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M. Kaluzhny and D. M. Murphy

Abstract

The authors describe a hygrometer based on a quartz crystal (QC) microbalance. The hygrometer is based on frost accumulation rather than adsorption. Previous designs are improved in two ways. First, a radial flow geometry makes it possible to quantitatively remove water from an airstream and therefore measure water vapor by measuring the rate of frost accumulation as well as by measuring the frost point. Second, a thin-film copper-constantan electrode on the QC measures the temperature of the front surface of the QC while still allowing measurement of the oscillation frequency. The hygrometer design is appropriate for frost points between about −1 00° and −40°C, and a future implementation could be used on a lightweight balloon or unmanned aerial vehicle payload.

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D. M. Murphy and P. M. Forster

Abstract

Changes in outgoing radiation are both a consequence and a cause of changes in the earth’s temperature. Spencer and Braswell recently showed that in a simple box model for the earth the regression of outgoing radiation against surface temperature gave a slope that differed from the model’s true feedback parameter. They went on to select input parameters for the box model based on observations, computed the difference for those conditions, and asserted that there is a significant bias for climate studies. This paper shows that Spencer and Braswell overestimated the difference. Differences between the regression slope and the true feedback parameter are significantly reduced when 1) a more realistic value for the ocean mixed layer depth is used, 2) a corrected standard deviation of outgoing radiation is used, and 3) the model temperature variability is computed over the same time interval as the observations. When all three changes are made, the difference between the slope and feedback parameter is less than one-tenth of that estimated by Spencer and Braswell. Absolute values of the difference for realistic cases are less than 0.05 W m−2 K−1, which is not significant for climate studies that employ regressions of outgoing radiation against temperature. Previously published results show that the difference is negligible in the Hadley Centre Slab Climate Model, version 3 (HadSM3).

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D. M. Murphy and B. L. Gary

Abstract

Remote sensing measurements of temperature fluctuations on isentropic surfaces, as well as in situ measurements, are used to show that even high-resolution trajectory calculations seriously underestimate the rate of change of temperature experienced by air parcels. Rapid temperature fluctuations will affect the nucleation of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) droplets and could promote the formation of metastable phases in PSCS. Mesoscale temperature fluctuations are large enough to produce significant departures from equilibrium in established PSCS. The large cooling rates experienced by air parcels have important implications for denitrification and dehydration: nearly all condensation nuclei should be activated when a PSC is first formed and mass must be redistributed to larger aerosols during the evolution of a PSC if denitrification is to occur.

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J. M. Fritsch, J. D. Murphy, and J. S. Kain

Abstract

A convectively generated mesoscale vortex that was instrumental in initiating and organizing five successive mesoscale convective systems over a period of three days is documented. Two of these convective systems were especially intense and resulted in widespread heavy rain with localized flooding. Based upon radar and satellite data, the detectable size of the vortex became much larger following the strong convective developments, nearly tripling its initial diameter over its three-day life cycle. During nighttime, when convection typically intensified within the vortex, movement of the system tended to slow. Following dissipation of the convection in the morning, the daytime movement accelerated.

Cross sections of potential vorticity taken through the vortex center clearly show a maximum at midlevels and a well-defined minimum directly above. The vortex and the potential vorticity maximum were essentially colocated and the system was nearly axisymmetric in the vertical. Over the three-day life cycle of the system, the strength of the vortex, as measured by the magnitude of the midlevel potential vorticity maximum, steadily increased.

At low levels, isentropic surfaces sloped upward from the rear of the potential vorticity anomaly into the vortex center so that relatively fast-moving low-level southwesterly flow, which was overtaking the slow-moving vortex from the rear, ascended as it approached the vortex center. Computations of the magnitude and duration of the ascent indicate that the lifting was sufficient to initiate new convection only if parcels realized the maximum possible ascent by flowing into the innermost region of the vortex circulation. In support of this interpretation, satellite observations show that new convection repeatedly developed near the vortex center instead of along well-defined surface outflow boundaries that encircled the convective system. A conceptual model describing the redevelopment mechanism is presented.

Analyses of the large-scale environment of the vortex show that it formed and persisted in a deep and broad zone of southwesterly flow just upstream of a synoptic-scale ridge. At tropopause levels, a large anticyclone covered the region. Potential buoyant energy in the vortex environment typically ranged from about 1000 J kg−1 at 1200 UTC to 1900 J kg−1 at 0000 UTC. Extreme values were as large as 3500 J kg−1. Except for a low-level jet, wind speed and vertical wind shear were relatively small throughout the troposphere, especially in the vortex-bearing layer (700–300 mb) where shear values were only about 0.8 × 10−3 s−1. The deep midlevel layer of weak shear provided a favorable environment for the formation and persistence of the nearly axisymmetric vertical disturbance.

