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Peter Bauer, Paul Amayenc, Christian D. Kummerow, and Eric A. Smith

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to establish a computationally efficient algorithm making use of the combination of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR) observations. To set up the TMI algorithm, the retrieval databases developed in Part I served as input for different inversion techniques: multistage regressions and neural networks as well as Bayesian estimators. It was found that both Bayesian and neural network techniques performed equally well against PR estimates if all TMI channels were used. However, not using the 85.5-GHz channels produced consistently better results. This confirms the conclusions from Part I. Generally, regressions performed worse; thus they seem less suited for general application due to the insufficient representation of the nonlinearities of the TB–rain rate relation. It is concluded that the databases represent the most sensitive part of rainfall algorithm development.

Sensor combination was carried out by gridding PR estimates of rain liquid water content to 27 km × 44 km horizontal resolution at the center of gravity of the TMI 10.65-GHz channel weighting function. A liquid water dependent database collects common samples over the narrow swath covered by both TMI and PR. Average calibration functions are calculated, dynamically updated along the satellite track, and applied to the full TMI swath. The behavior of the calibration function was relatively stable. The TMI estimates showed a slight underestimation of rainfall at low rain liquid water contents (<0.1 g m−3) as well as at very high rainfall intensities (>0.8 g m−3) and excellent agreement in between. The biases were found to not depend on beam filling with a strong correlation to rain liquid water for stratiform clouds that may point to melting layer effects.

The remaining standard deviations between instantaneous TMI and PR estimates after calibration may be treated as a total retrieval error, assuming the PR estimates are unbiased. The error characteristics showed a rather constant absolute error of <0.05 g m−3 for rain liquid water contents <0.1 g m−3. Above, the error increases to 0.6 g m−3 for amounts up to 1 g m−3. In terms of relative errors, this corresponds to a sharp decrease from >100% to 35% between 0.05 and 0.5 g m−3. The database ambiguity, that is, the standard deviation of near-surface rain liquid water contents with the same radiometric signature, provides a means to estimate the contribution from the simulations to this error. In the range where brightness temperatures respond most sensitively to rainwater contents, almost the entire error originates from the ambiguity of signatures. At very low and very high rain rates (<0.05 and >0.7 g m−3) at least half of the total error is explained by the inversion process.

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Fred J. Kopp, Paul L. Smith, and Harold D. Orville

Abstract

A mathematical scheme is developed to compute the gradients of observations taken over complex terrain. The method is applied to an artificial example to demonstrate the scheme. An application is made to surface pressure observations between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Amarillo, Texas. Divergence computations are made with the scheme using observed wind data over the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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Michael D. Smith, Peter J. Gierasch, and Paul J. Schinder

Abstract

The nature of global-scale waves that can exist in the atmosphere of Venus is examined. A linear three-dimensional model atmosphere with spherical geometry is used to study large-scale forced and free waves. Solutions are obtained numerically with grid points in the vertical and a spherical harmonic expansion in the horizontal. Observations have shown a global-scale traveling wave with phase speed near the cloud-top wind velocity. Global-scale wave modes are found to exist in the model at this velocity. When a radiative-dynamic cloud feedback is added to the model, the most unstable wave mode is found to have the same phase speed as the observed wave. The horizontal structure of this wave is consistent with the observed horizontal structure of the “Y” feature seen in ultraviolet images of the Venus cloud top.

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Paul D. Williams, Nicola J. Howe, Jonathan M. Gregory, Robin S. Smith, and Manoj M. Joshi

Abstract

In climate simulations, the impacts of the subgrid scales on the resolved scales are conventionally represented using deterministic closure schemes, which assume that the impacts are uniquely determined by the resolved scales. Stochastic parameterization relaxes this assumption, by sampling the subgrid variability in a computationally inexpensive manner. This study shows that the simulated climatological state of the ocean is improved in many respects by implementing a simple stochastic parameterization of ocean eddies into a coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model. Simulations from a high-resolution, eddy-permitting ocean model are used to calculate the eddy statistics needed to inject realistic stochastic noise into a low-resolution, non-eddy-permitting version of the same model. A suite of four stochastic experiments is then run to test the sensitivity of the simulated climate to the noise definition by varying the noise amplitude and decorrelation time within reasonable limits. The addition of zero-mean noise to the ocean temperature tendency is found to have a nonzero effect on the mean climate. Specifically, in terms of the ocean temperature and salinity fields both at the surface and at depth, the noise reduces many of the biases in the low-resolution model and causes it to more closely resemble the high-resolution model. The variability of the strength of the global ocean thermohaline circulation is also improved. It is concluded that stochastic ocean perturbations can yield reductions in climate model error that are comparable to those obtained by refining the resolution, but without the increased computational cost. Therefore, stochastic parameterizations of ocean eddies have the potential to significantly improve climate simulations.

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Barrett L. Smith, Sandra E. Yuter, Paul J. Neiman, and D. E. Kingsmill

Abstract

Atmospheric rivers accompanying Pacific storm systems play an important role in supplying moisture to the West Coast. Heavy precipitation associated with these systems falls not only along the west-facing slopes of the Coastal Range but also along the windward slopes of the interior Sierra Mountains. Simulations of the 29–31 December 2005 storm in northern California using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model were able to realistically resolve the structure and strength of the water vapor fluxes over ocean and land. The cross-barrier, southwesterly water vapor fluxes, peaking near 700 kg m−1 s−1 at the coast, dominated the airmass transformation over the northern California mountain complex. However, there was also significant northward water vapor flux along the base of the Sierras. The combination of a narrow, short-lived water vapor source from the atmospheric river, the gap in terrain facilitating flow around the coastal mountains, and the occurrence of a strong barrier jet at the base of the Sierras all contributed to the northward along-barrier water vapor fluxes within the storm. The coincident timing of the maximum water vapor flux into the central valley with the period when the barrier jet was well developed yielded up valley fluxes >300 kg m−1 s−1 for several hours. For the 29–31 December 2005 Pacific storm, the flow around the coastal terrain and up valley replenished about a quarter of the depleted water vapor lost over the coastal mountains.

