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M. Israeli
and
D. Gottlieb

Abstract

The stability of the N-cycle scheme of Lorenz for hyperbolic systems of partial differential equations and for parabolic equations is explored. Stability conditions are given explicitly. For hyperbolic systems, the results indicate that the fourth-order scheme is the most efficient. For the parabolic equation the results indicate that the stability condition is not, as was suggested by Lorenz, independent of N.

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M. Israeli
and
E. S. Sarachik

Abstract

Arakawa's recent parameterization of the effects of a cumulus ensemble on the large-scale environment is applied to the problem of conditional instability of the second kind (CISK). In particular, Charney's linear, two-level, line-symmetry CISK model of the ITCZ is re-examined using a simplified non-entraining cloud version of the Arakawa scheme. It is found that the growth rate is maximum, in fact infinite, at some reasonable mesoscale rather than at cumulus scale as is characteristic of Charney's solution. A more accurate semi-analytic model of CISK is considered and it is found that a separable, line-symmetric CISK solution is always possible under very general conditions. In both the two-level and semi-analytic models of CISK, it is proved that a necessary condition for the existence of a growing solution is that the mass flux into the clouds exceeds the Ekman pumping out of the boundary layer, or equivalently, that the air between the clouds must subside and therefore heat the environment by adiabatic compression.

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Israel Silber
,
Johannes Verlinde
,
Sheng-Hung Wang
,
David H. Bromwich
,
Ann M. Fridlind
,
Maria Cadeddu
,
Edwin W. Eloranta
, and
Connor J. Flynn

Abstract

The surface downwelling longwave radiation component (LW↓) is crucial for the determination of the surface energy budget and has significant implications for the resilience of ice surfaces in the polar regions. Accurate model evaluation of this radiation component requires knowledge about the phase, vertical distribution, and associated temperature of water in the atmosphere, all of which control the LW↓ signal measured at the surface. In this study, we examine the LW↓ model errors found in the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) operational forecast model and the ERA5 model relative to observations from the ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) campaign at McMurdo Station and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide. The errors are calculated separately for observed clear-sky conditions, ice-cloud occurrences, and liquid-bearing cloud-layer (LBCL) occurrences. The analysis results show a tendency in both models at each site to underestimate the LW↓ during clear-sky conditions, high error variability (standard deviations > 20 W m−2) during any type of cloud occurrence, and negative LW↓ biases when LBCLs are observed (bias magnitudes >15 W m−2 in tenuous LBCL cases and >43 W m−2 in optically thick/opaque LBCLs instances). We suggest that a generally dry and liquid-deficient atmosphere responsible for the identified LW↓ biases in both models is the result of excessive ice formation and growth, which could stem from the model initial and lateral boundary conditions, microphysics scheme, aerosol representation, and/or limited vertical resolution.

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Austin P. Hope
,
Israel Lopez-Coto
,
Kris Hajny
,
Jay M. Tomlin
,
Robert Kaeser
,
Brian Stirm
,
Anna Karion
, and
Paul B. Shepson

Abstract

We investigated the ability of three planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model to simulate boundary layer turbulence in the “gray zone” (i.e., resolutions from 100 m to 1 km). The three schemes chosen are the well-established MYNN PBL scheme and the two newest PBL schemes added to WRF: the three-dimensional scale-adaptive turbulent kinetic energy scheme (SMS-3DTKE) and the E–ε parameterization scheme (EEPS). The SMS-3DTKE scheme is designed to be scale aware and avoid the double counting of TKE in simulations within the gray zone. We evaluated their performance using aircraft measurements obtained during three research flights immediately downwind of Manhattan, New York City, New York. The MYNN PBL scheme simulates TKE best, despite not being scale aware and slightly underestimating TKE from observations, whereas the SMS-3DTKE scheme appears to be overly scale aware for the three flights examined, in particular, when combined with the MM5 surface layer scheme. The EEPS scheme significantly underestimates TKE, mostly in the elevated layers of the boundary layer. In addition, we examined the impact of flow over tall buildings on observed TKE and found that only the windiest day showed a significant increase in TKE directly downwind of Manhattan. This impact was not reproduced by any of the model configurations, regardless of the land-use data selected, although the better resolved National Land Cover Database (NLCD) land use led to a slight improvement of the spatial distribution of TKE, implying that more explicit representation of the impact of tall buildings may be needed to fully capture their impact on boundary layer turbulence.

Significance Statement

Because the majority of the world’s population lives in cities, it is important to accurately simulate the atmosphere above and around these cities including the turbulence caused by tall buildings. This turbulence can significantly impact the mixing and dilution of air pollutants and other toxins in highly populated urban environments. The scale of cities often falls into what is known as the “gray zone” for turbulence modeling, which has been analyzed theoretically before but rarely in varied real-world conditions. Our analysis around New York City, New York, suggests that model turbulence schemes can match observations relatively well even at gray zone scales, although newer schemes require refinement, and all schemes tend to underestimate turbulence downwind of tall buildings.

