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Kun Gao, Lucas Harris, Linjiong Zhou, Morris Bender, and Matthew Morin

Abstract

We investigate the sensitivity of hurricane intensity and structure to the horizontal tracer advection in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3). We compare two schemes, a monotonic scheme and a less diffusive positive-definite scheme. The positive-definite scheme leads to significant improvement in the intensity prediction relative to the monotonic scheme in a suite of 5-day forecasts that mostly consist of rapidly intensifying hurricanes. Notable storm structural differences are present: the radius of maximum wind (RMW) is smaller and eyewall convection occurs farther inside the RMW when the positive-definite scheme is used. Moreover, we find that the horizontal tracer advection scheme affects the eyewall convection location by affecting the moisture distribution in the inner-core region. This study highlights the importance of dynamical core algorithms in hurricane intensity prediction.

Open access
Linjiong Zhou, Shian-Jiann Lin, Jan-Huey Chen, Lucas M. Harris, Xi Chen, and Shannon L. Rees

Abstract

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) has developed a new variable-resolution global model with the ability to represent convective-scale features that serves as a prototype of the Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS). The goal of this prediction system is to maintain the skill in large-scale features while simultaneously improving the prediction skill of convectively driven mesoscale phenomena. This paper demonstrates the new capability of this model in convective-scale prediction relative to the current operational Global Forecast System (GFS). This model uses the stretched-grid functionality of the Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3) to refine the global 13-km uniform-resolution model down to 4-km convection-permitting resolution over the contiguous United States (CONUS), and implements the GFDL single-moment 6-category cloud microphysics to improve the representation of moist processes. Statistics gathered from two years of simulations by the GFS and select configurations of the FV3-based model are carefully examined. The variable-resolution FV3-based model is shown to possess global forecast skill comparable with that of the operational GFS while quantitatively improving skill and better representing the diurnal cycle within the high-resolution area compared to the uniform mesh simulations. Forecasts of the occurrence of extreme precipitation rates over the southern Great Plains are also shown to improve with the variable-resolution model. Case studies are provided of a squall line and a hurricane to demonstrate the effectiveness of the variable-resolution model to simulate convective-scale phenomena.

Open access
Jan-Huey Chen, Shian-Jiann Lin, Linjiong Zhou, Xi Chen, Shannon Rees, Morris Bender, and Matthew Morin

Abstract

A new global model using the GFDL nonhydrostatic Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3) coupled to physical parameterizations from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Global Forecast System (NCEP/GFS) was built at GFDL, named fvGFS. The modern dynamical core, FV3, has been selected for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS) due to its accuracy, adaptability, and computational efficiency, which brings a great opportunity for the unification of weather and climate prediction systems. The performance of tropical cyclone (TC) forecasts in the 13-km fvGFS is evaluated globally based on 363 daily cases of 10-day forecasts in 2015. Track and intensity errors of TCs in fvGFS are compared to those in the operational GFS. The fvGFS outperforms the GFS in TC intensity prediction for all basins. For TC track prediction, the fvGFS forecasts are substantially better over the northern Atlantic basin and the northern Pacific Ocean than the GFS forecasts. An updated version of the fvGFS with the GFDL 6-category cloud microphysics scheme is also investigated based on the same 363 cases. With this upgraded microphysics scheme, fvGFS shows much improvement in TC intensity prediction over the operational GFS. Besides track and intensity forecasts, the performance of TC genesis forecast is also compared between the fvGFS and operational GFS. In addition to evaluating the hit/false alarm ratios, a novel method is developed to investigate the lengths of TC genesis lead times in the forecasts. Both versions of fvGFS show higher hit ratios, lower false alarm ratios, and longer genesis lead times than those of the GFS model in most of the TC basins.