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Paul J. Schinder, Peter J. Gierasch, Stephen S. Leroy, and Michael D. Smith

Abstract

The stable layers adjacent to the nearly neutral layer within the Venus clouds are found to be capable of supporting vertically trapped, horizontally propagating waves with horizontal wavelengths of about 10 km and speeds of a few meters per second relative to the mean wind in the neutral layer. These waves may possibly be excited by turbulence within the neutral layer. We examine the properties of the waves, and the patterns which they might produce within the visible clouds if excited near the subsolar point. The patterns can be in agreement with many features in images. The waves are capable of transferring momentum latitudinally to help maintain the general atmospheric spin, but at present we are not able to evaluate wave amplitudes. We also examine an alternative possibility that the cloud patterns are produced by advection and shearing by the mean zonal and meridional flow of blobs formed near the equator. We conclude that advection and shearing by the mean flow is the most likely explanation for the general pattern of small scale striations.

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James A. Smith, Mary Lynn Baeck, Julia E. Morrison, Paula Sturdevant-Rees, Daniel F. Turner-Gillespie, and Paul D. Bates

Abstract

The Charlotte, North Carolina, metropolitan area has experienced extensive urban and suburban growth since 1960. Five of the largest flood peaks in the 74-yr discharge record of Little Sugar Creek, which drains the central urban corridor of Charlotte, have occurred since August of 1995. A central objective of this study is to explain how these two observations are linked. To achieve this goal, a series of hypotheses of broad importance to the hydrology and hydrometeorology behavior of extreme floods will be examined. These hypotheses concern the roles of 1) space–time variability of rainfall, 2) antecedent soil moisture, 3) expansion of impervious area, and 4) alterations of the drainage network for extreme floods in urbanizing drainage basins. The methodology used to examine these hypotheses centers on diagnostic studies of flood response for the five major flood events that have occurred since August of 1995. Diagnostic studies exploit the diverse range of extreme precipitation forcing for the five events and heterogeneity of land surface properties for catchments with stream gauging records. The observational resources for studying flood response in the Charlotte metropolitan region are exceptional. They include two National Weather Service WSR-88D radars that were deployed in 1995, a dense network of rain gauges and stream gauges installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1995, and extensive land surface datasets developed by Mecklenburg County. This study focuses on the regional hydrology of extreme flood response, as opposed to the specific effects of individual elements of the constructed environment. Of particular interest are the hydrologic, hydraulic, and hydrometeorological controls of extreme flood response at basin scales ranging from 1 to 500 km2.

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Paul L. Smith, Arnett S. Dennis, Bernard A. Silverman, Arlin B. Super, Edmond W. Holroyd III, William A. Cooper, Paul W. Mielke Jr., Kenneth J. Berry, Harold D. Orville, and James R. Miller Jr.

Abstract

The design and conduct of HIPLEX-1, a randomized seeding experiment carried out on small cumulus congestus clouds in eastern Montana, are outlined. The seeding agent was dry ice, introduced in an effort to produce microphysical effects, especially the earlier formation of precipitation in the seeded clouds. The earlier formation was expected to increase both the probability and the amount of precipitation from those small clouds with short lifetimes. The experimental unit selection procedure, treatment and randomization procedures, the physical hypothesis, measurement procedures and the response variables defined for the experiment are discussed. Procedures used to calculate the response variables from aircraft and radar measurements are summarized and the values of those variables for the 20 HIPLEX-1 test cases from 1979 and 1980 are tabulated.

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George H. Fichtl, Nathaniel D. Reynolds, Alan E. Johnston, Stanley I. Adelfang, Wade Batts, Larry Lott, Paul J. Meyer, Orvel E. Smith, Marion S. Swint, and Otha H. Vaughan Jr.

Abstract

Television photos of smoke plumes an analyzed to estimate meridional wind shear on the space shuttle Challenger associated with the accident of Mission 51-L. Gust velocities were obtained by detailed examination of the debris trails. The shuttle exhaust trail was used to establish altitudes of significant features in the photographs. Wind data obtained from the photographs compare favorably with data obtained from a rawinsonde released 9 min after the launch of the shuttle.

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Bruce A. Boe, Jeffrey L. Stith, Paul L. Smith, John H. Hirsch, John H. Helsdon Jr., Andrew G. Detwiler, Harold D. Orville, Brooks E. Mariner, Roger F. Reinking, Rebecca J. Meitín, and Rodger A. Brown

The North Dakota Thunderstorm Project was conducted in the Bismarck, North Dakota, area from 12 June through 22 July 1989. The project deployed Doppler radars, cloud physics aircraft, and supporting instrumentation to study a variety of aspects of convective clouds. These included transport and dispersion; entrainment; cloud-ice initiation and evolution; storm structure, dynamics, and kinematics; atmospheric chemistry; and electrification.

Of primary interest were tracer experiments that identified and tracked specific regions within evolving clouds as a means of investigating the transport, dispersion, and activation of ice-nucleating agents as well as studying basic transport and entrainment processes. Tracers included sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), carbon monoxide, ozone, radar chaff, and silver iodide.

Doppler radars were used to perform studies of all scales of convection, from first-echo cases to a mesoscale convective system. An especially interesting dual-Doppler study of two splitting thunderstorms has resulted.

The objectives of the various project experiments and the specific facilities employed are described. Project highlights and some preliminary results are also presented.

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