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A. A. M. Holtslag, E. I. F. De Bruijn, and H-L. Pan

Abstract

This paper describes a high resolution air mass transformation (AMT) model. The model is intended for short-range weather forecasts of the temperature and humidity profiles in the lower atmosphere, the structure of the boundary layer, the boundary layer height, and the amount of boundary layer clouds. The AMT model consists of a one-dimensional, multilayer boundary layer model, which is advected along trajectories from a source region to a receptor point. The trajectories are calculated within a larger scale (limited area) model. The initial profiles for temperature and humidity are obtained from observed radiosondes. The paper describes the physical and dynamical background of the model. With the model we have made case studies of the development of stratocumulus over the North Sea, and have simulated the representation of clear skies over land. The output of the model is compared with the output of the ECMWF model and the current operational bulk AMT model. Sensitivity of the model to boundary and initial conditions is discussed. In addition to the case studies the model has been used as an operational forecast tool in 77 cases. These cases have been evaluated by independent forecasters. Since the model performed well and because no large computing facilities are needed, it is concluded that the model is a useful tool for the short-range weather forecaster.

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M. Kanamitsu, J.C. Alpert, K.A. Campana, P.M. Caplan, D.G. Deaven, M. Iredell, B. Katz, H.-L. Pan, J. Sela, and G.H. White

Abstract

A number of improvements were implemented on 6 March 1991 into the National Meteorological Center's global model, which is used in the global data assimilation system (GDAS), the aviation (AVN) forecast, and the medium-range forecast (MRF):

  • The horizontal resolution of the forecast model was increased from triangular truncation T80 to T126, which corresponds to an equivalent increase in grid resolution from 160 km to 105 km.

  • The use of enhanced orography has been discontinued and replaced by mean orography.

  • A new marine-stratus parameterization was introduced.

  • A new mass-conservation constraint was implemented.

  • The horizontal diffusion in the medium scales was reduced by adopting the Leith formulation.

  • A new, more accurate sea-surface temperature analysis is now used.

In this note, we discuss each of the changes and briefly review the new model performance.

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L. E. Hay, M. P. Clark, R. L. Wilby, W. J. Gutowski Jr., G. H. Leavesley, Z. Pan, R. W. Arritt, and E. S. Takle

Abstract

Daily precipitation and maximum and minimum temperature time series from a regional climate model (RegCM2) configured using the continental United States as a domain and run on a 52-km (approximately) spatial resolution were used as input to a distributed hydrologic model for one rainfall-dominated basin (Alapaha River at Statenville, Georgia) and three snowmelt-dominated basins (Animas River at Durango, Colorado; east fork of the Carson River near Gardnerville, Nevada; and Cle Elum River near Roslyn, Washington). For comparison purposes, spatially averaged daily datasets of precipitation and maximum and minimum temperature were developed from measured data for each basin. These datasets included precipitation and temperature data for all stations (hereafter, All-Sta) located within the area of the RegCM2 output used for each basin, but excluded station data used to calibrate the hydrologic model.

Both the RegCM2 output and All-Sta data capture the gross aspects of the seasonal cycles of precipitation and temperature. However, in all four basins, the RegCM2- and All-Sta-based simulations of runoff show little skill on a daily basis [Nash–Sutcliffe (NS) values range from 0.05 to 0.37 for RegCM2 and −0.08 to 0.65 for All-Sta]. When the precipitation and temperature biases are corrected in the RegCM2 output and All-Sta data (Bias-RegCM2 and Bias-All, respectively) the accuracy of the daily runoff simulations improve dramatically for the snowmelt-dominated basins (NS values range from 0.41 to 0.66 for RegCM2 and 0.60 to 0.76 for All-Sta). In the rainfall-dominated basin, runoff simulations based on the Bias-RegCM2 output show no skill (NS value of 0.09) whereas Bias-All simulated runoff improves (NS value improved from −0.08 to 0.72).

These results indicate that measured data at the coarse resolution of the RegCM2 output can be made appropriate for basin-scale modeling through bias correction (essentially a magnitude correction). However, RegCM2 output, even when bias corrected, does not contain the day-to-day variability present in the All-Sta dataset that is necessary for basin-scale modeling. Future work is warranted to identify the causes for systematic biases in RegCM2 simulations, develop methods to remove the biases, and improve RegCM2 simulations of daily variability in local climate.

