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Paul T. Scott, William G. Finnegan, and Peter C. Sinclair

Abstract

A new ice nucleant aerosol was produced by combustion of a 2% AgI-0.5 mole % Bil3-NH4I-acetone-water solution. The ice nucleating effectiveness of this aerosol is an order of magnitude greater than AgI alone at −10°C. An X-ray powder analysis identified the aerosol as the hexagonal crystal form of AgI having the closest match to ice ever reported for a nucleant of this type.

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Joshua C. Bregy, Justin T. Maxwell, Scott M. Robeson, Jason T. Ortegren, Peter T. Soulé, and Paul A. Knapp

Abstract

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are an important source of precipitation for much of the eastern United States. However, our understanding of the spatiotemporal variability of tropical cyclone precipitation (TCP) and the connections to large-scale atmospheric circulation is limited by irregularly distributed rain gauges and short records of satellite measurements. To address this, we developed a new gridded (0.25° × 0.25°) publicly available dataset of TCP (1948–2015; Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Dataset, or TCPDat) using TC tracks to identify TCP within an existing gridded precipitation dataset. TCPDat was used to characterize total June–November TCP and percentage contribution to total June–November precipitation. TCP totals and contributions had maxima on the Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas coasts, substantially decreasing farther inland at rates of approximately 6.2–6.7 mm km−1. Few statistically significant trends were discovered in either TCP totals or percentage contribution. TCP is positively related to an index of the position and strength of the western flank of the North Atlantic subtropical high (NASH), with the strongest correlations concentrated in the southeastern United States. Weaker inverse correlations between TCP and El Niño–Southern Oscillation are seen throughout the study site. Ultimately, spatial variations of TCP are more closely linked to variations in the NASH flank position or strength than to the ENSO index. The TCP dataset developed in this study is an important step in understanding hurricane–climate interactions and the impacts of TCs on communities, water resources, and ecosystems in the eastern United States.

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Stan G. Scott, T. Paul Bui, K. Roland Chan, and Stuart W. Bowen

Abstract

A Meteorological Measurement System (MMS) was designed and installed on one of the NASA high-altitude ER-2 aircraft (NASA 706). The MMS provides in situ measurements of free-stream pressure (±0.3 mb), temperature (±0.3°C), and wind vector (±1 m s−1). It incorporates a high-resolution inertial navigation system (INS) specially configured for scientific applications, a radome differential pressure system for measurements of the airflow angles, and a compact, computer-controlled data acquisition system to sample, process and store 45 variables on tape and on disc.

The MMS hardware and software development is described and resolution and accuracy of the instrumentation discussed. Custom software facilitates preflight system checkout, inflight data acquisition, and fast postflight data download. It accommodates various modes of MMS data: analog and digital, serial and parallel, and synchronous and asynchronous. Flight results are presented to demonstrate the capability of the system.

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Scott A. Braun, Michael T. Montgomery, Kevin J. Mallen, and Paul D. Reasor

Abstract

Several hypotheses have been put forward for the mechanisms of generation of surface circulation associated with tropical cyclones. This paper examines high-resolution simulations of Tropical Storm Gert (2005), which formed in the Gulf of Mexico during NASA’s Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes Experiment, to investigate the development of low-level circulation and its relationship to the precipitation evolution. Two simulations are examined: one that better matches available observations but underpredicts the storm’s minimum sea level pressure and a second one that somewhat overintensifies the storm but provides a set of simulations that encapsulates the overall genesis and development characteristics of the observed storm. The roles of convective and stratiform precipitation processes within the mesoscale precipitation systems that formed Gert are discussed. During 21–25 July, two episodes of convective system development occurred. In each, precipitation system evolution was characterized by intense and deep convective upward motions followed by increasing stratiform-type vertical motions (upper-level ascent, low-level descent). Potential vorticity (PV) in convective regions was strongest at low levels while stratiform-region PV was strongest at midlevels, suggesting that convective processes acted to spin up lower levels prior to the spinup of middle levels by stratiform processes. Intense vortical hot towers (VHTs) were prominent features of the low-level cyclonic vorticity field. The most prominent PV anomalies persisted more than 6 h and were often associated with localized minima in the sea level pressure field. A gradual aggregation of the cyclonic PV occurred as existing VHTs near the center continually merged with new VHTs, gradually increasing the mean vorticity near the center. Nearly concurrently with this VHT-induced development, stratiform precipitation processes strongly enhanced the mean inflow and convergence at middle levels, rapidly increasing the midlevel vorticity. However, the stratiform vertical motion profile is such that while it increases midlevel vorticity, it decreases vorticity near the surface as a result of low-level divergence. Consequently, the results suggest that while stratiform precipitation regions may significantly increase cyclonic circulation at midlevels, convective vortex enhancement at low to midlevels is likely necessary for genesis.

