-dimensional distributions of heating is addressed in this paper. Three versions of the Florida State University (FSU) global atmospheric model are run that utilize different versions of cumulus parameterization schemes; namely, modified Kuo parameterization, simple Arakawa–Schubert parameterization, and Zhang–McFarlane parameterization. The Kuo-type scheme used here relies on moisture convergence and tends to overestimate the rainfall generally compared to the TRMM estimates. The other schemes used here show only a slight overestimate of rain rates compared to TRMM; those invoke mass fluxes that are less stringent in this regard in defining cloud volumes. The mass flux schemes do carry out a total moisture budget for a vertical column model and include all components of the moisture budget and are not limited to the horizontal convergence of moisture. The authors carry out a numerical experimentation that includes over a hundred experiments from each of these models; these experiments differ only in their use of the cumulus parameterization. The rest of the model physics, resolution, and initial states are kept the same for each set of 117 forecasts. The strategy for this experimentation follows the authors’ previous studies with the FSU multimodel superensemble. This includes a 100-day training and a 17-day forecast phase, both of which include a large number of forecast experiments. The training phase provides a useful statistical database for tagging the systematic errors of the respective models. The forecast phase is designed to minimize the collective bias errors of these member models. In these forecasts the authors also include the ensemble mean and the multimodel superensemble. In this paper the authors examine model errors in their representations of the heating (amplitude, vertical level of maximum, and the geographical distributions). The main message of this study is that some cumulus parameterization schemes overestimate the amplitude of heating, whereas others carry lower values. The models also exhibit large errors in the placement of the vertical level of maximum heating. Some significant errors were also found in the geographical distributions of heating. The ensemble mean largely mimics the model features and also carries some large errors. The superensemble is more selective in reducing the three-dimensional collective bias errors of the models and provides the best short range forecasts, through hour 60, for the heating. This study shows that it is possible to diagnose some of the modeling errors in the heating for individual member models and that information can be important for correcting such features.

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Akiyo Yatagai, T. N. Krishnamurti, Vinay Kumar, A. K. Mishra, and Anu Simon

Abstract

A multimodel superensemble developed by the Florida State University combines multiple model forecasts based on their past performance (training phase) to make a consensus forecast. Because observed precipitation reflects local characteristics such as orography, quantitative high-resolution precipitation products are useful for downscaling coarse model outputs. The Asian Precipitation–Highly-Resolved Observational Data Integration Toward Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B43 products are used for downscaling and as training data in the superensemble training phase. Seven years (1998–2004) of monthly precipitation (June–August) over the Asian monsoon region (0°–50°N, 60°–150°E) and results of four coupled climate models were used. TRMM 3B43 was adjusted by APHRODITE (m-TRMM). For seasonal climate forecasts, a synthetic superensemble technique was used. A cross-validation technique was adopted, in which the year to be forecast was excluded from the calculations for obtaining the regression coefficients. The principal results are as follows: 1) Seasonal forecasts of Asian monsoon precipitation were considerably improved by use of APHRODITE rain gauge–based data or the m-TRMM product. These forecasts are much superior to those from the best model of the suite and ensemble mean. 2) Use of a statistical downscaling and synthetic superensemble method for multimodel forecasts of seasonal climate significantly improved precipitation prediction at higher resolution. This is confirmed by cross-evaluation of superensemble with using other observation data than the data used in the training phase. 3) Availability of a dense rain gauge network–based analysis was essential for the success of this work.

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K. J. Evans, P. H. Lauritzen, S. K. Mishra, R. B. Neale, M. A. Taylor, and J. J. Tribbia

Abstract

The authors evaluate the climate produced by the Community Climate System Model, version 4, running with the new spectral element atmospheric dynamical core option. The spectral element method is configured to use a cubed-sphere grid, providing quasi-uniform resolution over the sphere and increased parallel scalability and removing the need for polar filters. It uses a fourth-order accurate spatial discretization that locally conserves mass and total energy. Using the Atmosphere Model Intercomparison Project protocol, the results from the spectral element dynamical core are compared with those produced by the default finite-volume dynamical core and with observations. Even though the two dynamical cores are quite different, their simulated climates are remarkably similar. When compared with observations, both models have strengths and weaknesses but have nearly identical root-mean-square errors and the largest biases show little sensitivity to the dynamical core. The spectral element core does an excellent job reproducing the atmospheric kinetic energy spectra, including fully capturing the observed Nastrom–Gage transition when running at 0.125° resolution.

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Saroj K. Mishra, Mark A. Taylor, Ramachandran D. Nair, Peter H. Lauritzen, Henry M. Tufo, and Joseph J. Tribbia

Abstract

The NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4), includes a new dynamical core option based on NCAR’s High-Order Method Modeling Environment (HOMME). HOMME is a petascale-capable high-order element-based conservative dynamical core developed on the cubed-sphere grid. Initial simulations have been completed in an aquaplanet configuration of the Community Atmosphere Model, version 4 (CAM4), the atmospheric component of CCSM4. The authors examined the results of this simulation and assessed its fidelity in simulating rainfall, which is one of the most important components of the earth’s climate system. For this they compared the results from two other dynamical cores of CAM4: the finite volume (FV) and Eulerian (EUL).

Instantaneous features of rainfall in HOMME are similar to FV and EUL. Similar to EUL and FV, HOMME simulates a single-peak intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over the equator. The strength of the ITCZ is found to be almost the same in HOMME and EUL but more in FV. It is observed that in HOMME and EUL, there is higher surface evaporation, which supplies more moisture to the deep tropics and gives more rainfall over the ITCZ. The altitude of maximum precipitation is found to be at almost the same level in all three dynamical cores. The eastward propagation of rainfall bands is organized and more prominent in FV and HOMME than in EUL. The phase speed of the eastward propagation in HOMME is found to be higher than in FV. The results show that, in general, the rainfall simulated by HOMME falls in a regime between that of FV and EUL. Hence, they conclude that the key aspects of rainfall simulation with HOMME falls into an acceptable range, as compared to the existing dynamical cores used in the model.

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P. Klein, T. A. Bonin, J. F. Newman, D. D. Turner, P. B. Chilson, C. E. Wainwright, W. G. Blumberg, S. Mishra, M. Carney, E. P. Jacobsen, S. Wharton, and R. K. Newsom

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of the Lower Atmospheric Boundary Layer Experiment (LABLE), which included two measurement campaigns conducted at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program Southern Great Plains site in Oklahoma during 2012 and 2013. LABLE was conducted as a collaborative effort between the University of Oklahoma (OU), the National Severe Storms Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and the ARM program. LABLE can be considered unique in that it was designed as a multiphase, low-cost, multiagency collaboration. Graduate students served as principal investigators and took the lead in designing and conducting experiments aimed at examining boundary layer processes.

The main objective of LABLE was to study turbulent phenomena in the lowest 2 km of the atmosphere over heterogeneous terrain using a variety of novel atmospheric profiling techniques. Several instruments from OU and LLNL were deployed to augment the suite of in situ and remote sensing instruments at the ARM site. The complementary nature of the deployed instruments with respect to resolution and height coverage provides a near-complete picture of the dynamic and thermodynamic structure of the atmospheric boundary layer. This paper provides an overview of the experiment including 1) instruments deployed, 2) sampling strategies, 3) parameters observed, and 4) student involvement. To illustrate these components, the presented results focus on one particular aspect of LABLE: namely, the study of the nocturnal boundary layer and the formation and structure of nocturnal low-level jets. During LABLE, low-level jets were frequently observed and they often interacted with mesoscale atmospheric disturbances such as frontal passages.

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