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O. B. Toon
,
R. P. Turco
,
D. Westphal
,
R. Malone
, and
M. Liu

Abstract

The numerical algorithms which we use to simulate the advection, diffusion, sedimentation, coagulation and condensational growth of atmospheric aerosols are described. The model can be used in one, two, or three spatial dimensions. We develop the continuity equation in a generalized horizontal and vertical coordinate system which allows the model to be quickly adapted to a wide variety of dynamical models of global or regional scale. Algorithms are developed to treat the various physical processes and the results of simulations are presented which show the strengths and weaknesses of these algorithms. Although our emphasis is on the modeling of aerosols, the work is also applicable to simulations of the transport of gases.

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I. Gultepe
,
D. O'C. Starr
,
A. J. Heymsfield
,
T. Uttal
,
T. P. Ackerman
, and
D. L. WestPhal

Abstract

Cirrus clouds that formed on 26 November and 6 December 1991 during the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Regional Experiment (FIRE) II, which took place over the Kansas region. are studied because of significant dynamic activity in the micro (<1 km) and meso γ (<25 km) scales within the cloud. Observations are obtained from the NCAR King Air, NOAA Doppler, and PSU conventional radar. For this reason coherent structures (e.g., cells, vortex) that transfer significant heat, moisture, and turbulence are analyzed using aircraft and radar observations. Aircraft data is collected at 20 Hz, and calculations are made at two different scales. Scale separation is chosen at about 1 km. A coherence analysis technique is used to specify the correlation between temperature and vertical velocity w fluctuations. A swirling coefficient, indicating spirality, is calculated to better understand cloud dynamics. Sensible heat, latent heat, and radiative fluxes are compared with each other in two scales. Results showed that dynamic activity, including w about ±1.5 m s−1, and mean sensible heat fluxes (SHFs) and latent heat fluxes (LHFs) ∼10 W m−2 is estimated to be much larger for the 26 November case compared to the 6 December case. The swirling coefficient is estimated to be larger in upper and lower levels compared to those in middle levels for both days. Individual values of SHFs and LHFs are also found to be comparable with those of FIRE I. The size of coherent structures is estimated from aircraft and radar measurements to be about 0.5 and 3.5 km.

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Ming Liu
,
Douglas L. Westphal
,
Annette L. Walker
,
Teddy R. Holt
,
Kim A. Richardson
, and
Steven D. Miller

Abstract

Dust storms are a significant weather phenomenon in the Iraq region in winter and spring. Real-time dust forecasting using the U.S. Navy’s Coupled Ocean–Atmospheric Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) with an in-line dust aerosol model was conducted for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in March and April 2003. Daily forecasts of dust mass concentration, visibility, and optical depth were produced out to 72 h on nested grids of 9-, 27-, and 81-km resolution in two-way nest interaction. In this paper, the model is described, as are examples of its application during OIF. The model performance is evaluated using ground weather reports, visibility observations, and enhanced satellite retrievals. The comparison of the model forecasts with observations for the severe dust storms of OIF shows that COAMPS predicted the arrival and retreat of the major dust events within 2 h. In most cases, COAMPS predicted the intensity (reduction in visibility) of storms with an error of less than 1 km. The forecasts of the spatial distribution of dust fronts and dust plumes were consistent with those seen in the satellite images and the corresponding cold front observations. A statistical analysis of dust-related visibility for the OIF period reveals that COAMPS generates higher bias, rms, and relative errors at the stations having high frequencies of dust storms and near the source areas. The calculation of forecast accuracy shows that COAMPS achieved a probability of dust detection of 50%–90% and a threat score of 0.3–0.55 at the stations with frequent dust storms. Overall, the model predicted more than 85% of the observed dust and nondust weather events at the stations used in the verification for the OIF period. Comparisons of the forecast rates and statistical errors for the forecasts of different lengths (12–72 h) for both dust and dynamics fields during the strong dust storm of 26 March revealed little dependence of model accuracy on forecast length, implying that the successive COAMPS forecasts were consistent for the severest OIF dust event.

