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S-K. Kao and H. D. Woods

Abstract

The wind velocities measured by an aircraft flying parallel and perpendicular to jet streams (Project Jet Stream, 1956–1957) have been analyzed; a smoothing technique has been used to separate the meso-scale turbulence from the mean flow. Eulerian auto-correlation coefficients and energy spectra are computed for the longitudinal and transversal components of the horizontal wind velocities. The distributions of the auto-correlation coefficients and the energy spectra appear to be similar for both the longitudinal and transversal components of the velocities, whereas the corrected meso-scale energy spectrum increases with decreasing wave number and is approximately proportional to k −2 in the range between 10−1 cycles km−1.

An analysis is also made of the distribution of the Richardson number in a cross section perpendicular to the jet stream. A good relationship is found between the areas of turbulence and the regions of small Richardson number.

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J. Fischer, H. Leach, and J. D. Woods

Abstract

The distribution of isopycnic potential vorticity (IPV) has been mapped in the seasonal thermocline from a single ship using relative velocity measurements plus absolute ship motion, and density profiles from a CTD mounted on an undulating towed vehicle. The advantage of this technique is that the measurements are quasi-synoptic and no geostrophic assumptions have to be made since the current measurements are independent of the hydrographic data. The data were collected during an 11-day survey at the North Atlantic Polar Front near the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone (50°–52°N, 33°–37°W) in summer 1981.

The isopycnic distributions of temperature and potential vorticity are significantly correlated. The synoptic-scale IPV was calculated from the density field first with planetary vorticity alone and then with absolute vorticity (i.e. using the measured relative vorticity). Both versions show a meander structure with a wavelength of about 200 km and 100 km amplitude. A mesoscale front lies between the meander trough and ridge. Although it is possible to detect a mean IPV difference between trough and ridge from hydrographic data alone, the crossfront gradient of IPV was underestimated by excluding the relative vorticity. The contribution of the enstrophy to the variance of potential vorticity is however small, indicating that the Rossby radius of the flow is about 12 km and thus generally smaller than the scales resolved of about 30 km.

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V. Fiekas, H. Leach, K-J. Mirbach, and J. D. Woods

Abstract

Mesoscale instabilities have been found with a wavelength of about 85 km growing along the meandering jet of the North Atlantic Intergyre Front at about 52°N, 33°W. They show the signature of baroclinic instabilities and are typified by vertical motions of up to 5 m d−1, which have been diagnosed using the ω equation. The effect of the earth's curvature on motion on these scales is shown to be negligible.

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Peter Black, Lee Harrison, Mark Beaubien, Robert Bluth, Roy Woods, Andrew Penny, Robert W. Smith, and James D. Doyle

Abstract

The High-Definition Sounding System (HDSS) is an automated system deploying the expendable digital dropsonde (XDD) designed to measure wind and pressure–temperature–humidity (PTH) profiles, and skin sea surface temperature (SST) within and around tropical cyclones (TCs) and other high-impact weather events needing high sampling density. Three experiments were conducted to validate the XDD.

On two successive days off the California coast, 10 XDDs and 14 Vaisala RD-94s were deployed from the navy’s Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) Twin Otter aircraft over offshore buoys. The Twin Otter made spiral descents from 4 km to 60 m at the same descent rate as the sondes. Differences between successive XDD and RD-94 profiles due to true meteorological variability were on the same order as the profile differences between the spirals, XDDs, and RD-94s. XDD SST measured via infrared microradiometer, referred to as infrared skin SST (SSTir), and surface wind measurements were within 0.5°C and 1.5 m s−1, respectively, of buoy and Twin Otter values.

A NASA DC-8 flight launched six XDDs from 12 km between ex-TC Cosme and the Baja California coast. Repeatability was shown with good agreement between features in successive profiles. XDD SSTir measurements from 18° to 28°C and surface winds agreed well with drifting buoy- and satellite-derived estimates.

Excellent agreement was found between PTH and wind profiles measured by XDDs deployed from a NASA WB-57 at 18-km altitude offshore from the Texas coast and NWS radiosonde profiles from Brownsville and Corpus Christi, Texas. Successful XDD profiles were obtained in the clear and within precipitation over an offshore squall line.

