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X. H. Wang

Abstract

Sediment transport and bottom boundary layer (BBL) in an idealized estuary with a muddy bed were studied by numerical simulations. The focus was placed on description and prediction of the dynamics of nepheloid layer (a fluid–mud layer) developed in the estuary because of the coupling effect of the seawater and resuspended sediment concentration. The Princeton Ocean Model was coupled to a sediment transport model to conduct the numerical experiments. A semidiurnal tide with a spring–neap cycle was used to force the model at the estuary entrance. A stability function was introduced to the bottom drag coefficient C d for a slip bottom boundary condition in order to consider the effects of sediment-induced stratification. When the seawater density is not affected by the resuspended sediments, spring tides resuspend sediments to the sea surface near the estuary entrance where the bottom stress is larger than the critical stress value. The sediment distribution in the BBL near the entrance is dominantly affected by the vertical eddy diffusion, and the time series of the sediment concentration presents two high value peaks within a tidal cycle. Above the BBL the sediment concentration is primarily controlled by the horizontal tidal advection; thus a semidiurnal oscillation in sediment concentration is predicted. When the seawater density and the sediment concentration are coupled, the sediments resuspended by the spring tides are only distributed in the bottom layer with a thickness of a few meters. A lutocline is developed above a nepheloid layer where the vertical sediment concentration gradient is of maximum. The settlement of the nepheloid layer gives rise to the resuspension events that are characterized with an abnormally high value in sediment concentration within a thin wall layer that is overlaid by a thicker layer with much smaller concentration. This two-layer sediment distribution structure was observed on the continental shelf off the mouth of the Amazon River. These resuspension events may be referred to as “resuspension hysteresis” with respect to the tidal forcing frequency. The frequency of the resuspension hysteresis is controlled by both the sediment settling velocity and the turbulence intensity, and is lower than that of the tidal forcing. A hyperpycnal plume is also established near the entrance, generating a cross-estuary tidal mean flow on the order of 1 cm s−1 there. Variability in C d between the spring and neap tides is predicted because of the sediment-induced stratification, and the prediction agrees, in general term, with observations in south San Francisco Bay.

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H. Annamalai
,
J. Hafner
,
A. Kumar
, and
H. Wang

Abstract

A three-step approach to develop a framework for dynamical seasonal prediction of precipitation over the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) is adopted. First, guided by the climatological features of basic variables, a view that climates of the USAPI are connected by large-scale phenomena involving the warm pool, South Pacific convergence zone, tropical monsoons, and subtropical anticyclone is proposed. Second, prediction skill in ensemble hindcasts performed with the Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2), is evaluated with the hypothesis that ENSO is the leading candidate for large and persisting precipitation departures. Third, moist static energy budget diagnostics are performed to identify physical processes responsible for precipitation anomalies.

At leads of 0–6 months, CFSv2 demonstrates useful skill in predicting Niño-3.4 SST and equatorial Pacific precipitation anomalies. During El Niño, positive precipitation anomalies along the central (eastern) equatorial Pacific are anchored by net radiative flux (F rad) and moist advection (evaporation and F rad). The model’s skill in predicting precipitation anomalies over South Pacific (Hawaiian) islands is highest (lowest). Over the west Pacific islands, the skill is low during the rainy season. During El Niño, skill over the USAPI, in particular predicting dryness persistence at long leads is useful. Suppressed precipitation over the Hawaiian and South Pacific (west Pacific) islands are determined by anomalous dry and cold air advection (reduced evaporation and F rad). These processes are local, but are dictated by circulation anomalies forced by ENSO. Model budget estimates are qualitatively consistent with those obtained from reanalysis, boosting confidence for societal benefits. However, observational constraints, as well as budget residuals, pose limitations.

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David H. Bromwich
and
Sheng-Hung Wang

Abstract

Many aspects of reanalysis data are of high quality over regions with sufficiently dense data, but the accuracy is uncertain over areas with sparse observations. NCEP–NCAR reanalysis (NNR) and ECMWF 15/40-Yr Re-Analysis (ERA-15 and ERA-40) variables are compared to two independent rawinsonde datasets from the periphery of the Arctic Ocean during the late 1980s and early 1990s: the Coordinated Eastern Arctic Research Experiment (CEAREX) and the Lead Experiment (LeadEx). The study is prompted by J. A. Francis who found that the NNR and ERA-15 upper-level winds are very different from those observed during these two field experiments.

All three reanalyses display large biases in comparisons of the wind components and wind speeds with CEAREX observations, particularly above the 500-hPa level, but exhibit smaller discrepancies with respect to the LeadEx data, generally consistent with the previous findings of J. A. Francis. However, all three reanalyses well capture the wind variability during both experiment periods. For the geopotential height, temperature, and moisture fields, the reanalyses demonstrate close agreement with the CEAREX rawinsonde observations. From comparisons with surrounding fixed rawinsonde stations and examination of the average vertical wind speed shear, it is concluded that the CEAREX upper-level wind speeds (especially above the 500-hPa level) are erroneous and average about half of the actual values. Thus, this evaluation suggests that the three reanalyses perform reliably for tropospheric-state variables from the edge of the Arctic Ocean during the modern satellite era.

