Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 17 items for

  • Author or Editor: Luiz A. T. Machado x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Luiz A. T. Machado

Abstract

Radiosonde and satellite data collected from the Atmosphere Boundary Layer Experiment—Wet Season and Amazon Water Vapor Flux Experiment are used to investigate the energy budget. The relationship between the cloud cover variability and the different terms of the energy budget equations was examined. The radiosonde data were used to compute the energy divergence flux for each triangle composed by three radiosonde stations. Earth Radiation Budget Experiment data were used to compute the radiative flux in the top of the atmosphere. The cloud cover variability were computed from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data.

When the atmosphere undergoes a change from the mean state to the convective state, it stores energy mainly in the middle layers, while the maximum energy storage was found around 650 hPa mainly due to the perturbation of the latent energy. Conversely, when the atmosphere undergoes a change from a mean state to a nearly clear sky situation, the atmosphere column loses energy, principally due to the changes in the latent energy profile, and the atmosphere became drier, in the 700–200-hPa layer.

The advective term of the energy divergence flux is of a lower order and the energy divergence flux is determined mainly from the divergent term. The profiles of the components of the energy divergence flux are essentially a result of the wind divergence weighted by the specific humidity (latent term), temperature (enthalpy term), and height (potential term). The latent energy divergence flux, for convective situations, presents a maximum in 950 hPa and is always negative (convergent) up to 400 hPa. For the nearly clear-sky situation a convergence of humidity in the lower levels and an important humidity divergence above 800 hPa were observed. The enthalpy and the latent energy divergence flux mainly describe the middle/low levels and the potential energy divergence flux represents mainly the upper troposphere.

During the experiments, the solar energy absorbed by the surface was always smaller than the total surface flux supplied to the atmosphere during convective events and always larger than the total surface flux supplied to the atmosphere during nonconvective events. This means that the surface loses more energy than it receives in convective events and vice versa. The quantity of energy stored at the surface seems to be limited, defining a timescale, during which the surface needs to export or receive energy to control its deficit or gain of energy.

Full access
Luiz A. T. Machado and Jean-Pierre Chaboureau

Abstract

This study evaluates the cloud and rain cell organization in space and time as forecasted by a cloud-resolving model. The forecast fields, mainly describing mesoscale convective complexes and cold fronts, were utilized to generate synthetic satellite and radar images for comparison with Meteosat Second Generation and S-band radar observations. The comparison was made using a tracking technique that computed the size and lifetime of cloud and rain distributions and provided histograms of radiative quantities and cloud-top height. The tracking technique was innovatively applied to test the sensitivity of forecasts to the turbulence parameterization. The simulations with 1D turbulence produced too many small cloud systems and rain cells with a shorter lifetime than observed. The 3D turbulence simulations yielded size and lifetime distributions more consistent with the observations. As shown for a case study, 3D turbulence yielded longer mixing length, larger entrainment, and stronger turbulence kinetic energy inside clouds than 1D turbulence. The simulation with 3D turbulence had the best scores in high clouds. These features suggest that 1D turbulence did not produce enough entrainment, allowing the formation of more small cloud and rain cells than observed. Further tests were performed on the sensitivity to the mixing length with 3D turbulence. Cloud organization was very sensitive to in-cloud mixing length and the use of a very small value increased the number of small cells, much more than the simulations with 1D turbulence. With a larger in-cloud mixing length, the total number of cells, mainly the small ones, was strongly reduced.

Full access
Bruno Durand, Jacques Servain, Henri Laurent, and Luiz A. T. Machado

Abstract

This study aims to examine the relationship between the tropical Atlantic latent heat flux and convective cloud coverage over northeast Brazil (NEB) during the four months of the main rainy season (February–May). The correlation with anomalies of these data is investigated, both without lag and with a 1-month lag (the heat flux in advance). In both cases, a significant positive correlation appears in the northwestern tropical Atlantic, and a significant negative correlation is obtained for a limited area off eastern NEB. These two correlation patterns are linked to anomalies in the trade wind intensity and in the meridional position of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), which relate to the latent heat flux anomalies and NEB convective coverage anomalies, respectively. The positive correlation pattern is spread over a large part of the northern tropical Atlantic, whereas the negative correlation pattern is confined off NEB. This indicates the existence of different regional mechanisms in the tropical Atlantic basin. The impact of the Atlantic heat fluxes on NEB convection is somewhat different from the classical meridional dipole related to the SST variability. The analysis of the horizontal moisture flux shows that during flood years an additional meridional inflow balances the eastward loss, and the upward velocity reinforced over NEB contributes to intensify NEB convection. The positive correlation pattern indicates that the location of the northern branch of the Pilot Research moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) moorings is pertinent to monitor the ocean–atmosphere interface parameters. The negative correlation pattern off NEB provides new support for the possible extension of the PIRATA array toward the Brazilian coast. Complementary results at 1-month lag and the real-time availability of the PIRATA data confirm the potential of NEB forecasting.

