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Hao Jin and Sethu Raman

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This paper presents a study on air pollutant dispersion from an elevated accidental release from the space shuttle tower at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida under the influence of a stratified onshore flow. The temperature difference between land and ocean can generate a local sea-land circulation and a thermal internal boundary layer. Both play a significant role in the coastal dispersion. Results from a Gaussian dispersion model and those from numerical simulations show that the concentrations obtained from these two distinctly different methods are of the same order of magnitude and have similar patterns. Numerical simulations were performed by combining the Advanced Regional Prediction System with an Eulerian pollutant dispersion model. Numerical sensitivity experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of upwind stability, coastal topography, and calm wind condition. Numerical results also show that the dispersion pattern from a continuous release is significantly different from that of a finite release.

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Hao Jin, Melinda S. Peng, Yi Jin, and James D. Doyle

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A series of experiments have been conducted using the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System–Tropical Cyclone (COAMPS-TC) to assess the impact of horizontal resolution on hurricane intensity prediction for 10 Atlantic storms during the 2005 and 2007 hurricane seasons. The results of this study from the Hurricane Katrina (2005) simulations indicate that the hurricane intensity and structure are very sensitive to the horizontal grid spacing (9 and 3 km) and underscore the need for cloud microphysics to capture the structure, especially for strong storms with small-diameter eyes and large pressure gradients. The high resolution simulates stronger vertical motions, a more distinct upper-level warm core, stronger upper-level outflow, and greater finescale structure associated with deep convection, including spiral rainbands and the secondary circulation. A vortex Rossby wave (VRW) spectrum analysis is performed on the simulated 10-m winds and the NOAA/Hurricane Research Division (HRD) Real-Time Hurricane Wind Analysis System (H*Wind) to evaluate the impact of horizontal resolution. The degree to which the VRWs are adequately resolved near the TC inner core is addressed and the associated resolvable wave energy is explored at different grid resolutions. The fine resolution is necessary to resolve higher-wavenumber modes of VRWs to preserve more wave energy and, hence, to attain a more detailed eyewall structure. The wind–pressure relationship from the high-resolution simulations is in better agreement with the observations than are the coarse-resolution simulations for the strong storms. Two case studies are analyzed and overall the statistical analyses indicate that high resolution is beneficial for TC intensity and structure forecasts, while it has little impact on track forecasts.

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J. David Neelin, Zheng Hao, and Fei-Fei Jin

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No abstract available.

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Zheng Hao, J. David Neelin, and Fei-Fei Jin

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The fast-wave limit is an approximation useful for understanding many aspects of tropical air–sea interaction. It is obtained when the time scale of dynamical adjustment of the ocean by equatorial waves occurs fast compared to the time scale on which the system is evolving through coupled processes. The linear and nonlinear behavior of a simple coupled model is examined for the Pacific basin. It consists of an SST equation for an equatorial band, shallow-water ocean dynamics in the fast-wave limit governing the thermocline, and an embedded surface layer for equatorial Ekman pumping; it may be characterized as a simple fast-wave limit version of the Neelin model, which is in turn a stripped-down version of the Zebiak and Cane model. It offers a converse approximation to simple models that retain wave dynamics while eliminating SST time scales.

This simple model produces a rich variety of flow regimes. The first bifurcation can give westward-propagating, stationary, or eastward-propagating variability according to the relative strength of the surface-layer and thermocline processes and the atmospheric damping length. These parameter dependences can be largely explained by reference to the simpler zonally periodic case, but the finite basin and zonally varying basic state introduce east basin trapping. These weakly nonlinear regimes offer a simple analog of oscillations in a number of other models. Some of the oscillations show thermocline evolution that could be easily mistaken for wave-dependent behavior in other models. Over a substantial region of parameter space, two SST modes—one stationary and one westward-propagating—have comparable growth rate in the linear problem. This introduces mode interaction in the nonlinear problem. Relaxation oscillations at strong nonlinearity prove to be a very robust feature of the model, showing strong parallels to behavior noted in a hybrid coupled general circulation model.

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Chanh Kieu, Cole Evans, Yi Jin, James D. Doyle, Hao Jin, and Jonathan Moskaitis

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This study examines the dependence of tropical cyclone (TC) intensity forecast errors on track forecast errors in the Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System for Tropical Cyclones (COAMPS-TC) model. Using real-time forecasts and retrospective experiments during 2015-2018, verification of TC intensity errors conditioned on different 5-day track error thresholds shows that reducing the 5-day track errors by 50-70% can help reduce the absolute intensity errors by 18-20% in the 2018 version of the COAMPS-TC model. Such impacts of track errors on the TC intensity errors are most persistent at 4-5 day lead times in all three major ocean basins, indicating a significant control of global models on the forecast skill of the COAMPS-TC model. It is of interest to find, however, that lowering the 5-day track errors below 80 nm does not reduce TC absolute intensity errors further. Instead, the 4-5 day intensity errors appear to be saturated at around 10-12 kt for cases with small track errors, thus suggesting the existence of some inherent intensity errors in regional models.

