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Maria Flatau, Piotr J. Flatau, Patricia Phoebus, and Pearn P. Niiler

Abstract

Existing theories of the Madden–Julian oscillation neglect the feedback between the modification of sea surface temperature by the convection and development of a convective cluster itself. The authors show that the convection-generated SST gradient plays an important role in cluster propagation and development. The relative importance of radiative and evaporative fluxes in SST regulation is also discussed. Various Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment and Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment observation platforms are used to estimate the effects of equatorial convection on SST changes during March 1993. The data include drifting buoys and TAO-buoy array measurements, combined with the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System analyzed surface wind fields and Geostationary Meteorological Satellite cloud-top temperatures. It is shown that during the equatorial convection episode SST is decreasing under and to the west of the convective heat source due to the large wind velocities and solar flux reduction. To the east of the source, in the convergence region of a Kelvin wave, low wind speeds and high insolation cause the SST to increase.

The data are used to formulate an empirical relationship between wind speed and the 24-h SST change on the equator. Although formulated in terms of wind speed, this relationship implicitly includes radiative effects. This equation is then used in a global circulation model to examine the effect of SST feedback on the behavior of equatorial convection. A series of experiments is performed using an R15 general circulation model of the “aquaplanet” with a zonally symmetric SST distribution. In the case with fixed SSTs, equatorial wind fluctuations have the character of waves propagating around the globe with a phase speed of about 20 m s−1. When the effect of SST modification is included, the fluctuations slow down and become more organized. In addition, a 40–60-day peak appears in the spectral analysis of equatorial precipitation.

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K. M. Markowicz, P. J. Flatau, A. E. Kardas, J. Remiszewska, K. Stelmaszczyk, and L. Woeste

Abstract

The CT25K ceilometer is a general-purpose cloud height sensor employing lidar technology for detection of clouds. In this paper it is shown that it can also be used to retrieve aerosol optical properties in the boundary layer. The authors present a comparison of the CT25K instrument with the aerosol lidar system and discuss its good overall agreement for both the range-corrected signals and the retrieved extinction coefficient profiles. The CT25K aerosol profiling is mostly limited to the boundary layer, but it is capable of detecting events in the lower atmosphere such as mineral dust events between 1 and 3 km. Assumptions needed for the estimation of the aerosol extinction profiles are discussed. It is shown that, when a significant part of the aerosol layer is in the boundary layer, knowledge of the aerosol optical depth from a sun photometer allows inversion of the lidar signal. In other cases, surface observations of the aerosol optical properties are used. It is demonstrated that additional information from a nephelometer and aethalometer allows definition of the lidar ratio. Extinction retrievals based on spherical and randomly oriented spheroid assumptions are performed. It is shown, by comparison with the field measurements during the United Arab Emirates Unified Aerosol Experiment, that an assumption about specific particle shape is important for the extinction profile inversions. The authors indicate that this limitation of detection is a result of the relatively small sensitivity of this instrument in comparison to more sophisticated aerosol lidars. However, in many cases this does not play a significant role because globally only about 20% of the aerosol optical depth is above the boundary layer.

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K. M. Markowicz, P. J. Flatau, J. Remiszewska, M. Witek, E. A. Reid, J. S. Reid, A. Bucholtz, and B. Holben

Abstract

Aerosol radiative forcing in the Persian Gulf region is derived from data collected during the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Unified Aerosol Experiment (UAE2). This campaign took place in August and September of 2004. The land–sea-breeze circulation modulates the diurnal variability of the aerosol properties and aerosol radiative forcing at the surface. Larger aerosol radiative forcing is observed during the land breeze in comparison to the sea breeze. The aerosol optical properties change as the onshore wind brings slightly cleaner air. The mean diurnal value of the surface aerosol forcing during the UAE2 campaign is about −20 W m−2, which corresponds to large aerosol optical thickness (0.45 at 500 nm). The aerosol forcing efficiency [i.e., broadband shortwave forcing per unit optical depth at 550 nm, W m−2 (τ 500)−1] is −53 W m−2 (τ 500)−1 and the average single scattering albedo is 0.93 at 550 nm.