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H. G. Hidalgo, T. Das, M. D. Dettinger, D. R. Cayan, D. W. Pierce, T. P. Barnett, G. Bala, A. Mirin, A. W. Wood, C. Bonfils, B. D. Santer, and T. Nozawa

Abstract

This article applies formal detection and attribution techniques to investigate the nature of observed shifts in the timing of streamflow in the western United States. Previous studies have shown that the snow hydrology of the western United States has changed in the second half of the twentieth century. Such changes manifest themselves in the form of more rain and less snow, in reductions in the snow water contents, and in earlier snowmelt and associated advances in streamflow “center” timing (the day in the “water-year” on average when half the water-year flow at a point has passed). However, with one exception over a more limited domain, no other study has attempted to formally attribute these changes to anthropogenic increases of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Using the observations together with a set of global climate model simulations and a hydrologic model (applied to three major hydrological regions of the western United States—the California region, the upper Colorado River basin, and the Columbia River basin), it is found that the observed trends toward earlier “center” timing of snowmelt-driven streamflows in the western United States since 1950 are detectably different from natural variability (significant at the p < 0.05 level). Furthermore, the nonnatural parts of these changes can be attributed confidently to climate changes induced by anthropogenic greenhouse gases, aerosols, ozone, and land use. The signal from the Columbia dominates the analysis, and it is the only basin that showed a detectable signal when the analysis was performed on individual basins. It should be noted that although climate change is an important signal, other climatic processes have also contributed to the hydrologic variability of large basins in the western United States.

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H.H. Jonsson, J.C. Wilson, C.A. Brock, R.G. Knollenberg, T.R. Newton, J.E. Dye, D. Baumgardner, S. Borrmann, G.V. Ferry, R. Pueschel, Dave C. Woods, and Mike C. Pitts

Abstract

A focused cavity aerosol spectrometer aboard a NASA ER-2 high-altitude aircraft provided high-resolution measurements of the size of the stratospheric particles in the 0.06–2.0-µm-diameter range in flights following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. Effects of anisokinetic sampling and evaporation in the sampling system were accounted for by means adapted and specifically developed for this instrument. Calibrations with monodisperse aerosol particles provided the instrument's response matrix, which upon inversion during data reduction yielded the particle size distributions. The resultant dataset is internally consistent and generally shows agreement to within a factor of 2 with comparable measurements simultaneously obtained by a condensation nuclei counter, a forward-scattering spectrometer probe, and aerosol particle impactors, as well as with nearby extinction profiles obtained by satellite measurements and with lidar measurements of backscatter.

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P.B. Russell, M.P. McCormick, T.J. Swissler, W.P. Chu, J.M. Livingston, W.H. Fuller, J.M. Rosen, D.J. Hofmann, L.R. McMaster, D.C. Woods, and T.J. Pepin

Abstract

We show results from the first set of measurements conducted to validate extinction data from the satellite sensor SAM II. Dustsonde-measured number density profiles and lidar-measured backscattering profiles for two days are converted to extinction profiles using the optical modeling techniques described in the companion Paper I (Russell et al., 1981). At heights ∼2 km and more above the tropopause, the dustsonde data are used to restrict the range of model size distributions, thus reducing uncertainties in the conversion process. At all heights, measurement uncertainties for each sensor are evaluated, and these are combined with conversion uncertainties to yield the total uncertainty in derived data profiles.

The SAM II measured, dustsonde-inferred, and lidar-inferred extinction profiles for both days are shown to agree within their respective uncertainties at all heights above the tropopause. Near the tropopause, this agreement depends on the use of model size distributions with more relatively large particles (radius ≳0.6 μm) than are present in distributions used to model the main stratospheric aerosol peak. The presence of these relatively large particles is supported by measurements made elsewhere and is suggested by in situ size distribution measurements reported here. These relatively large particles near the tropopause are likely to have an important bearing on the radiative impact of the total stratospheric aerosol.

The agreement in this experiment supports the validity of the SAM II extinction data and the SAM II uncertainty estimates derived from an independent error analysis. Recommendations are given for reducing the uncertainties of future correlative experiments.