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D. L. Westphal
,
T. R. Holt
,
S. W. Chang
,
N. L. Baker
,
T. F. Hogan
,
L. R. Brody
,
R. A. Godfrey
,
J. S. Goerss
,
J. A. Cummings
,
D. J. Laws
, and
C. W. Hines

Abstract

The Marine Meteorology Division of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), assisted by the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, has performed global and mesoscale reanalyses to support the study of Gulf War illness. Realistic and quantitatively accurate atmospheric conditions are needed to drive dispersion models that can predict the transport and dispersion of chemical agents that may have affected U.S. and other coalition troops in the hours and days following the demolition of chemical weapons at Khamisiyah, Iraq, at approximately 1315 UTC 10 March 1991. The reanalysis was conducted with the navy’s global and mesoscale analysis and prediction systems: the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System and the NRL Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System. A comprehensive set of observations has been collected and used in the reanalysis, including unclassified and declassified surface reports, ship and buoy reports, observations from pibal and rawinsonde, and retrievals from civilian and military satellites. The atmospheric conditions for the entire globe have been reconstructed using the global system at the effective spatial resolution of 0.75°. The atmospheric conditions over southern Iraq, Kuwait, and northern Saudi Arabia have been reconstructed using the mesoscale system at the spatial resolutions of 45, 15, and 5 km. In addition to a baseline reanalysis, perturbation analyses were also performed to estimate the atmospheric sensitivity to observational error and analysis error. The results suggest that the reanalysis has bounded the variability and that the actual atmospheric conditions were unlikely to differ significantly from the reanalysis.

The synoptic conditions at and after the time of the detonation were typical of the transitional period after a Shamal and controlled by eastward-propagating small-amplitude troughs and ridges. On the mesoscale, the conditions over the Tigris–Euphrates Valley were further modulated by the diurnal variation in the local circulations between land, the Persian Gulf, and the Zagros Mountains. The boundary layer winds at Khamisiyah were from NNW at the time of the detonation and shifted to WNW in the nocturnal boundary layer. On the second day, a strong high passed north of Khamisiyah and the winds strengthened and turned to the ESE. During the third day, the region was dominated by the approach and passage of a low pressure system and the associated front with the SE winds veering to NW.

A transport model for passive scalars was used to illustrate the sensitivity to the reanalyzed fields of potential areas of contamination. Transport calculations based on various release scenario and reanalyzed meteorological conditions suggest that the mean path of the released chemical agents was southward from Khamisiyah initially, turning westward, and eventually northwestward during the 72-h period after the demolition. Precipitation amounts in the study area were negligible and unlikely to have an effect on the nerve agent.

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D.L. Westphal
,
S. Kinne
,
P. Pilewskie
,
J.M. Alvarez
,
P. Minnis
,
D.F. Young
,
S.G. Benjamin
,
W.L. Eberhard
,
R.A. Kropfli
,
S.Y. Matrosov
,
J.B. Snider
,
T.A. Uttal
,
A.J. Heymsfield
,
G.G. Mace
,
S.H. Melfi
,
D.O'C. Starr
, and
J.J. Soden

Abstract

Observations from a wide variety of instruments and platforms are used to validate many different aspects of a three-dimensional mesoscale simulation of the dynamics, cloud microphysics, and radiative transfer of a cirrus cloud system observed on 26 November 1991 during the second cirrus field program of the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Program (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE-II) located in southeastern Kansas. The simulation was made with a mesoscale dynamical model utilizing a simplified bulk water cloud scheme and a spectral model of radiative transfer. Expressions for cirrus optical properties for solar and infrared wavelength intervals as functions of ice water content and effective particle radius are modified for the midlatitude cirrus observed during FIRE-II and are shown to compare favorably with explicit size-resolving calculations of the optical properties. Rawinsonde, Raman lidar, and satellite data are evaluated and combined to produce a time–height cross section of humidity at the central FIRE-II site for model verification. Due to the wide spacing of rawinsondes and their infrequent release, important moisture features go undetected and are absent in the conventional analyses. The upper-tropospheric humidities used for the initial conditions were generally less than 50% of those inferred from satellite data, yet over the course of a 24-h simulation the model produced a distribution that closely resembles the large-scale features of the satellite analysis. The simulated distribution and concentration of ice compares favorably with data from radar, lidar, satellite, and aircraft. Direct comparison is made between the radiative transfer simulation and data from broadband and spectral sensors and inferred quantities such as cloud albedo, optical depth, and top-of-the-atmosphere 11-µm brightness temperature, and the 6.7-µm brightness temperature. Comparison is also made with theoretical heating rates calculated using the rawinsonde data and measured ice water size distributions near the central site. For this case study, and perhaps for most other mesoscale applications, the differences between the observed and simulated radiative quantities are due more to errors in the prediction of ice water content, than to errors in the optical properties or the radiative transfer solution technique.

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