Additional idealized simulations under a perfect model scenario reveal that the COAMPS-TC model possesses an intrinsic intensity variation at the TC mature stage in the range of 4-5 kt, regardless of the large-scale environment. Such intrinsic intensity variability in the COAMPS-TC model highlights the importance of potential chaotic TC dynamics, rather than model deficiencies, in determining TC intensity errors at 4-5 day lead times. These results indicate a fundamental limit in the improvement of TC intensity forecasts by numerical models that one should consider in future model development and evaluation.

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Christopher Melhauser, Fuqing Zhang, Yonghui Weng, Yi Jin, Hao Jin, and Qingyun Zhao

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This study examines a multimodel comparison of regional-scale convection-permitting ensembles including both physics and initial condition uncertainties for the probabilistic prediction of Hurricanes Sandy (2012) and Edouard (2014). The model cores examined include COAMPS-TC, HWRF, and WRF-ARW. Two stochastic physics schemes were also applied using the WRF-ARW model. Each ensemble was initialized with the same initial condition uncertainties represented by the analysis perturbations from a WRF-ARW-based real-time cycling ensemble Kalman filter. It is found that single-core ensembles were capable of producing similar ensemble statistics for track and intensity for the first 36–48 h of model integration, with biases in the ensemble mean evident at longer forecast lead times along with increased variability in spread. The ensemble spread of a multicore ensemble with members sampled from single-core ensembles was generally as large or larger than any constituent model, especially at longer lead times. Systematically varying the physic parameterizations in the WRF-ARW ensemble can alter both the forecast ensemble mean and spread to resemble the ensemble performance using a different forecast model. Compared to the control WRF-ARW experiment, the application of the stochastic kinetic energy backscattering scheme had minimal impact on the ensemble spread of track and intensity for both cases, while the use of stochastic perturbed physics tendencies increased the ensemble spread in track for Sandy and in intensity for both cases. This case study suggests that it is important to include model physics uncertainties for probabilistic TC prediction. A single-core multiphysics ensemble can capture the ensemble mean and spread forecasted by a multicore ensemble for the presented case studies.

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Carolyn A. Reynolds, James D. Doyle, Richard M. Hodur, and Hao Jin

Abstract

As part of The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) and the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR’s) Tropical Cyclone Structure-08 (TCS-08) experiments, a variety of real-time products were produced at the Naval Research Laboratory during the field campaign that took place from August through early October 2008. In support of the targeted observing objective, large-scale targeting guidance was produced twice daily using singular vectors (SVs) from the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS). These SVs were optimized for fixed regions centered over Guam, Taiwan, Japan, and two regions over the North Pacific east of Japan. During high-interest periods, flow-dependent SVs were also produced. In addition, global ensemble forecasts were produced and were useful for examining the potential downstream impacts of extratropical transitions. For mesoscale models, TC forecasts were produced using a new version of the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) developed specifically for tropical cyclone prediction (COAMPS-TC). In addition to the COAMPS-TC forecasts, mesoscale targeted observing products were produced using the COAMPS forecast and adjoint system twice daily, centered on storms of interest, at a 40-km horizontal resolution. These products were produced with 24-, 36-, and 48-h lead times. The nonhydrostatic adjoint system used during T-PARC/TCS-08 contains an exact adjoint to the explicit microphysics. An adaptive response function region was used to target favorable areas for tropical cyclone formation and development. Results indicate that forecasts of tropical cyclones in the western Pacific are very sensitive to the initial state.

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Sue Chen, Tim J. Campbell, Hao Jin, Saša Gaberšek, Richard M. Hodur, and Paul Martin

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A recent advance in the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) is described and used to study two-way air–sea coupling and its impact on two different weather scenarios. The first case examines the impact of a hurricane-induced cold ocean wake on simulated changes in the structure of Hurricane Katrina. The second case investigates the effect of wind- and current-induced island wakes and their impact on the local electromagnetic (EM) and acoustic propagation characteristics in the Southern California Bight region. In the Katrina case, both the atmosphere and ocean show a strong response from air–sea interaction. The model results show that wind-induced turbulent mixing, vertical advection, and horizontal advection are the three primary causes of the development of the trailing cold ocean wake. A distinct spatial separation is seen in these three primary forcing terms that are generating the bulk of the cooling in the ocean mixed layer. An asymmetric tropical cyclone structure change has been documented in detail from a more realistic, full physics, and tightly coupled model. These changes include a broadening of the eye, a reduced radius of hurricane-force wind, and a pronounced inner-core dry slot on the west side of the storm. In the island wake experiment, many finescale variations in the wind, current, and static stability structure resulting from the two-way interaction are described. These variations take the form of narrow vorticity and temperature anomalies that are found to reside in the ocean and atmosphere well downwind from the Channel Islands. Upwind differences in the lower-atmospheric wind and thermal structure also arise and are found to have a small impact on the lee-flow structure and EM characteristics of the southernmost Channel Islands.