Open access
Ariel E. Cohen
,
Steven M. Cavallo
,
Michael C. Coniglio
,
Harold E. Brooks
, and
Israel L. Jirak

Abstract

Southeast U.S. cold season severe weather events can be difficult to predict because of the marginality of the supporting thermodynamic instability in this regime. The sensitivity of this environment to prognoses of instability encourages additional research on ways in which mesoscale models represent turbulent processes within the lower atmosphere that directly influence thermodynamic profiles and forecasts of instability. This work summarizes characteristics of the southeast U.S. cold season severe weather environment and planetary boundary layer (PBL) parameterization schemes used in mesoscale modeling and proceeds with a focused investigation of the performance of nine different representations of the PBL in this environment by comparing simulated thermodynamic and kinematic profiles to observationally influenced ones. It is demonstrated that simultaneous representation of both nonlocal and local mixing in the Asymmetric Convective Model, version 2 (ACM2), scheme has the lowest overall errors for the southeast U.S. cold season tornado regime. For storm-relative helicity, strictly nonlocal schemes provide the largest overall differences from observationally influenced datasets (underforecast). Meanwhile, strictly local schemes yield the most extreme differences from these observationally influenced datasets (underforecast) in a mean sense for the low-level lapse rate and depth of the PBL, on average. A hybrid local–nonlocal scheme is found to mitigate these mean difference extremes. These findings are traced to a tendency for local schemes to incompletely mix the PBL while nonlocal schemes overmix the PBL, whereas the hybrid schemes represent more intermediate mixing in a regime where vertical shear enhances mixing and limited instability suppresses mixing.

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John S. Kain
,
Steve Willington
,
Adam J. Clark
,
Steven J. Weiss
,
Mark Weeks
,
Israel L. Jirak
,
Michael C. Coniglio
,
Nigel M. Roberts
,
Christopher D. Karstens
,
Jonathan M. Wilkinson
,
Kent H. Knopfmeier
,
Humphrey W. Lean
,
Laura Ellam
,
Kirsty Hanley
,
Rachel North
, and
Dan Suri

Abstract

In recent years, a growing partnership has emerged between the Met Office and the designated U.S. national centers for expertise in severe weather research and forecasting, that is, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC). The driving force behind this partnership is a compelling set of mutual interests related to predicting and understanding high-impact weather and using high-resolution numerical weather prediction models as foundational tools to explore these interests.

The forum for this collaborative activity is the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed, where annual Spring Forecasting Experiments (SFEs) are conducted by NSSL and SPC. For the last decade, NSSL and SPC have used these experiments to find ways that high-resolution models can help achieve greater success in the prediction of tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds. Beginning in 2012, the Met Office became a contributing partner in annual SFEs, bringing complementary expertise in the use of convection-allowing models, derived in their case from a parallel decadelong effort to use these models to advance prediction of flash floods associated with heavy thunderstorms.

The collaboration between NSSL, SPC, and the Met Office has been enthusiastic and productive, driven by strong mutual interests at a grassroots level and generous institutional support from the parent government agencies. In this article, a historical background is provided, motivations for collaborative activities are emphasized, and preliminary results are highlighted.

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Dan Lubin
,
Damao Zhang
,
Israel Silber
,
Ryan C. Scott
,
Petros Kalogeras
,
Alessandro Battaglia
,
David H. Bromwich
,
Maria Cadeddu
,
Edwin Eloranta
,
Ann Fridlind
,
Amanda Frossard
,
Keith M. Hines
,
Stefan Kneifel
,
W. Richard Leaitch
,
Wuyin Lin
,
Julien Nicolas
,
Heath Powers
,
Patricia K. Quinn
,
Penny Rowe
,
Lynn M. Russell
,
Sangeeta Sharma
,
Johannes Verlinde
, and
Andrew M. Vogelmann

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) performed comprehensive meteorological and aerosol measurements and ground-based atmospheric remote sensing at two Antarctic stations using the most advanced instrumentation available. A suite of cloud research radars, lidars, spectral and broadband radiometers, aerosol chemical and microphysical sampling equipment, and meteorological instrumentation was deployed at McMurdo Station on Ross Island from December 2015 through December 2016. A smaller suite of radiometers and meteorological equipment, including radiosondes optimized for surface energy budget measurement, was deployed on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet between 4 December 2015 and 17 January 2016. AWARE provided Antarctic atmospheric data comparable to several well-instrumented high Arctic sites that have operated for many years and that reveal numerous contrasts with the Arctic in aerosol and cloud microphysical properties. These include persistent differences in liquid cloud occurrence, cloud height, and cloud thickness. Antarctic aerosol properties are also quite different from the Arctic in both seasonal cycle and composition, due to the continent’s isolation from lower latitudes by Southern Ocean storm tracks. Antarctic aerosol number and mass concentrations are not only non-negligible but perhaps play a more important role than previously recognized because of the higher sensitivities of clouds at the very low concentrations caused by the large-scale dynamical isolation. Antarctic aerosol chemical composition, particularly organic components, has implications for local cloud microphysics. The AWARE dataset, fully available online in the ARM Program data archive, offers numerous case studies for unique and rigorous evaluation of mixed-phase cloud parameterization in climate models.