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Bowen Pan, Yuan Wang, Jiaxi Hu, Yun Lin, Jen-Shan Hsieh, Timothy Logan, Xidan Feng, Jonathan H. Jiang, Yuk L. Yung, and Renyi Zhang

Abstract

The radiative and microphysical properties of Saharan dust are believed to impact the Atlantic regional climate and tropical cyclones (TCs), but the detailed mechanism remains uncertain. In this study, atmosphere-only simulations are performed from 2002 to 2006 using the Community Atmospheric Model, version 5.1, with and without dust emission from the Sahara Desert. The Saharan dust exhibits noticeable impacts on the regional longwave and shortwave radiation, cloud formation, and the convective systems over West Africa and the tropical Atlantic. The African easterly jet and West African monsoon are modulated by dust, leading to northward shifts of the intertropical convergence zone and the TC genesis region. The dust events induce positive midlevel moisture and entropy deficit anomalies, enhancing the TC genesis. On the other hand, the increased vertical wind shear and decreased low-level vorticity and potential intensity by dust inhibit TC formation in the genesis region. The ventilation index shows a decrease in the intensification region and an increase in the genesis region by dust, corresponding to favorable and unfavorable TC activities, respectively. The comparison of nondust scenarios in 2005 and 2006 shows more favorable TC conditions in 2005 characterized by higher specific humidity and potential intensity, but lower ventilation index, wind shear, and entropy deficit. Those are attributable to the observed warmer sea surface temperature (SST) in 2005, in which dust effects can be embedded. Our results imply significant dust perturbations on the radiative budget, hydrological cycle, and large-scale environments relevant to TC activity over the Atlantic.

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S. Saha, S. Nadiga, C. Thiaw, J. Wang, W. Wang, Q. Zhang, H. M. Van den Dool, H.-L. Pan, S. Moorthi, D. Behringer, D. Stokes, M. Peña, S. Lord, G. White, W. Ebisuzaki, P. Peng, and P. Xie

Abstract

The Climate Forecast System (CFS), the fully coupled ocean–land–atmosphere dynamical seasonal prediction system, which became operational at NCEP in August 2004, is described and evaluated in this paper. The CFS provides important advances in operational seasonal prediction on a number of fronts. For the first time in the history of U.S. operational seasonal prediction, a dynamical modeling system has demonstrated a level of skill in forecasting U.S. surface temperature and precipitation that is comparable to the skill of the statistical methods used by the NCEP Climate Prediction Center (CPC). This represents a significant improvement over the previous dynamical modeling system used at NCEP. Furthermore, the skill provided by the CFS spatially and temporally complements the skill provided by the statistical tools. The availability of a dynamical modeling tool with demonstrated skill should result in overall improvement in the operational seasonal forecasts produced by CPC.

The atmospheric component of the CFS is a lower-resolution version of the Global Forecast System (GFS) that was the operational global weather prediction model at NCEP during 2003. The ocean component is the GFDL Modular Ocean Model version 3 (MOM3). There are several important improvements inherent in the new CFS relative to the previous dynamical forecast system. These include (i) the atmosphere–ocean coupling spans almost all of the globe (as opposed to the tropical Pacific only); (ii) the CFS is a fully coupled modeling system with no flux correction (as opposed to the previous uncoupled “tier-2” system, which employed multiple bias and flux corrections); and (iii) a set of fully coupled retrospective forecasts covering a 24-yr period (1981–2004), with 15 forecasts per calendar month out to nine months into the future, have been produced with the CFS.

These 24 years of fully coupled retrospective forecasts are of paramount importance to the proper calibration (bias correction) of subsequent operational seasonal forecasts. They provide a meaningful a priori estimate of model skill that is critical in determining the utility of the real-time dynamical forecast in the operational framework. The retrospective dataset also provides a wealth of information for researchers to study interactive atmosphere–land–ocean processes.