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J. H. LaCasce
and
J. Wang

Abstract

A previously published method by Wang et al. for predicting subsurface velocities and density from sea surface buoyancy and surface height is extended by incorporating analytical solutions to make the vertical projection. One solution employs exponential stratification and the second has a weakly stratified surface layer, approximating a mixed layer. The results are evaluated using fields from a numerical simulation of the North Atlantic. The simple exponential solution yields realistic subsurface density and vorticity fields to nearly 1000 m in depth. Including a mixed layer improves the response in the mixed layer itself and at high latitudes where the mixed layer is deeper. It is in the mixed layer that the surface quasigeostrophic approximation is most applicable. Below that the first baroclinic mode dominates, and that mode is well approximated by the analytical solution with exponential stratification.

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P. K. Wang
and
H. R. Pruppacher

Abstract

A theoretical method is given which allows computing the acceleration to terminal velocity of cloud and raindrops at various levels in the atmosphere. For drops of equivalent radius 800 μm ≤ a 0 ≤ 3500 μm our theoretical predictions were found to agree well with the results of an experimental study carried out in the UCLA Rain-Shaft. For drops of 20 μm ≤ a 0 ≤ 80 μm our theoretical predictions were found to agree well with the experimental results of Sartor and Abbott (1975). Experiment and theory indicate that in air of 1000 mb and 20°C, drops of a 0 > 1000 μm need distances of at least 12 m to accelerate to terminal velocity.

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Xuguang Wang
and
Craig H. Bishop

Abstract

The ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF) ensemble forecast scheme is introduced and compared with both a simple and a masked breeding scheme. Instead of directly multiplying each forecast perturbation with a constant or regional rescaling factor as in the simple form of breeding and the masked breeding schemes, the ETKF transforms forecast perturbations into analysis perturbations by multiplying by a transformation matrix. This matrix is chosen to ensure that the ensemble-based analysis error covariance matrix would be equal to the true analysis error covariance if the covariance matrix of the raw forecast perturbations were equal to the true forecast error covariance matrix and the data assimilation scheme were optimal. For small ensembles (∼100), the computational expense of the ETKF ensemble generation is only slightly greater than that of the masked breeding scheme.

Version 3 of the Community Climate Model (CCM3) developed at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is used to test and compare these ensemble generation schemes. The NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data for the boreal summer in 2000 are used for the initialization of the control forecast and the verifications of the ensemble forecasts. The ETKF and masked breeding ensemble variances at the analysis time show reasonable correspondences between variance and observational density. Examination of eigenvalue spectra of ensemble covariance matrices demonstrates that while the ETKF maintains comparable amounts of variance in all orthogonal and uncorrelated directions spanning its ensemble perturbation subspace, both breeding techniques maintain variance in few directions. The growth of the linear combination of ensemble perturbations that maximizes energy growth is computed for each of the ensemble subspaces. The ETKF maximal amplification is found to significantly exceed that of the breeding techniques. The ETKF ensemble mean has lower root-mean-square errors than the mean of the breeding ensemble. New methods to measure the precision of the ensemble-estimated forecast error variance are presented. All of the methods indicate that the ETKF estimates of forecast error variance are considerably more accurate than those of the breeding techniques.

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Shuguang Wang
and
Adam H. Sobel

Abstract

A set of idealized cloud-permitting simulations is performed to explore the influence of small islands on precipitating convection as a function of large-scale wind speed. The islands are situated in a long narrow ocean domain that is in radiative–convective equilibrium (RCE) as a whole, constraining the domain-average precipitation. The island occupies a small part of the domain, so that significant precipitation variations over the island can occur, compensated by smaller variations over the larger surrounding oceanic area.

While the prevailing wind speeds vary over flat islands, three distinct flow regimes occur. Rainfall is greatly enhanced, and a local symmetric circulation is formed in the time mean around the island, when the prevailing large-scale wind speed is small. The rainfall enhancement over the island is much reduced when the wind speed is increased to a moderate value. This difference is characterized by a change in the mechanisms by which convection is forced. A thermally forced sea breeze due to surface heating dominates when the large-scale wind is weak. Mechanically forced convection, on the other hand, is favored when the large-scale wind is moderately strong, and horizontal advection of temperature reduces the land–sea thermal contrast that drives the sea breeze. Further increases of the prevailing wind speed lead to strong asymmetry between the windward and leeward sides of the island, owing to gravity waves that result from the land–sea contrast in surface roughness as well as upward deflection of the horizontal flow by elevated diurnal heating. Small-amplitude topography (up to 800-m elevation is considered) has a quantitative impact but does not qualitatively alter the flow regimes or their dependence on wind speed.

