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Sundararaman G. Gopalakrishnan, Frank Marks Jr., Jun A. Zhang, Xuejin Zhang, Jian-Wen Bao, and Vijay Tallapragada
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Dan-Qing Huang, Jian Zhu, Yao-Cun Zhang, Jun Wang, and Xue-Yuan Kuang

Abstract

Spring persistent rainfall (SPR) over southern China has great impact on its society and economics. A remarkable feature of the SPR is high frequency. However, SPR frequency obviously decreases over the period of 1997–2011. In this study, the possible causes have been investigated from the perspective of the individual and concurrent effects of the East Asian subtropical jet (EASJ) and East Asian polar front jet (EAPJ). A close relationship is detected between SPR frequency and EASJ intensity (but not EAPJ intensity). Associated with strong EASJ, abundant water vapor is transported to southern China by the southwesterly flow, which may trigger the SPR. Additionally, frequencies of both strong EASJ and weak EAPJ events are positively correlated with SPR frequency. Further investigation of the concurrent effect indicates a significant positive correlation between the frequencies of SPR and the strong EASJ–weak EAPJ configuration. Associated with this configuration, southwesterly flow strengthens in the lower troposphere, while northerly wind weakens in the upper troposphere. This provides a dynamic and moist condition, as enhanced ascending motion and intensified convergence of abundant water vapor over southern China, which favors the SPR. All analyses suggest that the EASJ may play a dominant role in the SPR occurrence and that the EAPJ may play a modulation role. Finally, a possible mechanism maintaining the strong EASJ–weak EAPJ configuration is proposed. Significant cooling over the northeastern Tibetan Plateau may induce a cyclone anomaly in the upper troposphere, which could result in an accelerating EASJ and a decelerating EAPJ.

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Sundararaman G. Gopalakrishnan, Frank Marks Jr., Jun A. Zhang, Xuejin Zhang, Jian-Wen Bao, and Vijay Tallapragada

Abstract

The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) system was used in an idealized framework to gain a fundamental understanding of the variability in tropical cyclone (TC) structure and intensity prediction that may arise due to vertical diffusion. The modeling system uses the Medium-Range Forecast parameterization scheme. Flight-level data collected by a NOAA WP-3D research aircraft during the eyewall penetration of category 5 Hurricane Hugo (1989) at an altitude of about 450–500 m and Hurricane Allen (1980) were used as the basis to best match the modeled eddy diffusivities with wind speed. While reduction of the eddy diffusivity to a quarter of its original value produced the best match with the observations, such a reduction revealed a significant decrease in the height of the inflow layer as well which, in turn, drastically affected the size and intensity changes in the modeled TC. The cross-isobaric flow (inflow) was observed to be stronger with the decrease in the inflow depth. Stronger inflow not only increased the spin of the storm, enhancing the generalized Coriolis term in the equations of motion for tangential velocity, but also resulted in enhanced equivalent potential temperature in the boundary layer, a stronger and warmer core, and, subsequently, a stronger storm. More importantly, rapid acceleration of the inflow not only produced a stronger outflow at the top of the inflow layer, more consistent with observations, but also a smaller inner core that was less than half the size of the original.

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Chao Wang, Liguang Wu, Jun Lu, Qingyuan Liu, Haikun Zhao, Wei Tian, and Jian Cao

Abstract

Understanding variations in tropical cyclone (TC) translation speed (TCS) is of great importance for islands and coastal regions since it is an important factor in determining TC-induced local damages. Investigating the long-term change in TCS was usually subject to substantial limitations in the quality of historical TC records, but here we investigated the interannual variability in TCS over the western North Pacific (WNP) Ocean by using reliable satellite TC records. It was found that both temporal changes in large-scale steering flow and TC track greatly contributed to interannual variability in the WNP TCS. In the peak season (July–September), TCS changes were closely related to temporal variations in large-scale steering flow, which was linked to the intensity of the western North Pacific subtropical high. However, for the late season (October–December), changes in TC track played a vital role in interannual variability in TCS while the impacts of temporal variations in large-scale steering were weak. The changes in TC track were mainly contributed by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-induced zonal migrations in TC genesis locations, which make more or fewer TCs move to the subtropical WNP, thus leading to notable changes in the basinwide TCS because of the much greater large-scale steering in the subtropical WNP. The increased influence of TC track change on TCS in the late season was linked to the greater contrast between the subtropical and the tropical large-scale steering in the late season. These results have important implications for understanding current and future variations in TCS.

