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Jie Tang, Xueliang Guo, Yi Chang, Guangxian Lu, and Peng Qi

Abstract

Temporospatial distribution and trends of thunderstorm, hail, gale and heavy precipitation events over the Tibetan Plateau (TP), as well as the associated mechanisms with observational data from 1979-2016 are investigated, which have not been fully studied under a changing climate. The results indicate that thunderstorm, hail and gale events over the whole TP show significant decreasing trends, while heavy precipitation events have an insignificant increasing trend. The southeast (SE) and central south (SC) subregions have obvious significant decreasing trends in thunderstorm, hail and gale events, while the northeast (NE) subregion has a significant increasing trend in heavy precipitation events. It is found that the atmospheric circulation anomaly caused by the northwestern Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) should be responsible for these changes. A strong wave train triggered by the northwestern Atlantic SST anomaly propagates from the northern Atlantic to East Asia through Europe, and induces a more upper-level warming over the TP and an anomalous anticyclonic circulation near the Lake Baikal, resulting in more stable atmosphere and blocking effect, which forces the mid-latitude westerlies and associated cold air to shift poleward. The weakened cold air advection over the TP decreases the baroclinic instability and convection initiation, and finally causes the significant decreasing trends in severe weather events. On the other hand, the enhanced easterly winds in the southern flank of the anticyclonic circulation can significantly increase the water vapor flux from the eastern boundary of the TP and heavy precipitation events in the NE subregion.

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Jie Tang, Xueliang Guo, Yi Chang, Guangxian Lu, and Peng Qi

Abstract

Temporospatial distribution and trends of thunderstorm, hail, gale, and heavy precipitation events over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) as well as the associated mechanisms with observational data from 1979 to 2016 are investigated, which have not been fully studied under a changing climate. The results indicate that thunderstorm, hail, and gale events over the whole TP show significant decreasing trends, while heavy precipitation events have an insignificant increasing trend. The southeast and central south subregions have obvious significant decreasing trends in thunderstorm, hail, and gale events, while the northeast subregion has a significant increasing trend in heavy precipitation events. It is found that the atmospheric circulation anomaly caused by the northwestern Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) should be responsible for these changes. A strong wave train triggered by the northwestern Atlantic SST anomaly propagates from the northern Atlantic to East Asia through Europe, and induces a more upper-level warming over the TP and an anomalous anticyclonic circulation near the Lake Baikal, resulting in a more stable atmosphere and blocking effect, which forces the midlatitude westerlies and associated cold air to shift poleward. The weakened cold-air advection over the TP decreases the baroclinic instability and convection initiation, and finally causes the significant decreasing trends in severe weather events. On the other hand, the enhanced easterly winds in the southern flank of the anticyclonic circulation can significantly increase the water vapor flux from the eastern boundary of the TP and heavy precipitation events in the northeast subregion.

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Cheng Tao, Yunyan Zhang, Qi Tang, Hsi-Yen Ma, Virendra P. Ghate, Shuaiqi Tang, Shaocheng Xie, and Joseph A. Santanello

Abstract

Using the 9-yr warm-season observations at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains site, we assess the land–atmosphere (LA) coupling in the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) and two climate models: hindcasts with the Community Atmosphere Model version 5.1 by Cloud-Associated Parameterizations Testbed (CAM5-CAPT) and nudged runs with the Energy Exascale Earth System Model Atmosphere Model version 1 Regionally Refined Model (EAMv1-RRM). We focus on three local convective regimes and diagnose model behaviors using the local coupling metrics. NARR agrees well with observations except a slightly warmer and drier surface with higher downwelling shortwave radiation and lower evaporative fraction. On clear-sky days, it shows warmer and drier early-morning conditions in both models with significant underestimates in surface evaporation by EAMv1-RRM. On the majority of the ARM-observed shallow cumulus days, there is no or little low-level clouds in either model. When captured in models, the simulated shallow cumulus shows much less cloud fraction and lower cloud bases than observed. On the days with late-afternoon deep convection, models tend to present a stable early-morning lower atmosphere more frequently than the observations, suggesting that the deep convection is triggered more often by elevated instabilities. Generally, CAM5-CAPT can reproduce the local LA coupling processes to some extent due to the constrained early-morning conditions and large-scale winds. EAMv1-RRM exhibits large precipitation deficits and warm and dry biases toward mid-to-late summers, which may be an amplification through a positive LA feedback among initial atmosphere and land states, convection triggering and large-scale circulations.

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Salil Mahajan, Qi Tang, Noel D. Keen, Jean-Christophe Golaz, and Luke P. van Roekel

Abstract

We evaluate the simulated teleconnection of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to winter season precipitation extremes over the United States in a long (98 years) 1950 control high-resolution version (HR; 25-km nominal atmosphere model horizontal resolution) of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 1 (E3SMv1). The model bias and spatial pattern of ENSO teleconnections to mean and extreme precipitation in HR overall are similar to the low-resolution model’s (LR; 110 km) historical simulation (four-member ensemble, 1925–59). However, over the southeastern United States (SE-U.S.), HR produces stronger El Niño–associated extremes, reducing LR’s model bias. Both LR and HR produce weaker than observed increase in storm track activity during El Niño events there, but HR improves the ENSO-associated variability of moisture transport over SE-U.S. During El Niño, stronger vertical velocities in HR produce stronger large-scale precipitation, causing larger latent heating of the troposphere that pulls in more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into the SE-U.S. This positive feedback also contributes to the stronger mean and extreme precipitation response in HR. Over the Pacific Northwest, LR’s bias of stronger than observed La Niña associated extremes is amplified in HR. Both models simulate stronger than observed moisture transport from the Pacific Ocean into the region during La Niña years. The amplified HR bias there is due to stronger orographically driven vertical updrafts that create stronger large-scale precipitation, despite weaker La Niña–induced storm track activity.

Significance Statement

New high-resolution Earth system models (ESMs) solve mathematical equations of fluid flow at much smaller spatial scales than prevalent ESMs, and thus are prohibitively expensive to compute. However, they can be useful for simulating accurate details of regional climate extremes that are driven by naturally occurring climate oscillations like El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Here, we evaluate the simulation of ENSO-driven precipitation extremes over the United States in the high-resolution version of the U.S. Department of Energy’s new Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 1. We find that the high-resolution model improves upon its low-resolution counterpart over the southeastern United States by producing a better transport of moisture into the region from the Gulf of Mexico during El Niño. Over the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the high-resolution model simulates the atmospheric flow in more detail over the complex mountainous terrain. However, it also brings in more moisture from the Pacific Ocean just like the low-resolution model. This causes it to produce precipitation extremes during La Niña years there that are stronger than that observed in the real world.

Open access
Jian Zhang, Kenneth Howard, Carrie Langston, Brian Kaney, Youcun Qi, Lin Tang, Heather Grams, Yadong Wang, Stephen Cocks, Steven Martinaitis, Ami Arthur, Karen Cooper, Jeff Brogden, and David Kitzmiller

Abstract

Rapid advancements of computer technologies in recent years made the real-time transferring and integration of high-volume, multisource data at a centralized location a possibility. The Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system recently implemented at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction demonstrates such capabilities by integrating about 180 operational weather radars from the conterminous United States and Canada into a seamless national 3D radar mosaic with very high spatial (1 km) and temporal (2 min) resolution. The radar data can be integrated with high-resolution numerical weather prediction model data, satellite data, and lightning and rain gauge observations to generate a suite of severe weather and quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) products. This paper provides an overview of the initial operating capabilities of MRMS QPE products.

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