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D. Lohar and B. Pal

Abstract

The present work is on the modification of climatic variables, such as rainfall, as a result of change in land use during the premonsoon period over the southern part of West Bengal, India. Data analysis supports a decreasing tendency in rainfall during the recent years. As a possible factor behind such change, a significant increase in agricultural activity during recent years in coastal and inland regions has been stressed. The increase in soil moisture as a result of irrigation hinders the development and intensity of the sea-breeze circulation. The low-level moisture supply also decreases, which is an essential criterion for the formation of premonsoon thunderstorms, that is, northwesters. So, the increased vegetation or soil moisture is not always likely to increase rainfall activity; rather, mesoscale effects may be more important in some specific areas.

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Jeremy S. Pal and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir

Abstract

In this paper, the key pathways and mechanisms through which soil moisture conditions affect future rainfall over the U.S. Midwest are investigated using a regional climate model. A series of numerical experiments are performed to identify these pathways using the drought of 1988 and flood of 1993 as representative events.

The results suggest that the soil moisture–rainfall feedback is an important mechanism for hydrologic persistence during the late spring and summer over the midwestern United States. They indicate that the feedback between soil moisture and subsequent rainfall played a significant role in enhancing the persistence of the drought of 1988 and the flood of 1993. It is found that there is a pronounced asymmetry in the sensitivity of simulated rainfall to specified initial soil moisture. The asymmetry acts to favor a stronger soil moisture–rainfall feedback during drought conditions as opposed to flood conditions.

Detailed analyses of the simulations indicate that the impact of soil moisture on both the energy and water budgets is crucial in determining the strength of the soil moisture–rainfall feedback. Anomalously high soil moisture tends to 1) increase the flux of high moist static energy air into the planetary boundary layer from the surface via an increase in net surface radiation, 2) reduce the planetary boundary layer height thus increasing the moist static energy per unit mass of air, and 3) reduce the amount of entrained air of low moist static energy from above the planetary boundary layer. Each of these effects are additive and combine to increase the moist static energy per unit mass of air in the planetary boundary layer. This increase results in an increase in the frequency and magnitude of convective rainfall events and a positive feedback between soil moisture and subsequent rainfall.

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Jonathan M. Winter, Jeremy S. Pal, and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir

Abstract

A description of the coupling of Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS) to Regional Climate Model version 3 (RegCM3) is presented. IBIS introduces several key advantages to RegCM3, most notably vegetation dynamics, the coexistence of multiple plant functional types in the same grid cell, more sophisticated plant phenology, plant competition, explicit modeling of soil/plant biogeochemistry, and additional soil and snow layers.

A single subroutine was created that allows RegCM3 to use IBIS for surface physics calculations. A revised initialization scheme was implemented for RegCM3–IBIS, including an IBIS-specific prescription of vegetation and soil properties.

To illustrate the relative strengths and weaknesses of RegCM3–IBIS, one 4-yr numerical experiment was completed to assess ability of both RegCM3–IBIS (with static vegetation) and RegCM3 with its native land surface model, Biosphere–Atmosphere Transfer Scheme 1e (RegCM3–BATS1e), to simulate the energy and water budgets. Each model was evaluated using the NASA Surface Radiation Budget, FLUXNET micrometeorological tower observations, and Climate Research Unit Time Series 2.0. RegCM3–IBIS and RegCM3–BATS1e simulate excess shortwave radiation incident and absorbed at the surface, especially during the summer months. RegCM3–IBIS limits evapotranspiration, which allows for the correct estimation of latent heat flux, but increases surface temperature, sensible heat flux, and net longwave radiation. RegCM3–BATS1e better simulates temperature, net longwave radiation, and sensible heat flux, but systematically overestimates latent heat flux. This objective comparison of two different land surface models will help guide future adjustments to surface physics schemes within RegCM3.