Since the vortex formed and grew over land, this study demonstrates that warm-core mesovortex genesis and amplification do not require heat and moisture fluxes from a tropical marine surface. Evidently, ambient CAPE is sufficient for vortex formation and limited growth. However, since the vortex growth primarily occurred in the middle troposphere, and since anticyclonic outflow was usually present at the surface, marine surface fluxes may be necessary for transformation of such convectively generated vortices into surface-based tropical disturbances.

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R. E. Pandya, D. R. Smith, M. K. Ramamurthy, P. J. Croft, M. J. Hayes, K. A. Murphy, J. D. McDonnell, R. M. Johnson, and H. A. Friedman

The 11th American Meteorological Society (AMS) Education Symposium was held from 13 to 15 January 2002 in Orlando, Florida, as part of the 82nd Annual Meeting of the AMS. The theme of the symposium was “creating opportunities in educational outreach in the atmospheric and related sciences.” Drawing from traditional strengths in meteorology and numerous national recommendations, the presentations and posters of the symposium highlighted three opportunities for reform. These opportunities build on partnerships between diverse educational stakeholders, efforts to make science education more like scientific practice, and strategies that place the atmospheric sciences within a larger, multidisciplinary context that includes oceanography, hydrology, and earth-system science.

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Ben B. B. Booth, Glen R. Harris, James M. Murphy, Jo I. House, Chris D. Jones, David Sexton, and Stephen Sitch

Abstract

Uncertainty in the behavior of the carbon cycle is important in driving the range in future projected climate change. Previous comparisons of model responses with historical CO2 observations have suggested a strong constraint on simulated projections that could narrow the range considered plausible. This study uses a new 57-member perturbed parameter ensemble of variants of an Earth system model for three future scenarios, which 1) explores a wider range of potential climate responses than before and 2) includes the impact of past uncertainty in carbon emissions on simulated trends. These two factors represent a more complete exploration of uncertainty, although they lead to a weaker constraint on the range of future CO2 concentrations as compared to earlier studies. Nevertheless, CO2 observations are shown to be effective at narrowing the distribution, excluding 30 of 57 simulations as inconsistent with historical CO2 changes. The perturbed model variants excluded are mainly at the high end of the future projected CO2 changes, with only 8 of the 26 variants projecting RCP8.5 2100 concentrations in excess of 1100 ppm retained. Interestingly, a minority of the high-end variants were able to capture historical CO2 trends, with the large-magnitude response emerging later in the century (owing to high climate sensitivities, strong carbon feedbacks, or both). Comparison with observed CO2 is effective at narrowing both the range and distribution of projections out to the mid-twenty-first century for all scenarios and to 2100 for a scenario with low emissions.

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T. Eidhammer, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Prenni, M. D. Petters, C. H. Twohy, D. C. Rogers, J. Stith, A. Heymsfield, Z. Wang, K. A. Pratt, K. A. Prather, S. M. Murphy, J. H. Seinfeld, R. Subramanian, and S. M. Kreidenweis

Abstract

The initiation of ice in an isolated orographic wave cloud was compared with expectations based on ice nucleating aerosol concentrations and with predictions from new ice nucleation parameterizations applied in a cloud parcel model. Measurements of ice crystal number concentrations were found to be in good agreement both with measured number concentrations of ice nuclei feeding the clouds and with ice nuclei number concentrations determined from the residual nuclei of cloud particles collected by a counterflow virtual impactor. Using lognormal distributions fitted to measured aerosol size distributions and measured aerosol chemical compositions, ice nuclei and ice crystal concentrations in the wave cloud were reasonably well predicted in a 1D parcel model framework. Two different empirical parameterizations were used in the parcel model: a parameterization based on aerosol chemical type and surface area and a parameterization that links ice nuclei number concentrations to the number concentrations of particles with diameters larger than 0.5 μm. This study shows that aerosol size distribution and composition measurements can be used to constrain ice initiation by primary nucleation in models. The data and model results also suggest the likelihood that the dust particle mode of the aerosol size distribution controls the number concentrations of the heterogeneous ice nuclei, at least for the lower temperatures examined in this case.

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Stephen D. Eckermann, Jun Ma, Karl W. Hoppel, David D. Kuhl, Douglas R. Allen, James A. Doyle, Kevin C. Viner, Benjamin C. Ruston, Nancy L. Baker, Steven D. Swadley, Timothy R. Whitcomb, Carolyn A. Reynolds, Liang Xu, N. Kaifler, B. Kaifler, Iain M. Reid, Damian J. Murphy, and Peter T. Love