Full access
Evandro M. Anselmo, Courtney Schumacher, and Luiz A. T. Machado

Abstract

We describe the existence of an Amazonian low-level jet (ALLJ) that can affect the propagation and life cycle of convective systems from the northeast coast of South America into central Amazonia. Horizontal winds from reanalysis were analyzed during March–April–May (MAM) of the two years (2014–15) of the GoAmazon2014/5 field campaign. Convective system tracking was performed using GOES-13 infrared imagery and classified into days with high and weak convective activity. The MAM average winds show a nocturnal enhancement of low-level winds starting near the coast in the early evening and reaching 1600 km inland by late morning. Mean 3-hourly wind speeds maximize at 9–10 m s−1 near 900 hPa, but individual days can have nighttime low-level winds exceeding 12 m s−1. Based on objective low-level wind criteria, the ALLJ is present 10%–40% of the time over the Amazon during MAM depending on the location and time of day. The evolution of the ALLJ across the Amazon impacts the frequency of occurrence of cloud clusters and the intensity of the moisture flux. In addition, the ALLJ is associated with the enhancement of northeasterly flow in the midtroposphere during active convective days, when vertical momentum transport may be occurring in the organized cloud clusters. During the weakly active convective period, the ALLJ is weaker near the coast but stronger across the central Amazon and appears to be linked more directly with the South American low-level jet.

Restricted access
Luiz F. Sapucci, Luiz A. T. Machado, João F. G. Monico, and Artemio Plana-Fattori

Abstract

Water vapor is an atmospheric component of major interest in atmospheric science because it affects the energy budget and plays a key role in several atmospheric processes. The Amazonian region is one of the most humid on the planet, and land use change is able to affect the hydrologic cycle in several areas and consequently to generate severe modifications in the global climate. Within this context, accessing the error associated with atmospheric humidity measurement and the validation of the integrated water vapor (IWV) quantification from different techniques is very important in this region. Using data collected during the Radiation, Cloud, and Climate Interactions in Amazonia during the Dry-to-Wet Transition Season (RACCI/DRY-TO-WET), an experiment carried out in southwestern Amazonia in 2002, this paper presents quality analysis of IWV measurements from RS80 radiosondes, a suite of GPS receivers, an Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) solar radiometer, and humidity sounding from the Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB) aboard the Aqua satellite. When compared to RS80 IWV values, the root-mean-square (RMS) from the AERONET and GPS results are of the order of 2.7 and 3.8 kg m−2, respectively. The difference generated between IWV from the GPS receiver and RS80 during the daytime was larger than that of the nighttime period because of the combination of the influence of high ionospheric activity during the RACCI experiment and a daytime drier bias from the RS80.

Full access
Luiz F. Sapucci, Luiz A. T. Machado, Reinaldo B. da Silveira, Gilberto Fisch, and João F. G. Monico

Abstract

The quality of the vertical distribution measurements of humidity in the atmosphere is very important in meteorology due to the crucial role that water vapor plays in the earth’s energy budget. The radiosonde is the humidity measurement device that provides the best vertical resolution. Also, radiosondes are the operational devices that are used to measure the vertical profile of atmospheric water vapor. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has carried out several intercomparison experiments at different climatic zones in order to identify the differences between the available commercial sensors. This article presents the results of an experiment that was carried out in Brazil in 2001 in which major commercial radiosonde manufacturers [e.g., Graw Radiosondes GmbH & Co., KG (Germany); MODEM (France); InterMet Systems (United States); Sippican, Inc. (United States); and Vaisala (Finland)] were involved. One of the main goals of this experiment was to evaluate the performance of the different humidity sensors in a tropical region. This evaluation was performed for different atmospheric layers and distinct periods of the day. It also considers the computation of the integrated water vapor (IWV). The results showed that the humidity measurements achieved by the different sensors were quite similar in the low troposphere (the bias median value regarding the RS80 was around 1.8%) and were quite dispersed in the superior layers (the median rms regarding the RS80 was around 14.9%).

Full access
Renato G. Negri, Luiz A. T. Machado, Stephen English, and Mary Forsythe

Abstract

Advances in computer power have made it possible to increase the spatial resolution of regional numerical models to a scale encompassing larger convective elements of less than 5 km in size. One goal of high resolution is to begin to resolve convective processes, and therefore it is necessary to evaluate the realism of convective clouds resolved explicitly at this resolution. This paper presents a method that is based on satellite comparisons to examine the simulation of continental tropical convection over Africa, in a high-resolution integration of the Met Office Unified Model (UK UM), developed under the Cascade project. The spatial resolution of these simulations is 1.5 km, the temporal resolution is 15 min, and the convection is resolved explicitly. The Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) radiometer measurements were simulated by the Radiative Transfer for the Television and Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (RTTOV) model, and then a comparison between the simulations and real SEVIRI measurements was performed. The analysis using the presented method shows that the UK UM can represent tropical convection dynamics realistically. However, an error has been found in the high-level humidity distribution, which is characterized by strong humidity gradients. A key point of this paper is to present a method for establishing the credibility of a convection-permitting model by direct comparison with satellite data.