Free access
Dan Lubin
,
Damao Zhang
,
Israel Silber
,
Ryan C. Scott
,
Petros Kalogeras
,
Alessandro Battaglia
,
David H. Bromwich
,
Maria Cadeddu
,
Edwin Eloranta
,
Ann Fridlind
,
Amanda Frossard
,
Keith M. Hines
,
Stefan Kneifel
,
W. Richard Leaitch
,
Wuyin Lin
,
Julien Nicolas
,
Heath Powers
,
Patricia K. Quinn
,
Penny Rowe
,
Lynn M. Russell
,
Sangeeta Sharma
,
Johannes Verlinde
, and
Andrew M. Vogelmann
Full access
Ariel E. Cohen
,
Richard L. Thompson
,
Steven M. Cavallo
,
Roger Edwards
,
Steven J. Weiss
,
John A. Hart
,
Israel L. Jirak
,
William F. Bunting
,
Jaret W. Rogers
,
Steven F. Piltz
,
Alan E. Gerard
,
Andrew D. Moore
,
Daniel J. Cornish
,
Alexander C. Boothe
, and
Joel B. Cohen

Abstract

During the 2014–15 academic year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Meteorology jointly created the first SPC-led course at OU focused on connecting traditional theory taught in the academic curriculum with operational meteorology. This class, “Applications of Meteorological Theory to Severe-Thunderstorm Forecasting,” began in 2015. From 2015 through 2017, this spring–semester course has engaged 56 students in theoretical skills and related hands-on weather analysis and forecasting applications, taught by over a dozen meteorologists from the SPC, the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, and the NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Offices. Following introductory material, which addresses many theoretical principles relevant to operational meteorology, numerous presentations and hands-on activities focused on instructors’ areas of expertise are provided to students. Topics include the following: storm-induced perturbation pressure gradients and their enhancement to supercells, tornadogenesis, tropical cyclone tornadoes, severe wind forecasting, surface and upper-air analyses and their interpretation, and forecast decision-making. This collaborative approach has strengthened bonds between meteorologists in operations, research, and academia, while introducing OU meteorology students to the vast array of severe thunderstorm forecast challenges, state-of-the-art operational and research tools, communication of high-impact weather information, and teamwork skills. The methods of collaborative instruction and experiential education have been found to strengthen both operational–academic relationships and students’ appreciation of the intricacies of severe thunderstorm forecasting, as detailed in this article.

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Corey K. Potvin
,
Jacob R. Carley
,
Adam J. Clark
,
Louis J. Wicker
,
Patrick S. Skinner
,
Anthony E. Reinhart
,
Burkely T. Gallo
,
John S. Kain
,
Glen S. Romine
,
Eric A. Aligo
,
Keith A. Brewster
,
David C. Dowell
,
Lucas M. Harris
,
Israel L. Jirak
,
Fanyou Kong
,
Timothy A. Supinie
,
Kevin W. Thomas
,
Xuguang Wang
,
Yongming Wang
, and
Ming Xue

Abstract

The 2016–18 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Spring Forecasting Experiments (SFE) featured the Community Leveraged Unified Ensemble (CLUE), a coordinated convection-allowing model (CAM) ensemble framework designed to provide empirical guidance for development of operational CAM systems. The 2017 CLUE included 81 members that all used 3-km horizontal grid spacing over the CONUS, enabling direct comparison of forecasts generated using different dynamical cores, physics schemes, and initialization procedures. This study uses forecasts from several of the 2017 CLUE members and one operational model to evaluate and compare CAM representation and next-day prediction of thunderstorms. The analysis utilizes existing techniques and novel, object-based techniques that distill important information about modeled and observed storms from many cases. The National Severe Storms Laboratory Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor product suite is used to verify model forecasts and climatologies of observed variables. Unobserved model fields are also examined to further illuminate important intermodel differences in storms and near-storm environments. No single model performed better than the others in all respects. However, there were many systematic intermodel and intercore differences in specific forecast metrics and model fields. Some of these differences can be confidently attributed to particular differences in model design. Model intercomparison studies similar to the one presented here are important to better understand the impacts of model and ensemble configurations on storm forecasts and to help optimize future operational CAM systems.

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