Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 7 of 7 items for

  • Author or Editor: Matthew Garvert x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Matthew F. Garvert, Bradley Smull, and Cliff Mass

Abstract

This study combines high-resolution mesoscale model simulations and comprehensive airborne Doppler radar observations to identify kinematic structures influencing the production and mesoscale distribution of precipitation and microphysical processes during a period of heavy prefrontal orographic rainfall over the Cascade Mountains of Oregon on 13–14 December 2001 during the second phase of the Improvement of Microphysical Parameterization through Observational Verification Experiment (IMPROVE-2) field program. Airborne-based radar detection of precipitation from well upstream of the Cascades to the lee allows a depiction of terrain-induced wave motions in unprecedented detail.

Two distinct scales of mesoscale wave–like air motions are identified: 1) a vertically propagating mountain wave anchored to the Cascade crest associated with strong midlevel zonal (i.e., cross barrier) flow, and 2) smaller-scale (<20-km horizontal wavelength) undulations over the windward foothills triggered by interaction of the low-level along-barrier flow with multiple ridge–valley corrugations oriented perpendicular to the Cascade crest. These undulations modulate cloud liquid water (CLW) and snow mixing ratios in the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5), with modeled structures comparing favorably to radar-documented zones of enhanced reflectivity and CLW measured by the NOAA P3 aircraft.

Errors in the model representation of a low-level shear layer and the vertically propagating mountain waves are analyzed through a variety of sensitivity tests, which indicated that the mountain wave’s amplitude and placement are extremely sensitive to the planetary boundary layer (PBL) parameterization being employed. The effects of 1) using unsmoothed versus smoothed terrain and 2) the removal of upstream coastal terrain on the flow and precipitation over the Cascades are evaluated through a series of sensitivity experiments. Inclusion of unsmoothed terrain resulted in net surface precipitation increases of ∼4%–14% over the windward slopes relative to the smoothed-terrain simulation. Small-scale waves (<20-km horizontal wavelength) over the windward slopes significantly impact the horizontal pattern of precipitation and hence quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) accuracy.

Full access
Nicholas A. Bond, Meghan F. Cronin, and Matthew Garvert

Abstract

It is hypothesized that the tropical-to-extratropical transition of a cyclone in the western North Pacific can be sensitive to the underlying sea surface temperature (SST) distribution. This hypothesis was tested through a case study of Typhoon Tokage using a series of high-resolution simulations by the Weather Research Forecast (WRF) numerical weather prediction model. Simulations were carried out for a control SST distribution and for SST distributions with imposed warm and cold perturbations of 1.5°C maximum amplitude in the vicinity of the Kuroshio Extension. The simulations with the warm SST perturbation yielded a cyclone slightly weaker than in the control SST case about 2 days after transition. In contrast, the cold SST perturbation case yielded a cyclone with a central pressure 10 hPa lower than in the control case at the same point in the storm’s life cycle, apparently due to its more northward track and hence closer proximity to an approaching upper-level trough and perhaps in association with a stronger warm front. The effects of the regional SST on the simulated storms are manifested not just locally, but also cause substantial impacts on 500-hPa geopotential heights over much of the North Pacific basin. Retrospective analysis of meridional heat fluxes associated with these events using the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis was carried out for early fall (September–November) seasons with relatively warm and cool SST in the region of the imposed SST perturbations. Differences in the patterns of these fluxes between the warm and cool years are broadly consistent with the results from the warm versus cool SST simulations for Typhoon Tokage.

Full access
Matthew F. Garvert, Brian A. Colle, and Clifford F. Mass

Abstract

This paper describes the large-scale synoptic and mesoscale features of a major precipitation event that affected the second Improvement of Microphysical Parameterization through Observational Verification Experiment (IMPROVE-2) study area on 13–14 December 2001. The fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) was used to simulate both the synoptic and mesoscale features of the storm. Extensive model verification was performed utilizing the wealth of observational assets available during the experiment, including in situ aircraft measurements, radiosondes, radar data, and surface observations.

The 13–14 December 2001 storm system was characterized by strong low-level cross-barrier flow, heavy precipitation, and the passage of an intense baroclinic zone. The model realistically simulated the three-dimensional thermodynamic and kinematic fields, the forward-tilted vertical structure of the baroclinic zone, and the associated major precipitation band. Deficiencies in the model simulations included an attenuated low-level jet accompanying the middle-level baroclinic zone and the lack of precipitation associated with the surface front; NOAA P-3 aircraft in situ data indicated that the model required 1.33-km grid spacing to capture realistically the complex mesoscale forcing related to terrain features. Despite the relatively skillful portrayal of mesoscale and synoptic structures, the model overpredicted precipitation in localized areas on the windward slopes and over a broad area to the lee of the Oregon Cascades.

Full access
John D. Locatelli, Mark T. Stoelinga, Matthew F. Garvert, and Peter V. Hobbs

Abstract

Analysis of observations and the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) are used to study the development of a forward-tilted cold front off the coast of Washington State. The vertical velocity associated with the cold front produced a wide cold-frontal rainband. In the early stage of development the midtropospheric baroclinic zone (or upper cold front) moved forward with time over the warm sector to produce a structure similar to a split front. The movement of the upper cold front was due to horizontal transport and frontogenetical propagation. The frontogenetical propagation was produced by a combination of tilting and diabatic frontogenesis, which resulted in a negative/positive couplet of frontogenesis straddling the baroclinic zone.

