Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 10 items for

  • Author or Editor: Qingfu Liu x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Qingfu Liu, John M. Lewis, and Jeanne M. Schneider

Abstract

The evolution of the mean characteristics of the marine boundary layer during cold-air outbreaks can be described with an integrated or slab model. In order to assess the practical applicability of this-type of model to flows over the Gulf of Mexico, we use the observations collected during the Gulf of Mexico Experiment (GUFMEX) by an instrumented National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) P-3 aircraft and a Cross-chain Loran Atmospheric Sounding System (CLASS) onboard the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Salvia. The numerical results show that the model successfully reproduced the changes in mean characteristics of momentum, moisture, and temperature under unstable conditions. The largest differences between the predictions and measurements are 0.8°C for the potential temperature, 0.15 g kg−1 for the specific humidity, 47 m for the mixed-layer height, and 1.5 m s−1 for the horizontal velocity components. A sensitivity analysis shows that the modeled mixed-layer height is slightly sensitive to changes in the specified sea surface temperature, while the other mean characteristics are relatively insensitive to the input parameters. Based upon the results of this single case study, the slab model appears to be a promising approach to account for the moistening and heating processes at the air-sea interface during cold-air outbreaks over the Gulf of Mexico.

Full access
Y. L. Kogan, M. P. Khairoutdinov, D. K. Lilly, Z. N. Kogan, and Qingfu Liu

Abstract

A new large eddy simulation (LES) stratocumulus cloud model with an explicit formulation of micro-physical processes has been developed, and the results from three large eddy simulations are presented to illustrate the effects of the stratocumulus-topped boundary layer (STBL) dynamics on cloud microphysical parameters. The simulations represent cases of a well-mixed and a radiatively driven STBL. Two of the simulations differ only in the ambient aerosol concentration and show its effect on cloud microphysics. The third simulation is based on the data obtained by Nicholls, and the simulation results from this case are contrasted with his measurements. Cloud-layer dynamical parameters and cloud droplet spectra are in reasonably good agreement with observations.

As demonstrated by the results of three large eddy simulations presented in the paper, the cloud microphysical parameters are significantly affected by cloud dynamics. This is evidenced by the sensitivity of the cloud drop spectra itself, as well as by that of the integral parameters of the spectra, such as mean radii and droplet concentration. Experiments presented here also show that cloud microstructure is significantly asymmetric between updrafts and downdrafts. Mixing with dry air from the inversion may significantly enhance evaporation and result in cloud-free zones within the cloud. As a result of mixing, the cloud layer is very inhomogeneous, especially near its top and bottom.

The authors analyze in detail the fine structure of the supersaturation field and suggest an explanation for the formation of the model-predicted supersaturation peak near the cloud top. The LES results suggest that super-saturation may have a sharp increase in near-saturated parcels that undergo forced vertical displacement at the cloud-layer top. The main forcing mechanism that may supply the additional energy for the forced convection in the case presented is from propagating gravity waves. Although radiative cooling may also result in increased convective activity at cloud top, the sensitivity tests presented here suggest that, at least in these simulations, this effect is not dominant.

Full access
Qingfu Liu, Yefim L. Kogan, Douglas K. Lilly, and Marat P. Khairoutdinov

Abstract

A variational optimization (VO) method that requires specification of only one variable in each bin size for condensation and evaporation calculations in an Eulerian drop-size framework is proposed. The method is tested against the exact solution given by the Lagrangian method using more than 15000 spectra selected from experiments with a three-dimensional large eddy simulation model with explicit microphysics. The results show that the VO method not only conserves the integral parameters of the spectrum, such as drop number, mean radius, liquid water content, and the effective radius, but also provides an accurate calculation of the spectrum itself.

Full access
Vijay Tallapragada, Chanh Kieu, Young Kwon, Samuel Trahan, Qingfu Liu, Zhan Zhang, and In-Hyuk Kwon

Abstract

In this work, a high-resolution triple-nested implementation of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model (HWRF) for the 2012 hurricane season is evaluated. Statistics of retrospective experiments for the 2010–11 hurricane seasons show that the new configuration demonstrates significant improvement compared to the 2011 operational HWRF in terms of storm track, intensity, size, dynamical constraints between mass and wind field, and initial vortex imbalance. Specifically, the 5-day track and intensify forecast errors are improved by about 19% and 7% for the North Atlantic basin, and by 9% and 30% for the eastern Pacific basin, respectively. Verifications of storm size in terms of wind radii at 34-, 50-, and 64-kt (17.5, 25.7, and 32.9 m s−1) thresholds at different quadrants show dramatic improvement with most of the overestimation of the storm size in previous operational HWRF versions removed at all forecast times. In addition, dynamical constraints between the storm intensity and the outermost radius in the new configuration are consistent with the best track data. The relationship between minimum sea level pressure and maximum 10-m wind is also improved in both basins, indicating that the storm dynamics and structure have been improved in the 2012 HWRF compared to the previous versions. These significant improvements obtained with the new HWRF implementation are attributed to a number of major changes including a new higher-resolution nest, improved vortex initialization, improved planetary boundary layer and turbulence physics, and some critical bug fixes related to the moving nest. Such improvements show that the new HWRF implementation is a promising upgrade for future hurricane seasons.