Full access
Lianet Hernández Pardo, Hugh Morrison, Luiz A. T. Machado, Jerry Y. Harrington, and Zachary J. Lebo

Abstract

In this study, processes that broaden drop size distributions (DSDs) in Eulerian models with two-moment bin microphysics are analyzed. Numerous tests are performed to isolate the effects of different physical mechanisms that broaden DSDs in two- and three-dimensional Weather Research and Forecasting Model simulations of an idealized ice-free cumulus cloud. Sensitivity of these effects to modifying horizontal and vertical model grid spacings is also examined. As expected, collision–coalescence is a key process broadening the modeled DSDs. In-cloud droplet activation also contributes substantially to DSD broadening, whereas evaporation has only a minor effect and sedimentation has little effect. Cloud dilution (mixing of cloud-free and cloudy air) also broadens the DSDs considerably, whether or not it is accompanied by evaporation. This mechanism involves the reduction of droplet concentration from dilution along the cloud’s lateral edges, leading to locally high supersaturation and enhanced drop growth when this air is subsequently lifted in the updraft. DSD broadening ensues when the DSDs are mixed with those from the cloud core. Decreasing the horizontal and vertical model grid spacings from 100 to 30 m has limited impact on the DSDs. However, when these physical broadening mechanisms (in-cloud activation, collision–coalescence, dilution, etc.) are turned off, there is a reduction of DSD width by up to ~20%–50% when the vertical grid spacing is decreased from 100 to 30 m, consistent with effects of artificial broadening from vertical numerical diffusion. Nonetheless, this artificial numerical broadening appears to be relatively unimportant overall for DSD broadening when physically based broadening mechanisms in the model are included for this cumulus case.

Restricted access
Casey D. Burleyson, Zhe Feng, Samson M. Hagos, Jerome Fast, Luiz A. T. Machado, and Scot T. Martin

Abstract

The isolation of the Amazon rain forest makes it challenging to observe precipitation forming there, but it also creates a natural laboratory to study anthropogenic impacts on clouds and precipitation in an otherwise pristine environment. Observations were collected upwind and downwind of Manaus, Brazil, during the “Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon 2014–2015” experiment (GoAmazon2014/5). Besides aircraft, most of the observations were point measurements made in a spatially heterogeneous environment, making it hard to distinguish anthropogenic signals from naturally occurring spatial variability. In this study, 15 years of satellite data are used to examine the spatial and temporal variability of deep convection around the GoAmazon2014/5 sites using cold cloud tops (infrared brightness temperatures colder than 240 K) as a proxy for deep convection. During the rainy season, convection associated with the inland propagation of the previous day’s sea-breeze front is in phase with the diurnal cycle of deep convection near Manaus but is out of phase a few hundred kilometers to the east and west. Convergence between the river breezes and the easterly trade winds generates afternoon convection up to 10% more frequently (on average ~4 mm day−1 more intense rainfall) at the GoAmazon2014/5 sites east of the Negro River (T0e, T0t/k, and T1) relative to the T3 site, which was located west of the river. In general, the annual and diurnal cycles of precipitation during 2014 were similar to climatological values that are based on satellite data from 2000 to 2013.

Full access
G. Delgado, Luiz A. T. Machado, Carlos F. Angelis, Marcus J. Bottino, Á. Redaño, J. Lorente, L. Gimeno, and R. Nieto

Abstract

This paper discusses the basis for a new rainfall estimation method using geostationary infrared and visible data. The precipitation radar on board the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite is used to train the algorithm presented (which is the basis of the estimation method) and the further intercomparison. The algorithm uses daily Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite infrared–visible (IR–VIS) cloud classifications together with radiative and evolution properties of clouds over the life cycle of mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) in different brightness temperature (Tb) ranges. Despite recognition of the importance of the relationship between the life cycle of MCSs and the rainfall rate they produce, this relationship has not previously been quantified precisely. An empirical relationship is found between the characteristics that describe the MCSs’ life cycle and the magnitude of rainfall rate they produce. Numerous earlier studies focus on this subject using cloud-patch or pixel-based techniques; this work combines the two techniques. The algorithm performs reasonably well in the case of convective systems and also for stratiform clouds, although it tends to overestimate rainfall rates. Despite only using satellite information to initialize the algorithm, satisfactory results were obtained relative to the hydroestimator technique, which in addition to the IR information uses extra satellite data such as moisture and orographic corrections. This shows that the use of IR–VIS cloud classification and MCS properties provides a robust basis for creating a future estimation method incorporating humidity Eta field outputs for a moisture correction, digital elevation models combined with low-level moisture advection for an orographic correction, and a nighttime cloud classification.

Full access