The lower-tropospheric cold front eventually caught up with the warm front to form a classical warm occlusion. In the initial occluding process the converging frontal zones tilted into a warm-type occlusion configuration due to the presence of a background vertical shear of the horizontal wind component perpendicular to the occluded front. Consequently, as the storm moved over the observing network, the occluded front had the structure of a warm occlusion (tilted forward) in the lower levels. Above the occlusion, the cold front was also tilted forward because it retained its split-front-like structure. Thus, the development of the split front and the warm occlusion were separate processes that occurred in sequence.

Although the MM5 captured the basic forward tilt with time of the cold front, some key aspects of the midtropospheric frontal structure were not well simulated. Because diabatic heating was an important contributor to the maintenance and movement of the upper cold front, it is hypothesized that discrepancies in diabatic heating associated with deficiencies in the model’s explicit microphysical scheme may be responsible for deficiencies in reproducing the structure of the upper cold front.

Full access
Brian A. Colle, Matthew F. Garvert, Justin B. Wolfe, Clifford F. Mass, and Christopher P. Woods

Abstract

This paper investigates the microphysical pathways and sensitivities within the Reisner-2 bulk microphysical parameterization (BMP) of the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) for the Improvement of Microphysical Parameterization through Observational Verification Experiment (IMPROVE)-2 field experiment on 13–14 December 2001. A microphysical budget over the windward slope at 1.33-km horizontal grid spacing was calculated, in which the importance of each microphysical process was quantified relative to the water vapor loss (WVL) rate. Over the windward Cascades, the largest water vapor loss was associated with condensation (73% of WVL) and snow deposition (24%), and the windward surface precipitation resulted primarily from accretion of cloud water by rain (27% of WVL), graupel fallout and melt (19%), and snowmelt (6%). Two-thirds of the snow generated aloft spilled over into the lee in an area of model overprediction, resulting in windward precipitation efficiency of only 50%. Even with the large amount of precipitation spillover, the windward precipitation was still overpredicted in many locations.

A series of experiments were completed using different snowfall speeds, cloud water autoconversion, threshold riming values for snow to graupel autoconversion, and slope intercepts for snow. The surface precipitation was most sensitive to those parameters associated with the snow size distribution and fall speed, while decreasing the riming threshold for snow to graupel conversion had the greatest positive impact on the precipitation forecast. All simulations overpredicted cloud water over the lower windward slopes, had too little cloud water over the crest, and had too much ice at moderate-to-large sizes aloft. Riming processes were important, since without supercooled water there were bull’s-eyes of spurious snow spillover over the lee slopes.

Full access
Matthew F. Garvert, Christopher P. Woods, Brian A. Colle, Clifford F. Mass, Peter V. Hobbs, Mark T. Stoelinga, and Justin B. Wolfe

Abstract

This paper compares airborne in situ observations of cloud microphysical parameters with the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) simulations, using the Reisner-2 bulk microphysical parameterization, for a heavy precipitation event over the Oregon Cascades on 13–14 December 2001.

The MM5 correctly replicated the extent of the snow field and the growth of snow particles by vapor deposition measured along aircraft flight tracks between altitudes of 4.9 and 6 km, but overpredicted the mass concentrations of snow. The model produced a broader number distribution of snow particles than observed, overpredicting the number of moderate-to-large-sized snow particles and underpredicting the number of small particles observed along the aircraft flight track. Over the mountain crest, the model overpredicted depositional growth of snow and mass concentrations of snow, but underpredicted the amount of cloud liquid water and conversion of snow to graupel. The misclassification of graupel as snow and excessive amounts of snow resulted in the model overpredicting precipitation on the lee slopes and in localized areas along the foothills of the Cascades. The model overpredicted cloud liquid water over the lower windward slopes and foothills, where accretion of cloud liquid water by rain was the primary precipitation-producing mechanism.

Full access
Françoise Guichard, Nicole Asencio, Christophe Peugeot, Olivier Bock, Jean-Luc Redelsperger, Xuefeng Cui, Matthew Garvert, Benjamin Lamptey, Emiliano Orlandi, Julia Sander, Federico Fierli, Miguel Angel Gaertner, Sarah C. Jones, Jean-Philippe Lafore, Andrew Morse, Mathieu Nuret, Aaron Boone, Gianpaolo Balsamo, Patricia de Rosnay, Bertrand Decharme, Philip P. Harris, and J.-C. Bergès

Abstract

An evaluation of precipitation and evapotranspiration simulated by mesoscale models is carried out within the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) program. Six models performed simulations of a mesoscale convective system (MCS) observed to cross part of West Africa in August 2005.

Initial and boundary conditions are found to significantly control the locations of rainfall at synoptic scales as simulated with either mesoscale or global models. When initialized and forced at their boundaries by the same analysis, all models forecast a westward-moving rainfall structure, as observed by satellite products. However, rainfall is also forecast at other locations where none was observed, and the nighttime northward propagation of rainfall is not well reproduced. There is a wide spread in the rainfall rates across simulations, but also among satellite products.

The range of simulated meridional fluctuations of evapotranspiration (E) appears reasonable, but E displays an overly strong zonal symmetry. Offline land surface modeling and surface energy budget considerations show that errors in the simulated E are not simply related to errors in the surface evaporative fraction, and involve the significant impact of cloud cover on the incoming surface shortwave flux.

The use of higher horizontal resolution (a few km) enhances the variability of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and precipitable water (PW) at the mesoscale. It also leads to a weakening of the daytime precipitation, less evapotranspiration, and smaller PW amounts. The simulated MCS propagates farther northward and somewhat faster within an overall drier atmosphere. These changes are associated with a strengthening of the links between PW and precipitation.

Full access