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Ali Jozaghi, Mohammad Nabatian, Seongjin Noh, Dong-Jun Seo, Lin Tang, and Jian Zhang

Abstract

We describe and evaluate adaptive conditional bias–penalized cokriging (CBPCK) for improved multisensor precipitation estimation using rain gauge data and remotely sensed quantitative precipitation estimates (QPE). The remotely sensed QPEs used are radar-only and radar–satellite-fused estimates. For comparative evaluation, true validation is carried out over the continental United States (CONUS) for 13–30 September 2015 and 7–9 October 2016. The hourly gauge data, radar-only QPE, and satellite QPE used are from the Hydrometeorological Automated Data System, Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor System, and Self-Calibrating Multivariate Precipitation Retrieval (SCaMPR), respectively. For radar–satellite fusion, conditional bias–penalized Fisher estimation is used. The reference merging technique compared is ordinary cokriging (OCK) used in the National Weather Service Multisensor Precipitation Estimator. It is shown that, beyond the reduction due to mean field bias (MFB) correction, both OCK and adaptive CBPCK additionally reduce the unconditional root-mean-square error (RMSE) of radar-only QPE by 9%–16% over the CONUS for the two periods, and that adaptive CBPCK is superior to OCK for estimation of hourly amounts exceeding 1 mm. When fused with the MFB-corrected radar QPE, the MFB-corrected SCaMPR QPE for September 2015 reduces the unconditional RMSE of the MFB-corrected radar by 4% and 6% over the entire and western half of the CONUS, respectively, but is inferior to the MFB-corrected radar for estimation of hourly amounts exceeding 7 mm. Adaptive CBPCK should hence be favored over OCK for estimation of significant amounts of precipitation despite larger computational cost, and the SCaMPR QPE should be used selectively in multisensor QPE.

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Zhongshui Zou, Shuiqing Li, Jian Huang, Peiliang Li, Jinbao Song, Jun A. Zhang, and Zhanhong Wan

Abstract

Turbulence over the mobile ocean surface has distinct properties compared to turbulence over land. Thus, findings that are based on the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget and Monin–Obukhov similarity theory (MOST) over land may not be applicable to conditions over ocean partly because of the existence of a wave boundary layer (the lower part of atmospheric boundary layer including effects of surface waves; we used the term “WBL” in this article for convenience), where the total stress can be separated into turbulent stress and wave coherent stress. Here the turbulent stress is defined as the stress generated by wind shear and buoyancy, while the wave coherent stress accounts for the momentum transfer between ocean waves and atmosphere. In this study, applicability of the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget and the inertial dissipation method (IDM) in the context of the MOST within the WBL are examined. It was found that turbulent transport terms in the TKE budget should not be neglected when calculating the total stress under swell conditions. This was confirmed by observations made on a fixed platform. The results also suggested that turbulent stress, rather than total stress, should be used when applying the MOST within the WBL. By combining the TKE budget and MOST, our study showed that the stress computed by the traditional IDM corresponds to the turbulent stress rather than the total stress. The swell wave coherent stress should be considered when applying the IDM to calculate the stress in the WBL.

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Jian Huang, Zhongshui Zou, Qingcun Zeng, Peiliang Li, Jinbao Song, Lin Wu, Jun A. Zhang, Shuiqing Li, and Pak-wai Chan

Abstract

The turbulent structure within the marine atmospheric boundary layer is investigated based on four levels of observations at a fixed marine platform. During and before a cold front, the ocean surface is dominated by wind sea and swell waves, respectively, affording the opportunity to test the theory recently proposed in laboratory experiments or for flat land surfaces. The results reveal that the velocity spectra follow a k −1 law within the intermediate wavenumber (k) range immediately below inertial subrange during the cold front. A logarithmic height dependence of the horizontal velocity variances is also observed above the height of 20 m, while the vertical velocity variances increase with increasing height following a power law of 2/3. These features confirm the attached eddy model and the “top-down model” of turbulence over the ocean surface. However, the behavior of velocity variances under swell conditions is much different from those during the cold front, although a remarkable k −1 law can be observed in the velocity spectra. The quadrant analysis of the momentum flux also shows a significantly different result for the two conditions.