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Gretchen Keppel-Aleks, James T. Randerson, Keith Lindsay, Britton B. Stephens, J. Keith Moore, Scott C. Doney, Peter E. Thornton, Natalie M. Mahowald, Forrest M. Hoffman, Colm Sweeney, Pieter P. Tans, Paul O. Wennberg, and Steven C. Wofsy

Abstract

Changes in atmospheric CO2 variability during the twenty-first century may provide insight about ecosystem responses to climate change and have implications for the design of carbon monitoring programs. This paper describes changes in the three-dimensional structure of atmospheric CO2 for several representative concentration pathways (RCPs 4.5 and 8.5) using the Community Earth System Model–Biogeochemistry (CESM1-BGC). CO2 simulated for the historical period was first compared to surface, aircraft, and column observations. In a second step, the evolution of spatial and temporal gradients during the twenty-first century was examined. The mean annual cycle in atmospheric CO2 was underestimated for the historical period throughout the Northern Hemisphere, suggesting that the growing season net flux in the Community Land Model (the land component of CESM) was too weak. Consistent with weak summer drawdown in Northern Hemisphere high latitudes, simulated CO2 showed correspondingly weak north–south and vertical gradients during the summer. In the simulations of the twenty-first century, CESM predicted increases in the mean annual cycle of atmospheric CO2 and larger horizontal gradients. Not only did the mean north–south gradient increase due to fossil fuel emissions, but east–west contrasts in CO2 also strengthened because of changing patterns in fossil fuel emissions and terrestrial carbon exchange. In the RCP8.5 simulation, where CO2 increased to 1150 ppm by 2100, the CESM predicted increases in interannual variability in the Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes of up to 60% relative to present variability for time series filtered with a 2–10-yr bandpass. Such an increase in variability may impact detection of changing surface fluxes from atmospheric observations.

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Kevin A. Scharfenberg, Daniel J. Miller, Terry J. Schuur, Paul T. Schlatter, Scott E. Giangrande, Valery M. Melnikov, Donald W. Burgess, David L. Andra Jr., Michael P. Foster, and John M. Krause

Abstract

To test the utility and added value of polarimetric radar products in an operational environment, data from the Norman, Oklahoma (KOUN), polarimetric Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) were delivered to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Norman as part of the Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE). KOUN polarimetric base data and algorithms were used at the WFO during the decision-making and forecasting processes for severe convection, flash floods, and winter storms. The delivery included conventional WSR-88D radar products, base polarimetric radar variables, a polarimetric hydrometeor classification algorithm, and experimental polarimetric quantitative precipitation estimation algorithms. The JPOLE data collection, delivery, and operational demonstration are described, with examples of several forecast and warning decision-making successes. Polarimetric data aided WFO forecasters during several periods of heavy rain, numerous large-hail-producing thunderstorms, tornadic and nontornadic supercell thunderstorms, and a major winter storm. Upcoming opportunities and challenges associated with the emergence of polarimetric radar data in the operational community are also described.

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Christopher S. Ruf, Robert Atlas, Paul S. Chang, Maria Paola Clarizia, James L. Garrison, Scott Gleason, Stephen J. Katzberg, Zorana Jelenak, Joel T. Johnson, Sharanya J. Majumdar, Andrew O’brien, Derek J. Posselt, Aaron J. Ridley, Randall J. Rose, and Valery U. Zavorotny

Abstract

The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) is a new NASA earth science mission scheduled to be launched in 2016 that focuses on tropical cyclones (TCs) and tropical convection. The mission’s two primary objectives are the measurement of ocean surface wind speed with sufficient temporal resolution to resolve short-time-scale processes such as the rapid intensification phase of TC development and the ability of the surface measurements to penetrate through the extremely high precipitation rates typically encountered in the TC inner core. The mission’s goal is to support significant improvements in our ability to forecast TC track, intensity, and storm surge through better observations and, ultimately, better understanding of inner-core processes. CYGNSS meets its temporal sampling objective by deploying a constellation of eight satellites. Its ability to see through heavy precipitation is enabled by its operation as a bistatic radar using low-frequency GPS signals. The mission will deploy an eight-spacecraft constellation in a low-inclination (35°) circular orbit to maximize coverage and sampling in the tropics. Each CYGNSS spacecraft carries a four-channel radar receiver that measures GPS navigation signals scattered by the ocean surface. The mission will measure inner-core surface winds with high temporal resolution and spatial coverage, under all precipitating conditions, and over the full dynamic range of TC wind speeds.