Full access
Xuejin Zhang, Sundararaman G. Gopalakrishnan, Samuel Trahan, Thiago S. Quirino, Qingfu Liu, Zhan Zhang, Ghassan Alaka, and Vijay Tallapragada

Abstract

In this study, the design of movable multilevel nesting (MMLN) in the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) modeling system is documented. The configuration of a new experimental HWRF system with a much larger horizontal outer domain and multiple sets of MMLN, referred to as the “basin scale” HWRF, is also described. The performance of this new system is applied for various difficult forecast scenarios such as 1) simulating multiple storms [i.e., Hurricanes Earl (2010), Danielle (2010), and Frank (2010)] and 2) forecasting tropical cyclone (TC) to extratropical cyclone transitions, specifically Hurricane Sandy (2012). Verification of track forecasts for the 2011–14 Atlantic and eastern Pacific hurricane seasons demonstrates that the basin-scale HWRF produces similar overall results to the 2014 operational HWRF, the best operational HWRF at the same resolution. In the Atlantic, intensity forecasts for the basin-scale HWRF were notably worse than for the 2014 operational HWRF, but this deficiency was shown to be from poor intensity forecasts for Hurricane Leslie (2012) associated with the lack of ocean coupling in the basin-scale HWRF. With Leslie removed, the intensity forecast errors were equivalent. The basin-scale HWRF is capable of predicting multiple TCs simultaneously, allowing more realistic storm-to-storm interactions. Even though the basin-scale HWRF produced results only comparable to the regular operational HWRF at this stage, this configuration paves a promising pathway toward operations.

Full access
Vijay Tallapragada, Chanh Kieu, Samuel Trahan, Qingfu Liu, Weiguo Wang, Zhan Zhang, Mingjing Tong, Banglin Zhang, Lin Zhu, and Brian Strahl

Abstract

This study presents evaluation of real-time performance of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast (HWRF) modeling system upgraded and implemented in 2013 in the western North Pacific basin (WPAC). Retrospective experiments with the 2013 version of the HWRF Model upgrades for 2012 WPAC tropical cyclones (TCs) show significant forecast improvement compared to the real-time forecasts from the 2012 version of HWRF. Despite a larger number of strong storms in the WPAC during 2013, real-time forecasts from the 2013 HWRF (H213) showed an overall reduction in intensity forecast errors, mostly at the 4–5-day lead times. Verification of the H213’s skill against the climate persistence forecasts shows that although part of such improvements in 2013 is related to the different seasonal characteristics between the years 2012 and 2013, the new model upgrades implemented in 2013 could provide some further improvement that the 2012 version of HWRF could not achieve. Further examination of rapid intensification (RI) events demonstrates noticeable skill of H213 with the probability of detection (POD) index of 0.22 in 2013 compared to 0.09 in 2012, suggesting that H213 starts to show skill in predicting RI events in the WPAC.

Full access
Qingfu Liu, Yefim L. Kogan, Douglas K. Lilly, Douglas W. Johnson, George E. Innis, Philip A. Durkee, and Kurt E. Nielsen

Abstract

The LES model is applied for studying ship track formation under various boundary layer conditions observed during the Monterey Area Ship Track experiment. Simulations in well-mixed and decoupled boundary layers show that ship effluents are easily advected into the cloud layer in the well-mixed convective boundary layer, whereas their transport may be suppressed by the subcloud transitional layer in the decoupled case. The clear difference between the well-mixed and decoupled cases suggests the important role of diurnal variation of solar radiation and consequent changes in the boundary layer stability for ship track formation. The authors hypothesize that, all other conditions equal, ship track formation may be facilitated during the morning and evening hours when the effects of solar heating are minimal.

In a series of experiments, the authors also studied the effects of additional buoyancy caused by the heat from the ship engine exhaust, the strength of the subcloud transitional layer, and the subcloud layer saturation conditions. The authors conclude that additional heat from ship engine and the increase in ship plume buoyancy may indeed increase the amount of the ship effluent penetrating into the cloud layer. The result, however, depends on the strength of the stable subcloud transitional layer. Another factor in the ship effluent transport is the temperature of the subcloud layer. Its decrease will result in lowering the lifting condensation level and increased ship plume buoyancy. However, the more buoyant plumes in this case have to overcome a larger potential barrier. The relation between all these parameters may be behind the fact that ship tracks sometimes do, and sometimes do not, form in seemingly similar boundary layer conditions.