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T. Wood, A. C. Maycock, P. M. Forster, T. B. Richardson, T. Andrews, O. Boucher, G. Myhre, B. H. Samset, A. Kirkevåg, J.-F. Lamarque, J. Mülmenstädt, D. Olivié, T. Takemura, and D. Watson-Parris

Abstract

Rapid adjustments—the response of meteorology to external forcing while sea surface temperatures (SST) and sea ice are held fixed—can affect the midlatitude circulation and contribute to long-term forced circulation responses in climate simulations. This study examines rapid adjustments in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) circulation using nine models from the Precipitation Driver and Response Model Intercomparison Project (PDRMIP), which perform fixed SST and coupled ocean experiments for five perturbations: a doubling of carbon dioxide (2xCO2), a tripling of methane (3xCH4), a fivefold increase in sulfate aerosol (5xSO4), a tenfold increase in black carbon aerosol (10xBC), and a 2% increase in solar constant (2%Sol). In the coupled experiments, the SH eddy-driven jet shifts poleward and strengthens for forcings that produce global warming (and vice versa for 5xSO4), with the strongest response found in austral summer. In austral winter, the responses project more strongly onto a change in jet strength. For 10xBC, which induces strong shortwave absorption, the multimodel mean (MMM) rapid adjustment in DJF jet latitude is ~75% of the change in the coupled simulations. For the other forcings, which induce larger SST changes, the effect of SST-mediated feedbacks on the SH circulation is larger than the rapid adjustment. Nevertheless, for these perturbations the magnitude of the MMM jet shift due to the rapid adjustment is still around 20%–30% of that in the coupled experiments. The results demonstrate the need to understand the mechanisms for rapid adjustments in the midlatitude circulation, in addition to the effect of changing SSTs.

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J. Rémillard, A. M. Fridlind, A. S. Ackerman, G. Tselioudis, P. Kollias, D. B. Mechem, H. E. Chandler, E. Luke, R. Wood, M. K. Witte, P. Y. Chuang, and J. K. Ayers

Abstract

A case study of persistent stratocumulus over the Azores is simulated using two independent large-eddy simulation (LES) models with bin microphysics, and forward-simulated cloud radar Doppler moments and spectra are compared with observations. Neither model is able to reproduce the monotonic increase of downward mean Doppler velocity with increasing reflectivity that is observed under a variety of conditions, but for differing reasons. To a varying degree, both models also exhibit a tendency to produce too many of the largest droplets, leading to excessive skewness in Doppler velocity distributions, especially below cloud base. Excessive skewness appears to be associated with an insufficiently sharp reduction in droplet number concentration at diameters larger than ~200 μm, where a pronounced shoulder is found for in situ observations and a sharp reduction in reflectivity size distribution is associated with relatively narrow observed Doppler spectra. Effectively using LES with bin microphysics to study drizzle formation and evolution in cloud Doppler radar data evidently requires reducing numerical diffusivity in the treatment of the stochastic collection equation; if that is accomplished sufficiently to reproduce typical spectra, progress toward understanding drizzle processes is likely.

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C. R. Mechoso, R. Wood, R. Weller, C. S. Bretherton, A. D. Clarke, H. Coe, C. Fairall, J. T. Farrar, G. Feingold, R. Garreaud, C. Grados, J. McWilliams, S. P. de Szoeke, S. E. Yuter, and P. Zuidema

The present paper describes the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) Ocean–Cloud–Atmosphere–Land Study (VOCALS), an international research program focused on the improved understanding and modeling of the southeastern Pacific (SEP) climate system on diurnal to interannual time scales. In the framework of the SEP climate, VOCALS has two fundamental objectives: 1) improved simulations by coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (CGCMs), with an emphasis on reducing systematic errors in the region; and 2) improved estimates of the indirect effects of aerosols on low clouds and climate, with an emphasis on the more precise quantification of those effects. VOCALS major scientific activities are outlined, and selected achievements are highlighted. Activities described include monitoring in the region, a large international field campaign (the VOCALS Regional Experiment), and two model assessments. The program has already produced significant advances in the understanding of major issues in the SEP: the coastal circulation and the diurnal cycle, the ocean heat budget, factors controlling precipitation and formation of pockets of open cells in stratocumulus decks, aerosol impacts on clouds, and estimation of the first aerosol indirect effect. The paper concludes with a brief presentation on VOCALS contributions to community capacity building before a summary of scientific findings and remaining questions.

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