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Bárbara Tencer, Matilde Rusticucci, Phil Jones, and David Lister

This study presents a southeastern South American gridded dataset of daily minimum and maximum surface temperatures for 1961–2000. The data used for the gridding are observed daily data from meteorological stations in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay from the database of the European Community's Sixth Framework Programme A Europe–South America Network for Climate Change Assessment and Impact Studies in La Plata Basin (EU FP6 CLARIS LPB), with some additional data series. This gridded dataset is new for the region, not only for its spatial and temporal extension, but also for its temporal resolution. The region for which the gridded dataset has been developed is 20°–40°S, 45°–70°W, with a resolution of 0.5° latitude × 0.5° longitude. Since the methodology used produces an estimation of gridbox averages, the developed dataset is very useful for the validation of regional climate models. The comparison of gridded and observed data provides an evaluation of the usefulness of the interpolated data. According to monthly-mean values and daily variability, the methodology of interpolation developed during the EU FP6 ENSEMBLE-based predictions of climate changes and their impacts (ENSEMBLES) project for its application in Europe is also suitable for southeastern South America. Root-mean-square errors for the whole region are 1.77°C for minimum temperature and 1.13°C for maximum temperature. These errors are comparable to values obtained for Europe with the same methodology.

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Greg M. McFarquhar, Roland List, David R. Hudak, Robert P. Nissen, J. S. Dobbie, N. P. Tung, and T. S. Kang

Abstract

During the Joint Tropical Rain Experiment of the Malaysian Meteorological Service and the University of Toronto, pulsating raindrop ensembles, hereafter pulses, were observed in and around Penang Island. Using a Doppler radar on 25 October 1990, a periodic variation of precipitation aloft 30 km from the radar site, with an approximate 8-min period, was established and seemed to be caused by the evolution and motion of horizontal inhomogeneities existing within the same cell. On 30 October 1990, using a new volume scanning strategy with a repetition cycle of 3.5 min, pulsations of the same frequency were observed up to 3 km above the radar and at the ground by a disdrometer. High concentrations of large drops were followed by high concentrations of successively smaller drops at the ground. This provides observational evidence to support the recent argument for using a time-varying release of precipitation-sized particles to model observed pulsating rainfall.

Many cases of nonsteady rain from convective clouds displayed repetition periods of between 8 and 25 min.

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Robert Nissen, Roland List, David Hudak, Greg M. McFarquhar, R. Paul Lawson, N. P. Tung, S. K. Soo, and T. S. Kang

Abstract

For nonconvective, steady light rain with rain rates <5 mm h−1 the mean Doppler velocity of raindrop spectra was found to be constant below the melting band, when the drop-free fall speed was adjusted for pressure. The Doppler radar–weighted raindrop diameters varied from case to case from 1.5 to 2.5 mm while rain rates changed from 1.2 to 2.9 mm h−1. Significant changes of advected velocity moments were observed over periods of 4 min.

These findings were corroborated by three independent systems: a Doppler radar for establishing vertical air speed and mean terminal drop speeds [using extended Velocity Azimuth Display (EVAD) analyses], a Joss–Waldvogel disdrometer at the ground, and a Particle Measuring System (PMS) 2-DP probe flown on an aircraft. These measurements were supported by data from upper-air soundings. The reason why inferred raindrop spectra do not change with height is the negligible interaction rate between raindrops at low rain rates. At low rain rates, numerical box models of drop collisions strongly support this interpretation. It was found that increasing characteristic drop diameters are correlated with increasing rain rates.

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Zoë Thomas, Chris Turney, Rob Allan, Steve Colwell, Gail Kelly, David Lister, Philip Jones, Mark Beswick, Lisa Alexander, Tanya Lippmann, Nicholas Herold, and Richard Jones

Abstract

The sparse nature of observational records across the mid- to high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere limits the ability to place late-twentieth-century environmental changes in the context of long-term (multidecadal and centennial) variability. Historical records from subantarctic islands offer considerable potential for developing highly resolved records of change. In 1905, a whaling and meteorological station was established at Grytviken on subantarctic South Georgia in the South Atlantic (54°S, 36°W), providing near-continuous daily observations through to present day. This paper reports a new, daily observational record of temperature and precipitation from Grytviken, which is compared to regional datasets and historical reanalysis. The authors find a shift toward increasingly warmer daytime extremes commencing from the mid-twentieth century and accompanied by warmer nighttime temperatures, with an average rate of temperature rise of 0.13°C decade−1 over the period 1907–2016 (p < 0.0001). Analysis of these data and reanalysis products suggest a change of pervasive synoptic conditions across the mid- to high latitudes since the mid-twentieth century, characterized by stronger westerly airflow and associated warm föhn winds across South Georgia. This rapid rate of warming and associated declining habitat suitability has important negative implications for biodiversity, including the survival of key marine biota in the region.

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