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Masanori Saito and Ping Yang

Abstract

A database (TAMUoic2019) of the scattering, absorption, and polarization properties of horizontally oriented hexagonal plates (HOPs) and horizontally oriented hexagonal columns (HOCs) at three wavelengths (355, 532, and 1064 nm) is developed for applications to radiative transfer simulations and remote sensing implementations involving oriented ice crystals. The maximum dimension of oriented ice crystals ranges from 50 to 10 000 μm in 165 discrete size bins. The database accounts for 94 incident directions. The single-scattering properties of oriented ice crystals are computed with the physical-geometric optics method (PGOM), which is consistent with the invariant-imbedding T-matrix method for particles with size parameters larger than approximately 100–150. Note that the accuracy of PGOM increases as the size parameter increases. PGOM computes the two-dimensional phase matrix as a function of scattering polar and azimuth angles, and the phase matrix significantly varies with the incident direction. To derive the bulk optical properties of ice clouds for practical radiative transfer applications, the optical properties of individual HOPs and HOCs are averaged over the probability distribution of the tilting angle of oriented ice crystals based on the use of the TAMUoic2019 database. Simulations of lidar signals associated with ice clouds based on the bulk optical properties indicate the importance of the fraction of oriented ice crystals and the probability distribution of the tilting angle. Simulations of optical phenomena caused by oriented ice crystals demonstrate that the computed single-scattering properties of oriented ice crystals are physically rational.

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Yang Yang, Shang-Ping Xie, and Jan Hafner

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Island thermal effects on the trail cloud band over the central North Pacific are investigated for the lee of Hawaii using satellite observations and a regional atmospheric model. The trail cloud band develops around noon and peaks in cloudiness in the early afternoon. The analysis of numerical simulations of the Kauai wake suggests that a dynamically induced convergence zone forms in the lee of Kauai and Oahu (maximum elevation at 1.5 and 1.2 km, respectively) under the trade wind flow. The island thermal effect significantly modulates the island wake and creates a diurnal cycle of development and decay in the lee cloud band. As solar radiation heats up the island from morning to afternoon, warm air moves downstream (warm advection) from the island in the wake zone, increasing the air temperature, decreasing the air pressure, and enhancing low-level wind convergence in favor of the formation of the trail clouds. Conversely the cold advection during night suppresses cloud formation in the wake. The warm advection and the convergence in the wake increase with the upstream trade wind strength, consistent with satellite observations that the cloudiness increases in the wake under strong wind conditions in the afternoon.

The similarity in the trail cloud and its diurnal cycle between Kauai and Oahu suggests that the thermal wake effect is quite common. The conditions for such a thermal wake are discussed.

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Qiang Fu, W. B. Sun, and Ping Yang

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This paper examines a number of commonly used methods for the calculation of the scattering and absorption properties of nonspherical ice crystals at thermal infrared wavelengths. It is found that, for randomly oriented nonspherical particles, Mie theory using equivalent ice spheres tends to overestimate the absorption efficiency while the anomalous diffraction theory (ADT) and the geometric optics method (GOM) tend to underestimate it. The absorption efficiency is not sensitive to the particle shape when the size parameter is large.

Herein a composite scheme is used that is valid for nonspherical particles with a wide range of size parameters. This scheme is a composite of Mie theory, GOM, and ADT to fit the single-scattering properties of hexagonal particles derived from the GOM for large size parameters and the finite-difference time domain technique for small size parameters. Applying this composite technique, errors in the broadband emissivity of cirrus clouds associated with conventional approaches are examined. It is shown that, when the projected area is preserved, Mie results overestimate the emissivity of cirrus clouds while, when the volume is preserved, Mie results underestimate the emissivity. Mie theory yields the best results when both projected area and volume are preserved (the relative errors are less than 10%). It is also shown that the ADT underestimates cirrus cloud emissivity. In some cases, the relative errors can be as large as 30%. The errors in the GOM are also significant and are largely a result of nonspherical particles with size parameters smaller than 40.

