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Jack Fishman, Kelley M. Belina, and Cindy H. Encarnación

To illustrate how the present-day background concentrations of ground-level O3 damage the biosphere, we have established the St. Louis “Ozone Garden” Project as an educational and public outreach facility that provides platforms for observing and quantifying damage to plants. The St. Louis Ozone Gardens education/public outreach program is designed to increase public awareness of this environmental problem.

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Robert M. Banta, Yelena L. Pichugina, Neil D. Kelley, R. Michael Hardesty, and W. Alan Brewer

Addressing the need for high-quality wind information aloft in the layer occupied by turbine rotors (~30–150 m above ground level) is one of many significant challenges facing the wind energy industry. Without wind measurements at heights within the rotor sweep of the turbines, characteristics of the flow in this layer are unknown for wind energy and modeling purposes. Since flow in this layer is often decoupled from the surface, near-surface measurements are prone to errant extrapolation to these heights, and the behavior of the near-surface winds may not reflect that of the upper-level flow.

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Jeffrey D. Kelley, David M. Schultz, Russ S. Schumacher, and Dale R. Durran

Abstract

On 25 December 2016, a 984-hPa cyclone departed Colorado and moved onto the northern plains, drawing a nearby Arctic front into the circulation and wrapping it cyclonically around the equatorward side of the cyclone. A 130-km-wide and 850-km-long swath of surface winds exceeding 25 m s−1 originated underneath the comma head of the lee cyclone and followed the track of the Arctic front from Colorado to Minnesota. These strong winds formed in association with a downslope windstorm and mountain wave over Colorado and Wyoming, producing an elevated jet of strong winds. Central to the distribution of winds in this case is the Arctic air mass, which both shielded the elevated winds from surface friction behind the front and facilitated the mixing of the elevated jet down to the surface just behind the Arctic front, due to steep lapse rates associated with cold-air advection. The intense circulation south of the cyclone center transported the Arctic front and the elevated jet away from the mountains and out across Great Plains. This case is compared to an otherwise similar cyclone that occurred on 28–29 February 2012 in which a downslope windstorm occurred, but no surface mesoscale wind maximum formed due to the absence of a well-defined Arctic front and postfrontal stable layer. Despite the superficial similarities of this surface wind maximum to a sting jet (e.g., origin in the midtroposphere within the comma head of the cyclone, descent evaporating the comma head, acceleration to the top of the boundary layer, and an existence separate from the cold conveyor belt), this swath of winds was not caused by a sting jet.

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Y. Cheng, V. M. Canuto, A. M. Howard, A. S. Ackerman, M. Kelley, A. M. Fridlind, G. A. Schmidt, M. S. Yao, A. Del Genio, and G. S. Elsaesser

Abstract

We formulate a new second-order closure turbulence model by employing a recent closure for the pressure–temperature correlation at the equation level. As a result, we obtain new heat flux equations that avoid the long-standing issue of a finite critical Richardson number. The new, structurally simpler model improves on the Mellor–Yamada and Galperin et al. models; a key feature includes enhanced mixing under stable conditions facilitating agreement with observational, experimental, and high-resolution numerical datasets. The model predicts a planetary boundary layer height deeper than predicted by models with low critical Richardson numbers, as demonstrated in single-column model runs of the GISS ModelE general circulation model.

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M. Heistermann, S. Collis, M. J. Dixon, S. Giangrande, J. J. Helmus, B. Kelley, J. Koistinen, D. B. Michelson, M. Peura, T. Pfaff, and D. B. Wolff

Abstract

Weather radar analysis has become increasingly sophisticated over the past 50 years, and efforts to keep software up to date have generally lagged behind the needs of the users. We argue that progress has been impeded by the fact that software has not been developed and shared as a community.

Recently, the situation has been changing. In this paper, the developers of a number of open-source software (OSS) projects highlight the potential of OSS to advance radar-related research. We argue that the community-based development of OSS holds the potential to reduce duplication of efforts and to create transparency in implemented algorithms while improving the quality and scope of the software. We also conclude that there is sufficiently mature technology to support collaboration across different software projects. This could allow for consolidation toward a set of interoperable software platforms, each designed to accommodate very specific user requirements.

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W. J. M. Seviour, F. Codron, E. W. Doddridge, D. Ferreira, A. Gnanadesikan, M. Kelley, Y. Kostov, J. Marshall, L. M. Polvani, J. L. Thomas, and D. W. Waugh

Abstract

The effect of the Antarctic ozone hole extends downward from the stratosphere, with clear signatures in surface weather patterns including a positive trend in the southern annular mode (SAM). Several recent studies have used coupled climate models to investigate the impact of these changes on Southern Ocean sea surface temperature (SST), notably motivated by the observed cooling from the late 1970s. Here we examine the robustness of these model results through comparison of both previously published and new simulations. We focus on the calculation of climate response functions (CRFs), transient responses to an instantaneous step change in ozone concentrations. The CRF for most models consists of a rapid cooling of SST followed by a slower warming trend. However, intermodel comparison reveals large uncertainties, such that even the sign of the impact of ozone depletion on historical SST, when reconstructed from the CRF, remains unconstrained. Comparison of these CRFs with SST responses to a hypothetical step change in the SAM, inferred through lagged linear regression, shows broadly similar results. Causes of uncertainty are explored by examining relationships between model climatologies and their CRFs. The intermodel spread in CRFs can be reproduced by varying a single subgrid-scale mixing parameter within a single model. Antarctic sea ice CRFs are also calculated: these do not generally exhibit the two-time-scale behavior of SST, suggesting a complex relationship between the two. Finally, by constraining model climatology–response relationships with observational values, we conclude that ozone depletion is unlikely to have been the primary driver of the observed SST cooling trend.

