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David R. Smith

Abstract

The boundary conditions for Rotunno's numerical model which simulates tornado-like vortices are examined. In particular, the lateral boundary condition for tangential velocity and the upper boundary condition for radial and tangential velocities are considered to determine if they have any significant impact on vortex development.

The choice of the lateral boundary condition did not appear to have any real effect on the development of the vortex over the range of swirl ratios studied (0.87–2.61).

The upper boundary conditions attempt to simulate both the presence and absence of the flow-straightening baffle. The boundary condition corresponding to the baffle in place produced a distinct boundary layer in the u and v field and very strong upflow and downflow within the vortex core. When this condition is removed, there is both radial and tangential motion throughout the domain and a reduction of the vertical velocity. At small swirl ratio (S = 0.87) this boundary condition has a profound impact on the narrow vortex, producing changes in the pressure field that intensifies the vortex. At higher swirl ratio the vortex is apparently broad enough to better adjust to the changes of the upper boundary condition and, thus, experiences little change in the development of the vortex.

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David R. Smith and Joseph M. Moran

The Fifth International Conference on School and Popular Meteorological and Oceanographic Education was held 5–9 July 1999 in Ballarat and Melbourne, Australia. Conference delegates included 105 teacher educators, meteorologists, oceanographers, and science communicators representing 13 nations. Principal themes of the conference were weather and ocean studies in the primary and secondary school classroom (K–12), professional development programs for teachers in meteorology and oceanography, using the Internet for schools and public education, and communicating environmental issues to the public. Oral presentations, workshops, poster sessions, and hands-on demonstrations provided information on programs for teacher enhancement, computer-aided instruction, and access to real-time weather information.

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Steven B. Newman and David R. Smith

The Third International Conference on School and Popular Meteorological and Oceanographic Education was held 14–18 July 1993 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This conference was attended by approximately 150 educators, meteorologists, oceanographers, and government officials representing 12 countries. The themes of this conference were the role of meteorology and oceanography in the formal science education of students in grades K-12 and the enhancement of scientific literacy of the public in order to permit individuals to make better use of products and services provided by the national environmental services and the media. Sixty formal presentations plus two poster sessions and six workshops provided information on educational programs as well as a variety of classroom activities on meteorological and oceanographic topics.

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David R. Smith and Fred W. Leslie

Abstract

The Purdue Regional Objective Analysis of the Mesoscale (PROAM) is a successive correction type scheme for the analysis of surface meteorological data. The scheme is subjected to a series of experiments to evaluate its performance under a variety of analysis conditions. The tests include use of a known analytic temperature distribution to quantify error bounds for the scheme. Similar experiments were conducted using actual atmospheric data. Results indicate that the multiple pass technique increases the accuracy of the analysis. Furthermore, the tests suggest appropriate values for the analysis parameters in resolving disturbances for the data set used in this investigation.

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David R. Smith and John T. Snow
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G. Louis Smith and David R. Doelling

Abstract

The effects of the earth’s oblateness on computation of its radiation budget from satellite measurements are evaluated. For the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) data processing, geolocations of the measurements are computed in terms of the geodetic coordinate system. Using this system accounts for oblateness in the computed solar zenith angle and length of day. The geodetic and geocentric latitudes are equal at the equator and poles but differ by a maximum of 0.2° at 45° latitude. The area of each region and zone is affected by oblateness as compared to geocentric coordinates, decreasing from zero at the equator to 1.5% at the poles. The global area receiving solar radiation is calculated using the equatorial and polar axes. This area varies with solar declination by 0.0005. For radiation budget computations, the earth oblateness effects are shown to be small compared to error sources of measuring or modeling.

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David R. Smith and Ira W. Geer
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Doyle Cook and David R. Smith

Forecasts issued to the public during the 10-year period 1966–75 by the National Weather Service Forecast Office, Louisville, Ky., are compared with guidance forecasts produced by the National Meteorological Center for the same location. There was little overall change in the quality of forecasts issued to the public, but the guidance forecasts have improved to the extent that they are now of a quality comparable to those issued to the Louisville public.

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John E. Zimmerman, Phillip J. Smith, and David R. Smith

Abstract

A study of the sensitivity of a weak winter extratropical cyclone to latent heat release (LHR) is presented using 48-h simulations of the cyclone's evolution derived from three versions of the LFM model: a MOIST simulation in which full model physics was employed, a DRY simulation in which all latent heating was removed, and a DOUBLE MOIST simulation in which the effect of latent heating on the temperature field was doubled. Results indicate that a deepening cyclone occurs in the DOUBLE MOIST simulation, a near steady-state cyclone in the MOIST simulation, and a filling cyclone in the DRY simulation. Thus, for this case the presence and intensity of LHR is of critical importance to this cyclone's intensification. In addition, using height tendency diagnoses, it is concluded that for this case in the lower troposphere the dominant LHR influence is direct, through the explicit diabatic heating forcing in the height tendency equation. In contrast, in the middle and upper troposphere this direct LHR role is no longer dominant, but rather shares its importance with the indirect effect, represented by the influence of LHR on the dynamical forcing mechanisms.

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Shawn R. Smith, David M. Legler, and Kathleen V. Verzone

Abstract

The uncertainties in the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis (NCEPR) products are not well known. Using a newly developed, high-resolution, quality controlled, surface meteorology dataset from research vessels participating in the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), regional and global uncertainties are quantified for the NCEPR air–sea fluxes and the component fields used to create those fluxes.

For the period 1990–95, WOCE vessel and gridded NCEPR fields are matched in time and space. All in situ data are subject to data quality review to remove suspect data. Adjustment of ship observations to the reference height of the NCEPR variables, and calculation of air–sea fluxes from the in situ data are accomplished using bulk formulas that take atmospheric stability, height of the measurements, and other adjustments into consideration. The advantages of using this new set of WOCE ship observations include the ability to compare 6-h integrated fluxes (much of the ship data originate from automated observing systems recording continual measurements), and the ability to perform more exhaustive quality control on these measurements. Over 4500 6-h component (sea level pressure, air and sea temperature, winds, and specific humidity) and flux (latent, sensible, and momentum) matches are statistically evaluated to quantify uncertainties between the ship observations and the NCEPR.

Primary results include a significant underestimation in NCEPR near-surface wind speed at all latitudes. The magnitude of the low bias increases at higher ship wind speeds and may be related to large (rms = 2.7 hPa) errors in sea level atmospheric pressure over the entire globe. The pressure biases show the NCEPR to underestimate the amplitude and/or position of both high and low pressures. The NCEPR slightly underestimates the momentum flux, in part, due to the weaker winds. The NCEPR sensible and latent heat fluxes are largely overestimated when compared to the WOCE ship data. Potential sources of this overestimation (e.g., the NCEPR model flux parameterization) are discussed. Using the NCEPR meteorological variables and an independent flux parameterization, the revised NCEPR sensible heat fluxes are closer to the observations, and the biases of the revised NCEPR latent heat flux change sign. Furthermore, while the revised latent heat flux values reduce the magnitude of the bias at higher wind speeds, they increase the bias at (more frequently occurring) moderate wind speeds and thus may not be suitable for many applications.

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