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R. H. Weisberg
and
C. Wang

Abstract

Six years of upper-ocean velocity, temperature, and surface wind data collected in the west-central Pacific at 0°, 170°W reveal a slow ocean dynamical mode associated with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Latent and sensible heat flux calculations using the basin-wide Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) array data show a coincident, slow ocean–atmosphere thermodynamical mode. Beginning with the La Niña conditions in 1988 through the peak El Niño conditions in 1992 the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) speed decreased along with the surface zonal wind stress and the zonal pressure gradient. Simultaneous with these were increasing trends in the Richardson number above the EUC core and in sea surface temperature (SST). After peak warming was achieved, the variations in all of these quantities reversed in a movement toward their previous La Niña conditions. As this evolved within the ocean the sensible and latent heat fluxes increased with large values emanating eastward from the western Pacific. The largest interannual perturbations, then, for both the surface momentum and heat flux quantities during this recent ENSO cycle were within the west-central Pacific, the transition region between the warmest waters found in the western Pacific warm pool and the coldest waters found in the eastern Pacific cold tongue. The observed ocean and atmosphere variability represents a positive feedback. This raises a question about the origin of negative feedback that is necessary for the coupled system to oscillate. Arguing from the standpoint of a Gill atmosphere and observed SST–sea level pressure correlation patterns, the paper draws a connection between condensation heating in the equatorial west-central Pacific and easterly winds over the equatorial western Pacific during the mature phase of El Niño. The formation of such easterlies by ocean–atmosphere coupling over the western Pacific is hypothesized as providing a negative feedback for reversing the sign of anomalous SST in the equatorial central Pacific. This mechanism may complement, but it is different from, the delayed oscillator mechanism for ENSO.

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Guomin Wang
and
Harry H. Hendon

Abstract

Australia typically experiences drought during El Niño, especially across the eastern two-thirds of the continent during austral spring (September–November). There have, however, been some interesting departures from this paradigm. For instance, the near-record-strength El Niño of 1997 was associated with near-normal rainfall. In contrast, eastern Australia experienced near-record drought during the modest El Niño of 2002. This stark contrast raises the issue of how the magnitude of the drought is related to the character and magnitude of El Niño, for instance as measured by the broadscale sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly in the equatorial eastern Pacific. Internal (unpredictable) atmospheric noise is one plausible explanation for this contrasting behavior during these El Niño events. Here, the authors suggest that Australian rainfall is sensitive to the zonal distribution of SST anomalies during El Niño and, in particular, the greatest sensitivity is to the SST variations on the eastern edge of the Pacific warm pool rather than in the eastern Pacific where El Niño variations are typically largest. Positive SST anomalies maximized near the date line in 2002, but in 1997 maximum anomalies were shifted well into the eastern Pacific, where their influence on Australian rainfall appears to be less. These findings provide a plausible physical basis for the view that forecasting the strength of El Niño is not sufficient to accurately predict rainfall variations across Australia during El Niño.

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Chunzai Wang
and
Robert H. Weisberg

Abstract

The evolution of the 1997–98 El Niño is described using NCEP SST and OLR data, NCEP–NCAR reanalysis sea level pressure (SLP) fields, and The Florida State University surface wind data. From November 1996 to January 1997, the eastern Pacific is characterized by equatorial cold SST and high SLP anomalies, while the western Pacific is marked by off-equatorial warm SST anomalies and off-equatorial anomalous cyclones. Corresponding to this distribution are high OLR anomalies in the equatorial central Pacific and low OLR anomalies in the off-equatorial far western Pacific. The off-equatorial anomalous cyclones in the western Pacific are associated with a switch in the equatorial wind anomalies over the western Pacific from easterly to westerly. These equatorial westerly anomalies then appear to initiate early SST warmings around the date line in January/February 1997 and around the far eastern Pacific in March 1997. Subsequently, both the westerly wind and warm SST anomalies, along with the low OLR anomalies, grow and progress eastward. The eastward propagating warm SST anomalies merge with the slower westward spreading warm SST anomalies from the far eastern Pacific to form large-scale warming in the equatorial eastern and central Pacific. The anomaly patterns in the eastern and central Pacific continue to develop, reaching their peak values around December 1997. In the western Pacific, the off-equatorial SST anomalies reverse sign from warm to cold. Correspondingly, the off-equatorial SLP anomalies in the western Pacific also switch sign from low to high. These off-equatorial high SLP anomalies initiate equatorial easterly wind anomalies over the far western Pacific. Like the equatorial westerly wind anomalies that initiate the early warming, the equatorial easterly wind anomalies over the far western Pacific appear to have a cooling effect in the east and hence help facilitate the 1997–98 El Niño decay. This paper also compares the 1997–98 El Niño with previous warm events and discusses different ENSO mechanisms relevant to the 1997–98 El Niño.

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