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John G. W. Kelley, Joseph M. Russo, J. Ronald Eyton, and Toby N. Carlson

A technique called Model Output Enhancement (MOE) has been developed for the generation and display of mesoscale weather forecasts. The MOE technique derives mesoscale or high-resolution (order of 1 km) weather forecasts from synoptic-scale numerical weather-prediction models by modifying model output with geophysical and land-cover data. Mesoscale forecasts generated by the MOE technique are displayed as color-class maps overlaid on perspective plots of terrain. The MOE technique has been demonstrated in the generation of mesoscale maximum-temperature and minimum-temperature forecasts for case-study days of clear-sky conditions over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The generated forecasts were evaluated using data from selected climatological stations.

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Robert M. Banta, Yelena L. Pichugina, W. Alan Brewer, Julie K. Lundquist, Neil D. Kelley, Scott P. Sandberg, Raul J. Alvarez II, R. Michael Hardesty, and Ann M. Weickmann

Abstract

Wind turbine wakes in the atmosphere are three-dimensional (3D) and time dependent. An important question is how best to measure atmospheric wake properties, both for characterizing these properties observationally and for verification of numerical, conceptual, and physical (e.g., wind tunnel) models of wakes. Here a scanning, pulsed, coherent Doppler lidar is used to sample a turbine wake using 3D volume scan patterns that envelop the wake and simultaneously measure the inflow profile. The volume data are analyzed for quantities of interest, such as peak velocity deficit, downwind variability of the deficit, and downwind extent of the wake, in a manner that preserves the measured data. For the case study presented here, in which the wake was well defined in the lidar data, peak deficits of up to 80% were measured 0.6–2 rotor diameters (D) downwind of the turbine, and the wakes extended more than 11D downwind. Temporal wake variability over periods of minutes and the effects of atmospheric gusts and lulls in the inflow are demonstrated in the analysis. Lidar scanning trade-offs important to ensuring that the wake quantities of interest are adequately sampled by the scan pattern, including scan coverage, number of scans per volume, data resolution, and scan-cycle repeat interval, are discussed.

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I. N. Smalikho, V. A. Banakh, Y. L. Pichugina, W. A. Brewer, R. M. Banta, J. K. Lundquist, and N. D. Kelley

Abstract

An experimental study of the spatial wind structure in the vicinity of a wind turbine by a NOAA coherent Doppler lidar has been conducted. It was found that a working wind turbine generates a wake with the maximum velocity deficit varying from 27% to 74% and with the longitudinal dimension varying from 120 up to 1180 m, depending on the wind strength and atmospheric turbulence. It is shown that, at high wind speeds, the twofold increase of the turbulent energy dissipation rate (from 0.0066 to 0.013 m2 s−3) leads, on average, to halving of the longitudinal dimension of the wind turbine wake (from 680 to 340 m).

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Yelena L. Pichugina, Sara C. Tucker, Robert M. Banta, W. Alan Brewer, Neil D. Kelley, Bonnie J. Jonkman, and Rob K. Newsom

Abstract

Quantitative data on turbulence variables aloft—above the region of the atmosphere conveniently measured from towers—have been an important but difficult measurement need for advancing understanding and modeling of the stable boundary layer (SBL). Vertical profiles of streamwise velocity variances obtained from NOAA’s high-resolution Doppler lidar (HRDL), which have been shown to be approximately equal to turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) for stable conditions, are a measure of the turbulence in the SBL. In the present study, the mean horizontal wind component U and variance σ 2 u were computed from HRDL measurements of the line-of-sight (LOS) velocity using a method described by Banta et al., which uses an elevation (vertical slice) scanning technique. The method was tested on datasets obtained during the Lamar Low-Level Jet Project (LLLJP) carried out in early September 2003, near the town of Lamar in southeastern Colorado.

This paper compares U with mean wind speed obtained from sodar and sonic anemometer measurements. The results for the mean U and mean wind speed measured by sodar and in situ instruments for all nights of LLLJP show high correlation (0.71–0.97), independent of sampling strategies and averaging procedures, and correlation coefficients consistently >0.9 for four high-wind nights, when the low-level jet speeds exceeded 15 m s−1 at some time during the night. Comparison of estimates of variance, on the other hand, proved sensitive to both the spatial and temporal averaging parameters. Several series of averaging tests are described, to find the best correlation between TKE calculated from sonic anemometer data at several tower levels and lidar measurements of horizontal-velocity variance σ 2 u. Because of the nonstationarity of the SBL data, the best results were obtained when the velocity data were first averaged over intervals of 1 min, and then further averaged over 3–15 consecutive 1-min intervals, with best results for the 10- and 15-min averaging periods. For these cases, correlation coefficients exceeded 0.9. As a part of the analysis, Eulerian integral time scales (τ) were estimated for the four high-wind nights. Time series of τ through each night indicated erratic behavior consistent with the nonstationarity. Histograms of τ showed a mode at 4–5 s, but frequent occurrences of larger τ values, mostly between 10 and 100 s.

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