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D. Jagadheesha, B. Simon, P-K. Pal, P. C. Joshi, and A. Maheshwari

Abstract

An empirical technique is proposed to obtain temperature and humidity profiles over the tropics using radio occultation refractivity profiles and surface/available lower-altitude temperature and pressure measurements over humid tropical regions. The technique is tested on a large number of diverse radiosonde-derived refractivity profiles over the tropics (30°S–30°N) and selected Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) radio occultation refractivity profiles that have collocated radiosonde observations over the region 10°S–30°N during the boreal summer of 2006. In a number of cases, the results were in good agreement with the collocated radiosonde data. The error statistics of temperature and humidity profiles obtained from the proposed technique are discussed and compared with the previously published results from another technique and also with the results of a one-dimensional variational data assimilation (1DVAR) technique given with COSMIC data. It is found that the previously published results and proposed technique are marginally better (worse) in reproducing observed relative humidity (specific humidity) when compared to the 1DVAR technique. The proposed new technique is applied on COSMIC refractivity profiles over the Bay of Bengal during summer 2007 to derive changes in vertical thermal and moisture changes in the troposphere between active and break phases of the monsoon pattern and many of the observed features are captured reasonably well.

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C. M. Platt, S. A. Young, A. I. Carswell, S. R. Pal, M. P. McCormick, D. M. Winker, M. DelGuasta, L. Stefanutti, W. L. Eberhard, M. Hardesty, P. H. Flamant, R. Valentin, B. Forgan, G. G. Gimmestad, H. Jäger, S. S. Khmelevtsov, I. Kolev, B. Kaprieolev, Da-ren Lu, K. Sassen, V. S. Shamanaev, O. Uchino, Y. Mizuno, U. Wandinger, C. Weitkamp, A. Ansmann, and C. Wooldridge

The Experimental Cloud Lidar Pilot Study (ECLIPS) was initiated to obtain statistics on cloud-base height, extinction, optical depth, cloud brokenness, and surface fluxes. Two observational phases have taken place, in October–December 1989 and April–July 1991, with intensive 30-day periods being selected within the two time intervals. Data are being archived at NASA Langley Research Center and, once there, are readily available to the international scientific community.

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H. J. S. Fernando, E. R. Pardyjak, S. Di Sabatino, F. K. Chow, S. F. J. De Wekker, S. W. Hoch, J. Hacker, J. C. Pace, T. Pratt, Z. Pu, W. J. Steenburgh, C. D. Whiteman, Y. Wang, D. Zajic, B. Balsley, R. Dimitrova, G. D. Emmitt, C. W. Higgins, J. C. R. Hunt, J. C. Knievel, D. Lawrence, Y. Liu, D. F. Nadeau, E. Kit, B. W. Blomquist, P. Conry, R. S. Coppersmith, E. Creegan, M. Felton, A. Grachev, N. Gunawardena, C. Hang, C. M. Hocut, G. Huynh, M. E. Jeglum, D. Jensen, V. Kulandaivelu, M. Lehner, L. S. Leo, D. Liberzon, J. D. Massey, K. McEnerney, S. Pal, T. Price, M. Sghiatti, Z. Silver, M. Thompson, H. Zhang, and T. Zsedrovits

Abstract

Emerging application areas such as air pollution in megacities, wind energy, urban security, and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles have intensified scientific and societal interest in mountain meteorology. To address scientific needs and help improve the prediction of mountain weather, the U.S. Department of Defense has funded a research effort—the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations (MATERHORN) Program—that draws the expertise of a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, and multinational group of researchers. The program has four principal thrusts, encompassing modeling, experimental, technology, and parameterization components, directed at diagnosing model deficiencies and critical knowledge gaps, conducting experimental studies, and developing tools for model improvements. The access to the Granite Mountain Atmospheric Sciences Testbed of the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground, as well as to a suite of conventional and novel high-end airborne and surface measurement platforms, has provided an unprecedented opportunity to investigate phenomena of time scales from a few seconds to a few days, covering spatial extents of tens of kilometers down to millimeters. This article provides an overview of the MATERHORN and a glimpse at its initial findings. Orographic forcing creates a multitude of time-dependent submesoscale phenomena that contribute to the variability of mountain weather at mesoscale. The nexus of predictions by mesoscale model ensembles and observations are described, identifying opportunities for further improvements in mountain weather forecasting.

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