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Xiaomin Chen, Jian-Feng Gu, Jun A. Zhang, Frank D. Marks, Robert F. Rogers, and Joseph J. Cione

Abstract

This study investigates the precipitation symmetrization preceding rapid intensification (RI) of tropical cyclones (TCs) experiencing vertical wind shear by analyzing numerical simulations of Typhoon Mujigae (2015) with warm (CTL) and relatively cool (S1) sea surface temperatures (SSTs). A novel finding is that precipitation symmetrization is maintained by the continuous development of deep convection along the inward flank of a convective precipitation shield (CPS), especially in the downwind part. Beneath the CPS, downdrafts flush the boundary layer with low-entropy parcels. These low-entropy parcels do not necessarily weaken the TCs; instead, they are “recycled” in the TC circulation, gradually recovered by positive enthalpy fluxes, and develop into convection during their propagation toward a downshear convergence zone. Along-trajectory vertical momentum budget analyses reveal the predominant role of buoyancy acceleration in the convective development in both experiments. The boundary layer recovery is more efficient for warmer SST, and the stronger buoyancy acceleration accounts for the higher probability of these parcels developing into deep convection in the downwind part of the CPS, which helps maintain the precipitation symmetrization in CTL. In contrast, less efficient boundary layer recovery and less upshear deep convection hinder the precipitation symmetrization in S1. These findings highlight the key role of boundary layer recovery in regulating the precipitation symmetrization and upshear deep convection, which further accounts for an earlier RI onset timing of the CTL TC. The inward-rebuilding pathway also illuminates why deep convection is preferentially located inside the radius of maximum wind of sheared TCs undergoing RI.

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Jian Zhang, Kenneth Howard, Carrie Langston, Steve Vasiloff, Brian Kaney, Ami Arthur, Suzanne Van Cooten, Kevin Kelleher, David Kitzmiller, Feng Ding, Dong-Jun Seo, Ernie Wells, and Chuck Dempsey

The National Mosaic and Multi-sensor QPE (Quantitative Precipitation Estimation), or “NMQ”, system was initially developed from a joint initiative between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory, the Federal Aviation Administration's Aviation Weather Research Program, and the Salt River Project. Further development has continued with additional support from the National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Hydrologic Development, the NWS Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, and the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan. The objectives of NMQ research and development (R&D) are 1) to develop a hydrometeorological platform for assimilating different observational networks toward creating high spatial and temporal resolution multisensor QPEs for f lood warnings and water resource management and 2) to develop a seamless high-resolution national 3D grid of radar reflectivity for severe weather detection, data assimilation, numerical weather prediction model verification, and aviation product development.

Through about ten years of R&D, a real-time NMQ system has been implemented (http://nmq.ou.edu). Since June 2006, the system has been generating high-resolution 3D reflectivity mosaic grids (31 vertical levels) and a suite of severe weather and QPE products in real-time for the conterminous United States at a 1-km horizontal resolution and 2.5 minute update cycle. The experimental products are provided in real-time to end users ranging from government agencies, universities, research institutes, and the private sector and have been utilized in various meteorological, aviation, and hydrological applications. Further, a number of operational QPE products generated from different sensors (radar, gauge, satellite) and by human experts are ingested in the NMQ system and the experimental products are evaluated against the operational products as well as independent gauge observations in real time.

The NMQ is a fully automated system. It facilitates systematic evaluations and advances of hydrometeorological sciences and technologies in a real-time environment and serves as a test bed for rapid science-to-operation infusions. This paper describes scientific components of the NMQ system and presents initial evaluation results and future development plans of the system.

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Peter J. Webster, Jun Jian, Thomas M. Hopson, Carlos D. Hoyos, Paula A. Agudelo, Hai-Ru Chang, Judith A. Curry, Robert L. Grossman, Timothy N. Palmer, and A. R. Subbiah

The authors have developed a new extended-range flood forecasting system for large river basins that uses satellite data and statistically rendered probabilistic weather and climate predictions to initialize basin-scale hydrological models. The forecasting system overcomes the absence of upstreamflow data, a problem that is prevalent in the developing world. Forecasts of the Ganges and Brahmaputra discharge into Bangladesh were made in real time on 1–10-day time horizons for the period 2003–08. Serious flooding of the Brahmaputra occurred in 2004, 2007, and 2008. Detailed forecasts of the flood onset and withdrawal were made 10 days in advance for each of the flooding events with correlations at 10 days ≥0.8 and Brier scores <0.05. Extensions to 15 days show useable skill. Based on the 1–10-day forecasts of the 2007 and 2008 floods, emergency managers in Bangladesh were able to act preemptively, arrange the evacuation of populations in peril along the Brahmaputra, and minimize financial loss. The particular application of this forecast scheme in Bangladesh represents a “world is f lat” approach to emergency management through the collaboration of scientists in Europe (generating global ensemble meteorological and climate forecasts), the United States (developing and producing the integrated flood forecasts), and the developing world (integrating the flood forecasts into their disaster management decision-making protocol), all enabled by high-speed Internet connections. We also make suggestions of how scientific and technical collaborations between more developed and developing nations can be improved to increase their prospects for sustaining the technology adoption and transfer.

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