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Julie K. Lundquist, James M. Wilczak, Ryan Ashton, Laura Bianco, W. Alan Brewer, Aditya Choukulkar, Andrew Clifton, Mithu Debnath, Ruben Delgado, Katja Friedrich, Scott Gunter, Armita Hamidi, Giacomo Valerio Iungo, Aleya Kaushik, Branko Kosović, Patrick Langan, Adam Lass, Evan Lavin, Joseph C.-Y. Lee, Katherine L. McCaffrey, Rob K. Newsom, David C. Noone, Steven P. Oncley, Paul T. Quelet, Scott P. Sandberg, John L. Schroeder, William J. Shaw, Lynn Sparling, Clara St. Martin, Alexandra St. Pe, Edward Strobach, Ken Tay, Brian J. Vanderwende, Ann Weickmann, Daniel Wolfe, and Rochelle Worsnop

Abstract

To assess current capabilities for measuring flow within the atmospheric boundary layer, including within wind farms, the U.S. Department of Energy sponsored the eXperimental Planetary boundary layer Instrumentation Assessment (XPIA) campaign at the Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) in spring 2015. Herein, we summarize the XPIA field experiment, highlight novel measurement approaches, and quantify uncertainties associated with these measurement methods. Line-of-sight velocities measured by scanning lidars and radars exhibit close agreement with tower measurements, despite differences in measurement volumes. Virtual towers of wind measurements, from multiple lidars or radars, also agree well with tower and profiling lidar measurements. Estimates of winds over volumes from scanning lidars and radars are in close agreement, enabling the assessment of spatial variability. Strengths of the radar systems used here include high scan rates, large domain coverage, and availability during most precipitation events, but they struggle at times to provide data during periods with limited atmospheric scatterers. In contrast, for the deployment geometry tested here, the lidars have slower scan rates and less range but provide more data during nonprecipitating atmospheric conditions. Microwave radiometers provide temperature profiles with approximately the same uncertainty as radio acoustic sounding systems (RASS). Using a motion platform, we assess motion-compensation algorithms for lidars to be mounted on offshore platforms. Finally, we highlight cases for validation of mesoscale or large-eddy simulations, providing information on accessing the archived dataset. We conclude that modern remote sensing systems provide a generational improvement in observational capabilities, enabling the resolution of finescale processes critical to understanding inhomogeneous boundary layer flows.

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Molly Baringer, Mariana B. Bif, Tim Boyer, Seth M. Bushinsky, Brendan R. Carter, Ivona Cetinić, Don P. Chambers, Lijing Cheng, Sanai Chiba, Minhan Dai, Catia M. Domingues, Shenfu Dong, Andrea J. Fassbender, Richard A. Feely, Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Bryan A. Franz, John Gilson, Gustavo Goni, Benjamin D. Hamlington, Zeng-Zhen Hu, Boyin Huang, Masayoshi Ishii, Svetlana Jevrejeva, William E. Johns, Gregory C. Johnson, Kenneth S. Johnson, John Kennedy, Marion Kersalé, Rachel E. Killick, Peter Landschützer, Matthias Lankhorst, Tong Lee, Eric Leuliette, Feili Li, Eric Lindstrom, Ricardo Locarnini, Susan Lozier, John M. Lyman, John J. Marra, Christopher S. Meinen, Mark A. Merrifield, Gary T. Mitchum, Ben Moat, Didier Monselesan, R. Steven Nerem, Renellys C. Perez, Sarah G. Purkey, Darren Rayner, James Reagan, Nicholas Rome, Alejandra Sanchez-Franks, Claudia Schmid, Joel P. Scott, Uwe Send, David A. Siegel, David A. Smeed, Sabrina Speich, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr., William Sweet, Yuichiro Takeshita, Philip R. Thompson, Joaquin A. Triñanes, Martin Visbeck, Denis L. Volkov, Rik Wanninkhof, Robert A. Weller, Toby K. Westberry, Matthew J. Widlansky, Susan E. Wijffels, Anne C. Wilber, Lisan Yu, Weidong Yu, and Huai-Min Zhang
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