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Qiang Fu, Ping Yang, and W. B. Sun

Abstract

An accurate parameterization is presented for the infrared radiative properties of cirrus clouds. For the single-scattering calculations, a composite scheme is developed for randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals by comparing results from Mie theory, anomalous diffraction theory (ADT), the geometric optics method (GOM), and the finite-difference time domain technique. This scheme employs a linear combination of single-scattering properties from the Mie theory, ADT, and GOM, which is accurate for a wide range of size parameters. Following the approach of Q. Fu, the extinction coefficient, absorption coefficient, and asymmetry factor are parameterized as functions of the cloud ice water content and generalized effective size (D ge). The present parameterization of the single-scattering properties of cirrus clouds is validated by examining the bulk radiative properties for a wide range of atmospheric conditions. Compared with reference results, the typical relative error in emissivity due to the parameterization is ∼2.2%. The accuracy of this parameterization guarantees its reliability in applications to climate models. The present parameterization complements the scheme for the solar radiative properties of cirrus clouds developed by Q. Fu for use in numerical models.

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Chenxi Wang, Ping Yang, and Xu Liu

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A fast and flexible model is developed to simulate the transfer of thermal infrared radiation at wavenumbers from 700 to 1300 cm−1 with a spectral resolution of 0.1 cm−1 for scattering–absorbing atmospheres. In a single run and at multiple user-defined levels, the present model simulates radiances at different viewing angles and fluxes. Furthermore, the model takes into account complicated and realistic scenes in which ice cloud, water cloud, and mineral dust layers may coexist within an atmospheric column. The present model is compared to a rigorous reference model, the 32-stream Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer model (DISORT) code. For an atmosphere with three scattering layers (water, ice, and mineral dust), the root-mean-square error of the simulated brightness temperatures at the top of the atmosphere is approximately 0.05 K, and the relative flux errors at the boundary and internal levels are much smaller than 1%. Within the same computing environment, the fast model runs more than 10 000, 6000, and 4000 times faster than DISORT under single-layer, two-layer, and three-layer cloud–aerosol conditions, respectively. With its computational efficiency and accuracy, the present model may optimally facilitate the forward radiative transfer simulations involved in remote sensing implementations based on high-spectral-resolution and narrowband infrared measurements and in the data assimilation applications of the weather forecasting system. The selected 0.1-cm−1 spectral resolution is an obstacle to extending the present model to strongly absorptive bands (e.g., 600–700 cm−1). However, the present clear-sky module can be substituted by a more accurate model for specific applications involving spectral bands with strong absorption.

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Yan Du, Lei Yang, and Shang-Ping Xie

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In the summer following a strong El Niño, tropical cyclone (TC) number decreases over the Northwest (NW) Pacific despite little change in local sea surface temperature. The authors’ analysis suggests El Niño–induced tropical Indian Ocean (TIO) warming as the cause. The TIO warming forces a warm tropospheric Kelvin wave that propagates into the western Pacific. Inducing surface divergence off the equator, the tropospheric Kelvin wave suppresses convection and induces an anomalous anticyclone over the NW Pacific, both anomalies unfavorable for TCs. The westerly vertical shear associated with the warm Kelvin wave reduces the magnitude of vertical shear in the South China Sea and strengthens it in the NW Pacific, an east–west variation that causes TC activity to increase and decrease in respective regions. These results help improve seasonal TC prediction.

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Ping Yang, Guoyu Ren, and Wei Hou

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Hourly datasets obtained by automatic weather stations in Beijing, China, are developed and employed to analyze the spatial and temporal characteristics of relative humidity (RH) and urban dryness island intensity (UDII) over built-up areas. A total of 36 stations inside the sixth ring road are considered as urban sites, while six stations in suburban belts surrounding the built-up areas are taken as reference sites. Results show that the RH is obviously smaller in urban areas than in suburban areas, indicating the effect of urbanization on near-surface atmospheric moisture and RH. A further analysis of relations between RH and temperature on varied time scales shows that the variations in RH in the urban areas are not due solely to changes in temperature. The annual and seasonal mean UDII are high in central urban areas, with the strongest UDII values occurring in autumn and the weakest values occurring in spring. The diurnal UDII variations are characterized by a steadily strong UDII stage from 2000 to 0800 LT and a minimum at 1500 or 1600 LT. The rapid shifts of UDII from high (low) to low (high) occur during the periods 0800–1600 LT (1600–2000 LT). The occurrence time of the peaks varies among different seasons: the peaks appear at 0700, 2100, 2000, and 0800 LT for spring, summer, autumn, and winter, respectively. Further analysis shows that large UDII values appear in the evenings and early nights in late summer and early to midautumn and that low UDII values mainly occur in the afternoon hours of spring, winter, and late autumn.