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Matthew A. Janiga, Carl J. Schreck III, James A. Ridout, Maria Flatau, Neil P. Barton, E. Joseph Metzger, and Carolyn A. Reynolds

Abstract

In this study, the contribution of low-frequency (>100 days), Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), and convectively coupled equatorial wave (CCEW) variability to the skill in predicting convection and winds in the tropics at weeks 1–3 is examined. We use subseasonal forecasts from the Navy Earth System Model (NESM); NCEP Climate Forecast System, version 2 (CFSv2); and ECMWF initialized in boreal summer 1999–2015. A technique for performing wavenumber–frequency filtering on subseasonal forecasts is introduced and applied to these datasets. This approach is better able to isolate regional variations in MJO forecast skill than traditional global MJO indices. Biases in the mean state and in the activity of the MJO and CCEWs are smallest in the ECMWF model. The NESM overestimates cloud cover as well as MJO, equatorial Rossby, and mixed Rossby–gravity/tropical depression activity over the west Pacific. The CFSv2 underestimates convectively coupled Kelvin wave activity. The predictive skill of the models at weeks 1–3 is examined by decomposing the forecasts into wavenumber–frequency signals to determine the modes of variability that contribute to forecast skill. All three models have a similar ability to simulate low-frequency variability but large differences in MJO skill are observed. The skill of the NESM and ECMWF model in simulating MJO-related OLR signals at week 2 is greatest over two regions of high MJO activity, the equatorial Indian Ocean and Maritime Continent, and the east Pacific. The MJO in the CFSv2 is too slow and too weak, which results in lower MJO skill in these regions.

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Emily Shroyer, Amit Tandon, Debasis Sengupta, Harindra J.S. Fernando, Andrew J. Lucas, J. Thomas Farrar, Rajib Chattopadhyay, Simon de Szoeke, Maria Flatau, Adam Rydbeck, Hemantha Wijesekera, Michael McPhaden, Hyodae Seo, Aneesh Subramanian, R Venkatesan, Jossia Joseph, S. Ramsundaram, Arnold L. Gordon, Shannon M. Bohman, Jaynise Pérez, Iury T. Simoes-Sousa, Steven R. Jayne, Robert E. Todd, G.S. Bhat, Matthias Lankhorst, Tamara Schlosser, Katherine Adams, S.U.P Jinadasa, Manikandan Mathur, M. Mohapatra, E. Pattabhi Rama Rao, A. K. Sahai, Rashmi Sharma, Craig Lee, Luc Rainville, Deepak Cherian, Kerstin Cullen, Luca R. Centurioni, Verena Hormann, Jennifer MacKinnon, Uwe Send, Arachaporn Anutaliya, Amy Waterhouse, Garrett S. Black, Jeremy A. Dehart, Kaitlyn M. Woods, Edward Creegan, Gad Levy, Lakshmi H Kantha, and Bulusu Subrahmanyam

Abstract

In the Bay of Bengal, the warm, dry boreal spring concludes with the onset of the summer monsoon and accompanying southwesterly winds, heavy rains, and variable air-sea fluxes. Here, we summarize the 2018 monsoon onset using observations collected through the multinational Monsoon Intraseasonal Oscillations in the Bay of Bengal (MISO-BoB) program between the US, India, and Sri Lanka. MISO-BoB aims to improve understanding of monsoon intraseasonal variability, and the 2018 field effort captured the coupled air-sea response during a transition from active-to-break conditions in the central BoB. The active phase of the ~20-day research cruise was characterized by warm sea surface temperature (SST > 30°C), cold atmospheric outflows with intermittent heavy rainfall, and increasing winds (from 2 to 15 m s−1). Accumulated rainfall exceeded 200 mm with 90% of precipitation occurring during the first week. The following break period was both dry and clear, with persistent 10−12 m s−1 wind and evaporation of 0.2 mm h−1. The evolving environmental state included a deepening ocean mixed layer (from ~20 to 50 m), cooling SST (by ~ 1°C), and warming/drying of the lower to mid-troposphere. Local atmospheric development was consistent with phasing of the large-scale intraseasonal oscillation. The upper ocean stores significant heat in the BoB, enough to maintain SST above 29°C despite cooling by surface fluxes and ocean mixing. Comparison with reanalysis indicates biases in air-sea fluxes, which may be related to overly cool prescribed SST. Resolution of such biases offers a path toward improved forecasting of transition periods in the monsoon.

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