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Yi Jin, Shouping Wang, Jason Nachamkin, James D. Doyle, Gregory Thompson, Lewis Grasso, Teddy Holt, Jon Moskaitis, Hao Jin, Richard M. Hodur, Qingyun Zhao, Ming Liu, and Mark DeMaria

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The impact of ice phase cloud microphysical processes on prediction of tropical cyclone environment is examined for two microphysical parameterizations using the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System–Tropical Cyclone (COAMPS-TC) model. An older version of microphysical parameterization is a relatively typical single-moment scheme with five hydrometeor species: cloud water and ice, rain, snow, and graupel. An alternative newer method uses a hybrid approach of double moment in cloud ice and rain and single moment in the other three species. Basin-scale synoptic flow simulations point to important differences between these two schemes. The upper-level cloud ice concentrations produced by the older scheme are up to two orders of magnitude greater than the newer scheme, primarily due to differing assumptions concerning the ice nucleation parameterization. Significant (1°–2°C) warm biases near the 300-hPa level in the control experiments are not present using the newer scheme. The warm bias in the control simulations is associated with the longwave radiative heating near the base of the cloud ice layer. The two schemes produced different track and intensity forecasts for 15 Atlantic storms. Rightward cross-track bias and positive intensity bias in the control forecasts are significantly reduced using the newer scheme. Synthetic satellite imagery of Hurricane Igor (2010) shows more realistic brightness temperatures from the simulations using the newer scheme, in which the inner core structure is clearly discernible. Applying the synthetic satellite imagery in both quantitative and qualitative analyses helped to pinpoint the issue of excessive upper-level cloud ice in the older scheme.

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Ralph Kahn, Wen-Hao Li, John V. Martonchik, Carol J. Bruegge, David J. Diner, Barbara J. Gaitley, Wedad Abdou, Oleg Dubovik, Brent Holben, Alexander Smirnov, Zhonghai Jin, and Dennis Clark

Abstract

Studying aerosols over ocean is one goal of the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) and other spaceborne imaging systems. But top-of-atmosphere equivalent reflectance typically falls in the range of 0.03 to 0.12 at midvisible wavelengths and can be below 0.01 in the near-infrared, when an optically thin aerosol layer is viewed over a dark ocean surface. Special attention must be given to radiometric calibration if aerosol optical thickness, and any information about particle microphysical properties, are to be reliably retrieved from such observations. MISR low-light-level vicarious calibration is performed in the vicinity of remote islands hosting Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sun- and sky-scanning radiometers, under low aerosol loading, low wind speed, relatively cloud free conditions. MISR equivalent reflectance is compared with values calculated from a radiative transfer model constrained by coincident, AERONET-retrieved aerosol spectral optical thickness, size distribution, and single scattering albedo, along with in situ wind measurements. Where the nadir view is not in sun glint, MISR equivalent reflectance is also compared with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance. The authors push the limits of the vicarious calibration method’s accuracy, aiming to assess absolute, camera-to-camera, and band-to-band radiometry. Patterns repeated over many well-constrained cases lend confidence to the results, at a few percent accuracy, as do additional vicarious calibration tests performed with multiplatform observations taken during the Chesapeake Lighthouse and Aircraft Measurements for Satellites (CLAMS) campaign. Conclusions are strongest in the red and green bands, but are too uncertain to accept for the near-infrared. MISR nadir-view and MODIS low-light-level absolute reflectances differ by about 4% in the blue and green bands, with MISR reporting higher values. In the red, MISR agrees with MODIS band 14 to better than 2%, whereas MODIS band 1 is significantly lower. Compared to the AERONET-constrained model, the MISR aft-viewing cameras report reflectances too high by several percent in the blue, green, and possibly the red. Better agreement is found in the nadir- and the forward-viewing cameras, especially in the blue and green. When implemented on a trial basis, calibration adjustments indicated by this work remove 40% of a 0.05 bias in retrieved midvisible aerosol optical depth over dark water scenes, produced by the early postlaunch MISR algorithm. A band-to-band correction has already been made to the MISR products, and the remaining calibration adjustments, totaling no more than a few percent, are planned.

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