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Z. Q. Li, H. Xu, K. T. Li, D. H. Li, Y. S. Xie, L. Li, Y. Zhang, X. F. Gu, W. Zhao, Q. J. Tian, R. R. Deng, X. L. Su, B. Huang, Y. L. Qiao, W. Y. Cui, Y. Hu, C. L. Gong, Y. Q. Wang, X. F. Wang, J. P. Wang, W. B. Du, Z. Q. Pan, Z. Z. Li, and D. Bu

Abstract

An overview of Sun–Sky Radiometer Observation Network (SONET) measurements in China is presented. Based on observations at 16 distributed SONET sites in China, atmospheric aerosol parameters are acquired via standardization processes of operational measurement, maintenance, calibration, inversion, and quality control implemented since 2010. A climatology study is performed focusing on total columnar atmospheric aerosol characteristics, including optical (aerosol optical depth, ÅngstrÖm exponent, fine-mode fraction, single-scattering albedo), physical (volume particle size distribution), chemical composition (black carbon; brown carbon; fine-mode scattering component, coarse-mode component; and aerosol water), and radiative properties (aerosol radiative forcing and efficiency). Data analyses show that aerosol optical depth is low in the west but high in the east of China. Aerosol composition also shows significant spatial and temporal variations, leading to noticeable diversities in optical and physical property patterns. In west and north China, aerosols are generally affected by dust particles, while monsoon climate and human activities impose remarkable influences on aerosols in east and south China. Aerosols in China exhibit strong light-scattering capability and result in significant radiative cooling effects.

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N. L. Miller, A. W. King, M. A. Miller, E. P. Springer, M. L. Wesely, K. E. Bashford, M. E. Conrad, K. Costigan, P. N. Foster, H. K. Gibbs, J. Jin, J. Klazura, B. M. Lesht, M. V. Machavaram, F. Pan, J. Song, D. Troyan, and R. A. Washington-Allen

A Department of Energy (DOE) multilaboratory Water Cycle Pilot Study (WCPS) investigated components of the local water budget at the Walnut River watershed in Kansas to study the relative importance of various processes and to determine the feasibility of observational water budget closure. An extensive database of local meteorological time series and land surface characteristics was compiled. Numerical simulations of water budget components were generated and, to the extent possible, validated for three nested domains within the Southern Great Plains—the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Cloud Atmospheric Radiation Testbed (CART), the Walnut River watershed (WRW), and the Whitewater watershed (WW), in Kansas.

A 2-month intensive observation period (IOP) was conducted to gather extensive observations relevant to specific details of the water budget, including finescale precipitation, streamflow, and soil moisture measurements that were not made routinely by other programs. Event and seasonal water isotope (d18O, dD) sampling in rainwater, streams, soils, lakes, and wells provided a means of tracing sources and sinks within and external to the WW, WRW, and the ARM CART domains. The WCPS measured changes in the leaf area index for several vegetation types, deep groundwater variations at two wells, and meteorological variables at a number of sites in the WRW. Additional activities of the WCPS include code development toward a regional climate model that includes water isotope processes, soil moisture transect measurements, and water-level measurements in groundwater wells.

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Christopher J. Anderson, Raymond W. Arritt, Zaitao Pan, Eugene S. Takle, William J. Gutowski Jr., Francis O. Otieno, Renato da Silva, Daniel Caya, Jens H. Christensen, Daniel Lüthi, Miguel A. Gaertner, Clemente Gallardo, Filippo Giorgi, René Laprise, Song-You Hong, Colin Jones, H-M. H. Juang, J. J. Katzfey, John L. McGregor, William M. Lapenta, Jay W. Larson, John A. Taylor, Glen E. Liston, Roger A. Pielke Sr., and John O. Roads

Abstract

Thirteen regional climate model (RCM) simulations of June–July 1993 were compared with each other and observations. Water vapor conservation and precipitation characteristics in each RCM were examined for a 10° × 10° subregion of the upper Mississippi River basin, containing the region of maximum 60-day accumulated precipitation in all RCMs and station reports.

All RCMs produced positive precipitation minus evapotranspiration (PE > 0), though most RCMs produced PE below the observed range. RCM recycling ratios were within the range estimated from observations. No evidence of common errors of E was found. In contrast, common dry bias of P was found in the simulations.

Daily cycles of terms in the water vapor conservation equation were qualitatively similar in most RCMs. Nocturnal maximums of P and C (convergence) occurred in 9 of 13 RCMs, consistent with observations. Three of the four driest simulations failed to couple P and C overnight, producing afternoon maximum P. Further, dry simulations tended to produce a larger fraction of their 60-day accumulated precipitation from low 3-h totals.

In station reports, accumulation from high (low) 3-h totals had a nocturnal (early morning) maximum. This time lag occurred, in part, because many mesoscale convective systems had reached peak intensity overnight and had declined in intensity by early morning. None of the RCMs contained such a time lag. It is recommended that short-period experiments be performed to examine the ability of RCMs to simulate mesoscale convective systems prior to generating long-period simulations for hydroclimatology.

