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Wanqiu Wang, Arun Kumar, Joshua Xiouhua Fu, and Meng-Pai Hung

Abstract

This study investigated the influence of the uncertainty in the sea surface temperature (SST) on the representation of the intraseasonal rainfall variability associated with the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and how this influence varies with convection parameterization. The study was motivated by the fact that there exist substantial differences in observational SST analyses, and by the possibility that lacking sufficient accuracy for SSTs in dynamical models may degrade the MJO simulation and prediction. Experiments for the DYNAMO intensive observing period were carried out using the NCEP atmospheric Global Forecast System (GFS) with three convection schemes forced by three SST specifications. The SST specifications included the widely used National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) daily SST analysis, the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) SST retrieval, and an SST climatology that only contains climatological seasonal cycle.

The experiments show that for all convection schemes, the advantage of using observed (TMI and NCDC) SSTs over the climatology SSTs can be seen as early as 5 days to 1 week after the start of the forecast. Further, the prediction with TMI SSTs was more skillful than that with the NCDC SSTs, indicating that the current level of SST uncertainties in the observational analyses can lead to large differences when they are used as the lower boundary conditions. The results suggest that the simulation and prediction can be improved with an atmosphere-only model forced by more accurate SSTs, or with a coupled atmosphere–ocean model that has a more realistic representation of the SST variability. Differences in the prediction among the convection schemes are also presented and discussed.

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Rachel T. Pinker, Donglian Sun, Meng-Pai Hung, Chuan Li, and Jeffrey B. Basara

Abstract

A comprehensive evaluation of split-window and triple-window algorithms to estimate land surface temperature (LST) from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) that were previously described by Sun and Pinker is presented. The evaluation of the split-window algorithm is done against ground observations and against independently developed algorithms. The triple-window algorithm is evaluated only for nighttime against ground observations and against the Sun and Pinker split-window (SP-SW) algorithm. The ground observations used are from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Central Facility, Southern Great Plains site (April 1997–March 1998); from five Surface Radiation Budget Network (SURFRAD) stations (1996–2000); and from the Oklahoma Mesonet. The independent algorithms used for comparison include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service operational method and the following split-window algorithms: that of , that of , two versions of that of , that of , two versions of that of , that of and others, the generalized split-window algorithm as described by Becker and Li and by Wan and Dozier, and the Becker and Li algorithm with water vapor correction. The evaluation against the ARM and SURFRAD observations indicates that the LST retrievals from the SP-SW algorithm are in closer agreement with the ground observations than are the other algorithms tested. When evaluated against observations from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the triple-window algorithm is found to perform better than the split-window algorithm during nighttime.

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Meng-Pai Hung, Jia-Lin Lin, Wanqiu Wang, Daehyun Kim, Toshiaki Shinoda, and Scott J. Weaver

Abstract

This study evaluates the simulation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and convectively coupled equatorial waves (CCEWs) in 20 models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) phase 5 (CMIP5) in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and compares the results with the simulation of CMIP phase 3 (CMIP3) models in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). The results show that the CMIP5 models exhibit an overall improvement over the CMIP3 models in the simulation of tropical intraseasonal variability, especially the MJO and several CCEWs. The CMIP5 models generally produce larger total intraseasonal (2–128 day) variance of precipitation than the CMIP3 models, as well as larger variances of Kelvin, equatorial Rossby (ER), and eastward inertio-gravity (EIG) waves. Nearly all models have signals of the CCEWs, with Kelvin and mixed Rossby–gravity (MRG) and EIG waves being especially prominent. The phase speeds, as scaled to equivalent depths, are close to the observed value in 10 of the 20 models, suggesting that these models produce sufficient reduction in their effective static stability by diabatic heating. The CMIP5 models generally produce larger MJO variance than the CMIP3 models, as well as a more realistic ratio between the variance of the eastward MJO and that of its westward counterpart. About one-third of the CMIP5 models generate the spectral peak of MJO precipitation between 30 and 70 days; however, the model MJO period tends to be longer than observations as part of an overreddened spectrum, which in turn is associated with too strong persistence of equatorial precipitation. Only one of the 20 models is able to simulate a realistic eastward propagation of the MJO.

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