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Ping Yang, Guoyu Ren, and Weidong Liu

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An hourly dataset of automatic weather stations over Beijing Municipality in China is developed and is employed to analyze the spatial and temporal characteristics of urban heat island intensity (UHII) over the built-up areas. A total of 56 stations that are located in the built-up areas [inside the 6th Ring Road (RR)] are considered to be urban sites, and 8 stations in the suburban belts surrounding the built-up areas are taken as reference sites. The reference stations are selected by using a remote sensing method. The urban sites are further divided into three areas on the basis of the city RRs. It is found that the largest UHII generally takes place inside the 4th RR and that the smallest ones occur in the outer belts of the built-up areas, between the 5th RR and the 6th RR, with the areas near the northern and southern 6th RR experiencing the weakest UHI phenomena. On a seasonal basis, the strongest UHII generally occurs in winter and weak UHII is dominantly observed in summer and spring. The UHII diurnal variations for each of the urban areas are characterized by a steadily strong UHII stage from 2100 local solar time (LST) to 0600 LST and a steadily weak UHII stage from 1100 to 1600 LST, with the periods 0600–1100 LST and 1600–2100 LST experiencing a swift decline and rise, respectively. UHII diurnal variation is seen throughout the year, but the steadily strong UHII stage at night is longer (shorter) and the steadily weak UHII stage during the day is shorter (longer) during winter and autumn (summer and spring).

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Ping Zhao, Song Yang, and Rucong Yu

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Using precipitation data from rain gauge stations over China, the authors examine the long-term variation of the durations of persistent rainfall over eastern China for the past 40 years. The variation in the regional rainfall was related to a change in the global-mean surface temperature from the relatively cold period of the 1960s–70s to the relatively warm period of the 1980s–90s. Compared to the cold period, the persistent rainfall in the warm period began earlier and ended later over southern China, lengthening the rainy season by 23 days, but it began later and ended earlier over northern China, shortening the rainy season by 14 days. This change in the durations of persistent rainfall contributed to the pattern of the long-term change in rainfall: southern floods and northern droughts. The earlier beginning of the rainy season over southern China was associated with a more westward subtropical high over the western North Pacific and a stronger low-level low near the eastern Tibetan Plateau during spring. On the other hand, the later ending of the rainy season over southern China and the shorter rainy season over northern China were related to a more westward subtropical high over the western Pacific and a weaker trough near the eastern Tibetan Plateau during summer.

The snow cover over the Tibetan Plateau exhibited a positive trend in winter and spring, which increased the local soil moisture content and cooled the overlying atmosphere during spring and summer. The sea surface temperature over the tropical Indian Ocean and the western North Pacific also displayed a positive trend. The cooling over land and the warming over oceans reduced the thermal contrast between East Asia and the adjacent oceans. Moreover, the low-level low pressure system over East Asia weakened during summer. Under such circumstances, the East Asian summer monsoon circulation weakened, with anomalous northerly winds over eastern China. Correspondingly, the mei-yu front stagnated over the Yangtze River valley, and the associated pattern of vertical motions increased the rainfall over the valley and decreased the rainfall over northern China.

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Ping Yang, Guoyu Ren, and Pengcheng Yan

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Correlations of the urban heat island intensity (UHII) and key surface variables with the short-duration intense rainfall (SDIR) events are examined for the Beijing urban areas by applying hourly data of a high-density automatic weather station (AWS) network. Higher frequencies (amounts) of the SDIR events are found in or near the central urban area, and most of the SDIR events begin to appear in late evening and nighttime, but tend to end in late night and early morning. Correlations of the UHII with the SDIR frequency (amount) are all highly significant for more than 3 h ahead of the beginning of the SDIR events. Although the UHII at immediate hours (<3 h) before the SDIR occurrence is more indicative of SDIR events, their occurrence more depends on the magnitude of the UHII at earlier hours. The UHII before the beginning of the SDIR events also shows high-value centers in the central urban area, which is generally consistent with the distribution of the SDIR events. The spatial and temporal patterns of regional SDIR events exhibit similar characteristics to the site-based SDIR events and also show a good relationship with the UHII in the urban areas. In addition to the UHII over the urban areas, surface air temperature, surface air pressure, relative humidity, and near-surface wind directions at the Beijing station experience large changes before and after the beginning time of regional SDIR events, and have the potential to indicate the occurrence of SDIR events in the studied area.

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