Abstract

A data assimilation system (DAS) is described for global atmospheric reanalysis from 0- to 100-km altitude. We apply it to the 2014 austral winter of the Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment (DEEPWAVE), an international field campaign focused on gravity wave dynamics from 0 to 100 km, where an absence of reanalysis above 60 km inhibits research. Four experiments were performed from April to September 2014 and assessed for reanalysis skill above 50 km. A four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) run specified initial background error covariances statically. A hybrid-4DVAR (HYBRID) run formed background error covariances from an 80-member forecast ensemble blended with a static estimate. Each configuration was run at low and high horizontal resolution. In addition to operational observations below 50 km, each experiment assimilated 105 observations of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) every 6 h. While all MLT reanalyses show skill relative to independent wind and temperature measurements, HYBRID outperforms 4DVAR. MLT fields at 1-h resolution (6-h analysis and 1–5-h forecasts) outperform 6-h analysis alone due to a migrating semidiurnal (SW2) tide that dominates MLT dynamics and is temporally aliased in 6-h time series. MLT reanalyses reproduce observed SW2 winds and temperatures, including phase structures and 10–15-day amplitude vacillations. The 0–100-km reanalyses reveal quasi-stationary planetary waves splitting the stratopause jet in July over New Zealand, decaying from 50 to 80 km then reintensifying above 80 km, most likely via MLT forcing due to zonal asymmetries in stratospheric gravity wave filtering.

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H. J. S. Fernando, J. Mann, J. M. L. M. Palma, J. K. Lundquist, R. J. Barthelmie, M. Belo-Pereira, W. O. J. Brown, F. K. Chow, T. Gerz, C. M. Hocut, P. M. Klein, L. S. Leo, J. C. Matos, S. P. Oncley, S. C. Pryor, L. Bariteau, T. M. Bell, N. Bodini, M. B. Carney, M. S. Courtney, E. D. Creegan, R. Dimitrova, S. Gomes, M. Hagen, J. O. Hyde, S. Kigle, R. Krishnamurthy, J. C. Lopes, L. Mazzaro, J. M. T. Neher, R. Menke, P. Murphy, L. Oswald, S. Otarola-Bustos, A. K. Pattantyus, C. Veiga Rodrigues, A. Schady, N. Sirin, S. Spuler, E. Svensson, J. Tomaszewski, D. D. Turner, L. van Veen, N. Vasiljević, D. Vassallo, S. Voss, N. Wildmann, and Y. Wang

Abstract

A grand challenge from the wind energy industry is to provide reliable forecasts on mountain winds several hours in advance at microscale (∼100 m) resolution. This requires better microscale wind-energy physics included in forecasting tools, for which field observations are imperative. While mesoscale (∼1 km) measurements abound, microscale processes are not monitored in practice nor do plentiful measurements exist at this scale. After a decade of preparation, a group of European and U.S. collaborators conducted a field campaign during 1 May–15 June 2017 in Vale Cobrão in central Portugal to delve into microscale processes in complex terrain. This valley is nestled within a parallel double ridge near the town of Perdigão with dominant wind climatology normal to the ridges, offering a nominally simple yet natural setting for fundamental studies. The dense instrument ensemble deployed covered a ∼4 km × 4 km swath horizontally and ∼10 km vertically, with measurement resolutions of tens of meters and seconds. Meteorological data were collected continuously, capturing multiscale flow interactions from synoptic to microscales, diurnal variability, thermal circulation, turbine wake and acoustics, waves, and turbulence. Particularly noteworthy are the extensiveness of the instrument array, space–time scales covered, use of leading-edge multiple-lidar technology alongside conventional tower and remote sensors, fruitful cross-Atlantic partnership, and adaptive management of the campaign. Preliminary data analysis uncovered interesting new phenomena. All data are being archived for public use.

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P. W. Thorne, R. J. Allan, L. Ashcroft, P. Brohan, R. J. H Dunn, M. J. Menne, P. R. Pearce, J. Picas, K. M. Willett, M. Benoy, S. Bronnimann, P. O. Canziani, J. Coll, R. Crouthamel, G. P. Compo, D. Cuppett, M. Curley, C. Duffy, I. Gillespie, J. Guijarro, S. Jourdain, E. C. Kent, H. Kubota, T. P. Legg, Q. Li, J. Matsumoto, C. Murphy, N. A. Rayner, J. J. Rennie, E. Rustemeier, L. C. Slivinski, V. Slonosky, A. Squintu, B. Tinz, M. A. Valente, S. Walsh, X. L. Wang, N. Westcott, K. Wood, S. D. Woodruff, and S. J. Worley

Abstract

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. Yet, currently available land meteorological data are highly fractured into various global, regional, and national holdings for different variables and time scales, from a variety of sources, and in a mixture of formats. Added to this, many data are still inaccessible for analysis and usage. To meet modern scientific and societal demands as well as emerging needs such as the provision of climate services, it is essential that we improve the management and curation of available land-based meteorological holdings. We need a comprehensive global set of data holdings, of known provenance, that is truly integrated both across essential climate variables (ECVs) and across time scales to meet the broad range of stakeholder needs. These holdings must be easily discoverable, made available in accessible formats, and backed up by multitiered user support. The present paper provides a high-level overview, based upon broad community input, of the steps that are required to bring about this integration. The significant challenge is to find a sustained means to realize this vision. This requires a long-term international program. The database that results will transform our collective ability to provide societally relevant research, analysis, and predictions in many weather- and climate-related application areas across much of the globe.

Open access