Open access
Mingjing Tong, Yanqiu Zhu, Linjiong Zhou, Emily Liu, Ming Chen, Quanhua Liu, and Shian-Jiann Lin

Abstract

Motivated by the use of the GFDL microphysics scheme in the Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core Global Forecast System (FV3GFS), the all-sky radiance assimilation framework has been expanded to include precipitating hydrometeors. Adding precipitating hydrometeors allows the assimilation of precipitation-affected radiance in addition to cloudy radiance. In this upgraded all-sky framework, the five hydrometeors, including cloud liquid water, cloud ice, rain, snow, and graupel, are the new control variables, replacing the original cloud water control variable. The Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM) was interfaced with the newly added precipitating hydrometeors. Subgrid cloud variability was considered by using the average cloud overlap scheme. Multiple scattering radiative transfer was activated in the upgraded framework. Radiance observations from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) and the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) over ocean were assimilated in all-sky approach. This new constructed all-sky framework shows neutral to positive impact on overall forecast skill. Improvement was found in 500-hPa geopotential height forecast in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Temperature forecast was also improved at 850 hPa in the Southern Hemisphere and the tropics.

Open access
Burkely T. Gallo, Jamie K. Wolff, Adam J. Clark, Israel Jirak, Lindsay R. Blank, Brett Roberts, Yunheng Wang, Chunxi Zhang, Ming Xue, Tim Supinie, Lucas Harris, Linjiong Zhou, and Curtis Alexander

Abstract

Verification methods for convection-allowing models (CAMs) should consider the finescale spatial and temporal detail provided by CAMs, and including both neighborhood and object-based methods can account for displaced features that may still provide useful information. This work explores both contingency table–based verification techniques and object-based verification techniques as they relate to forecasts of severe convection. Two key fields in severe weather forecasting are investigated: updraft helicity (UH) and simulated composite reflectivity. UH is used to generate severe weather probabilities called surrogate severe fields, which have two tunable parameters: the UH threshold and the smoothing level. Probabilities computed using the UH threshold and smoothing level that give the best area under the receiver operating curve result in very high probabilities, while optimizing the parameters based on the Brier score reliability component results in much lower probabilities. Subjective ratings from participants in the 2018 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecasting Experiment (SFE) provide a complementary evaluation source. This work compares the verification methodologies in the context of three CAMs using the Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3), which will be the foundation of the U.S. Unified Forecast System (UFS). Three agencies ran FV3-based CAMs during the five-week 2018 SFE. These FV3-based CAMs are verified alongside a current operational CAM, the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh version 3 (HRRRv3). The HRRR is planned to eventually use the FV3 dynamical core as part of the UFS; as such evaluations relative to current HRRR configurations are imperative to maintaining high forecast quality and informing future implementation decisions.

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Baoqiang Xiang, Lucas Harris, Thomas L. Delworth, Bin Wang, Guosen Chen, Jan-Huey Chen, Spencer K. Clark, William F. Cooke, Kun Gao, J. Jacob Huff, Liwei Jia, Nathaniel C. Johnson, Sarah B. Kapnick, Feiyu Lu, Colleen McHugh, Yongqiang Sun, Mingjing Tong, Xiaosong Yang, Fanrong Zeng, Ming Zhao, Linjiong Zhou, and Xiaqiong Zhou

Abstract

A subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) prediction system was recently developed using the GFDL Seamless System for Prediction and Earth System Research (SPEAR) global coupled model. Based on 20-yr hindcast results (2000–19), the boreal wintertime (November–April) Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) prediction skill is revealed to reach 30 days measured before the anomaly correlation coefficient of the real-time multivariate (RMM) index drops to 0.5. However, when the MJO is partitioned into four distinct propagation patterns, the prediction range extends to 38, 31, and 31 days for the fast-propagating, slow-propagating, and jumping MJO patterns, respectively, but falls to 23 days for the standing MJO. A further improvement of MJO prediction requires attention to the standing MJO given its large gap with its potential predictability (38 days). The slow-propagating MJO detours southward when traversing the Maritime Continent (MC), and confronts the MC prediction barrier in the model, while the fast-propagating MJO moves across the central MC without this prediction barrier. The MJO diversity is modulated by stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO): the standing (slow-propagating) MJO coincides with significant westerly (easterly) phases of QBO, partially explaining the contrasting MJO prediction skill between these two QBO phases. The SPEAR model shows its capability, beyond the propagation, in predicting their initiation for different types of MJO along with discrete precursory convection anomalies. The SPEAR model skillfully predicts the observed distinct teleconnections over the North Pacific and North America related to the standing, jumping, and fast-propagating MJO, but not the slow-propagating MJO. These findings highlight the complexities and challenges of incorporating MJO prediction into the operational prediction of meteorological variables.

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