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Mary C. Barth, Christopher A. Cantrell, William H. Brune, Steven A. Rutledge, James H. Crawford, Heidi Huntrieser, Lawrence D. Carey, Donald MacGorman, Morris Weisman, Kenneth E. Pickering, Eric Bruning, Bruce Anderson, Eric Apel, Michael Biggerstaff, Teresa Campos, Pedro Campuzano-Jost, Ronald Cohen, John Crounse, Douglas A. Day, Glenn Diskin, Frank Flocke, Alan Fried, Charity Garland, Brian Heikes, Shawn Honomichl, Rebecca Hornbrook, L. Gregory Huey, Jose L. Jimenez, Timothy Lang, Michael Lichtenstern, Tomas Mikoviny, Benjamin Nault, Daniel O’Sullivan, Laura L. Pan, Jeff Peischl, Ilana Pollack, Dirk Richter, Daniel Riemer, Thomas Ryerson, Hans Schlager, Jason St. Clair, James Walega, Petter Weibring, Andrew Weinheimer, Paul Wennberg, Armin Wisthaler, Paul J. Wooldridge, and Conrad Ziegler

Abstract

The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field experiment produced an exceptional dataset on thunderstorms, including their dynamical, physical, and electrical structures and their impact on the chemical composition of the troposphere. The field experiment gathered detailed information on the chemical composition of the inflow and outflow regions of midlatitude thunderstorms in northeast Colorado, west Texas to central Oklahoma, and northern Alabama. A unique aspect of the DC3 strategy was to locate and sample the convective outflow a day after active convection in order to measure the chemical transformations within the upper-tropospheric convective plume. These data are being analyzed to investigate transport and dynamics of the storms, scavenging of soluble trace gases and aerosols, production of nitrogen oxides by lightning, relationships between lightning flash rates and storm parameters, chemistry in the upper troposphere that is affected by the convection, and related source characterization of the three sampling regions. DC3 also documented biomass-burning plumes and the interactions of these plumes with deep convection.

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L. L. Pan, E. L. Atlas, R. J. Salawitch, S. B. Honomichl, J. F. Bresch, W. J. Randel, E. C. Apel, R. S. Hornbrook, A. J. Weinheimer, D. C. Anderson, S. J. Andrews, S. Baidar, S. P. Beaton, T. L. Campos, L. J. Carpenter, D. Chen, B. Dix, V. Donets, S. R. Hall, T. F. Hanisco, C. R. Homeyer, L. G. Huey, J. B. Jensen, L. Kaser, D. E. Kinnison, T. K. Koenig, J.-F. Lamarque, C. Liu, J. Luo, Z. J. Luo, D. D. Montzka, J. M. Nicely, R. B. Pierce, D. D. Riemer, T. Robinson, P. Romashkin, A. Saiz-Lopez, S. Schauffler, O. Shieh, M. H. Stell, K. Ullmann, G. Vaughan, R. Volkamer, and G. Wolfe

Abstract

The Convective Transport of Active Species in the Tropics (CONTRAST) experiment was conducted from Guam (13.5°N, 144.8°E) during January–February 2014. Using the NSF/NCAR Gulfstream V research aircraft, the experiment investigated the photochemical environment over the tropical western Pacific (TWP) warm pool, a region of massive deep convection and the major pathway for air to enter the stratosphere during Northern Hemisphere (NH) winter. The new observations provide a wealth of information for quantifying the influence of convection on the vertical distributions of active species. The airborne in situ measurements up to 15-km altitude fill a significant gap by characterizing the abundance and altitude variation of a wide suite of trace gases. These measurements, together with observations of dynamical and microphysical parameters, provide significant new data for constraining and evaluating global chemistry–climate models. Measurements include precursor and product gas species of reactive halogen compounds that impact ozone in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere. High-accuracy, in situ measurements of ozone obtained during CONTRAST quantify ozone concentration profiles in the upper troposphere, where previous observations from balloonborne ozonesondes were often near or below the limit of detection. CONTRAST was one of the three coordinated experiments to observe the TWP during January–February 2014. Together, CONTRAST, Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), and Coordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics (CAST), using complementary capabilities of the three aircraft platforms as well as ground-based instrumentation, provide a comprehensive quantification of the regional distribution and vertical structure of natural and pollutant trace gases in the TWP during NH winter, from the oceanic boundary to the lower stratosphere.

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