Full access
Vijay Tallapragada, Chanh Kieu, Samuel Trahan, Zhan Zhang, Qingfu Liu, Weiguo Wang, Mingjing Tong, Banglin Zhang, and Brian Strahl

Abstract

This study documents the recent efforts of the hurricane modeling team at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s (NCEP) Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) in implementing the operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model (HWRF) for real-time tropical cyclone (TC) forecast guidance in the western North Pacific basin (WPAC) from May to December 2012 in support of the operational forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Evaluation of model performance for the WPAC in 2012 reveals that the model has promising skill with the 3-, 4-, and 5-day track errors being 125, 220, and 290 nautical miles (n mi; 1 n mi = 1.852 km), respectively. Intensity forecasts also show good performance, with the most significant intensity error reduction achieved during the first 24 h. Stratification of the track and intensity forecast errors based on storm initial intensity reveals that HWRF tends to underestimate storm intensity for weak storms and overestimate storm intensity for strong storms. Further analysis of the horizontal distribution of track and intensity forecast errors over the WPAC suggests that HWRF possesses a systematic negative intensity bias, slower movement, and a rightward bias in the lower latitudes. At higher latitudes near the East China Sea, HWRF shows a positive intensity bias and faster storm movement. This appears to be related to underestimation of the dominant large-scale system associated with the western Pacific subtropical high, which renders weaker steering flows in this basin.

Full access
Mingjing Tong, Jason A. Sippel, Vijay Tallapragada, Emily Liu, Chanh Kieu, In-Hyuk Kwon, Weiguo Wang, Qingfu Liu, Yangrong Ling, and Banglin Zhang

Abstract

This study evaluates the impact of assimilating high-resolution, inner-core reconnaissance observations on tropical cyclone initialization and prediction in the 2013 version of the operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Model. The 2013 HWRF data assimilation system is a GSI-based hybrid ensemble–variational system that, in this study, uses the Global Data Assimilation System ensemble to estimate flow-dependent background error covariance. Assimilation of inner-core observations improves track forecasts and reduces intensity error after 18–24 h. The positive impact on the intensity forecast is mainly found in weak storms, where inner-core assimilation produces more accurate tropical cyclone structures and reduces positive intensity bias. Despite such positive benefits, there is degradation in short-term intensity forecasts that is attributable to spindown of strong storms, which has also been seen in other studies. There are several reasons for the degradation of intense storms. First, a newly discovered interaction between model biases and the HWRF vortex initialization procedure causes the first-guess wind speed aloft to be too strong in the inner core. The problem worsens for the strongest storms, leading to a poor first-guess fit to observations. Though assimilation of reconnaissance observations results in analyses that better fit the observations, it also causes a negative intensity bias at the surface. In addition, the covariance provided by the NCEP global model is inaccurate for assimilating inner-core observations, and model physics biases result in a mismatch between simulated and observed structure. The model ultimately cannot maintain the analysis structure during the forecast, leading to spindown.

Open access
Ronald J. Ferek, Timothy Garrett, Peter V. Hobbs, Scott Strader, Doug Johnson, Jonathan P. Taylor, Kurt Nielsen, Andrew S. Ackerman, Yefim Kogan, Qingfu Liu, Bruce A. Albrecht, and David Babb

Abstract

Although drizzle was a relatively infrequent occurrence during the Monterey Area Ship Track study, diverse measurements from several sources produced data signals consistent with a reduction in drizzle drops in stratus clouds affected by ship effluents. Concurrent increases in liquid water in the cloud droplet size range, due to redistribution from the drizzle mode, were not always observed, possibly because of the relatively small and often negligible amounts of water in the drizzle mode. Significant changes in cloud droplet size distribution, as well as reductions in drizzle flux and concentrations of drops >50-μm radius, were observed in ship tracks when drizzle was more uniformly present in the ambient cloud.

Radiometric measurements showed that increased droplet concentrations in ship tracks, which resulted in reduced droplet sizes, can significantly alter the liquid water path. Radar observations indicated that the reduced reflectivities of ship tracks compared with ambient clouds may be due to reductions in the concentrations of larger drops and/or reductions in the sizes of these drops. Two independent modeling studies showed decreases in drizzle in ship tracks due to the presence of smaller cloud droplets that reduced the efficiency of drop growth by collisions.

Full access