Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 16 items for

  • Author or Editor: R. A. Reeder x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Daniel R. Chavas and Kevin A. Reed

Abstract

Existing hypotheses for the dynamical dependence of tropical cyclone genesis and size on latitude depend principally on the Coriolis parameter f. These hypotheses are tested via dynamical aquaplanet experiments with uniform thermal forcing in which planetary rotation rate and planetary radius are varied relative to Earth values; the control simulation is also compared to a present-day Earth simulation. Storm genesis rate collapses to a quasi-universal dependence on f that attains its maximum at the critical latitude, where the inverse-f scale and Rhines scale are equal. Minimum genesis distance from the equator is set by the equatorial Rhines (or deformation) scale and not by a minimum value of f. Outer storm size qualitatively follows the smaller of the two length scales, including a slow increase with latitude equatorward of 45° in the control simulation, similar to the Earth simulation. The latitude of peak size scales with the critical latitude for varying planetary radius but not rotation rate, possibly because of the dependence of genesis specifically on f. The latitudes of peak size and peak packing density scale closely together. Results suggest that temporal effects and interstorm interaction may be significant for size dynamics. More generally, the critical latitude separates two regimes: 1) a mixed wave–cyclone equatorial belt, where wave effects are strong and the Rhines scale likely limits storm size, and 2) a cyclone-filled polar cap, where wave effects are weak and cyclones persist. The large-planet limit predicts a world nearly covered with long-lived storms, equivalent to the f plane. Overall, spherical geometry is likely important for understanding tropical cyclone genesis and size on Earthlike planets.

Full access
Adam R. Herrington and Kevin A. Reed

Abstract

The sensitivity of the mean state of the Community Atmosphere Model to horizontal resolutions typical of present-day general circulation models is investigated in an aquaplanet configuration. Nonconvergence of the mean state is characterized by a progressive drying of the atmosphere and large reductions in cloud coverage with increasing resolution. Analyses of energy and moisture budgets indicate that these trends are balanced by variations in moisture transport by the resolved circulation, and a reduction in activity of the convection scheme. In contrast, the large-scale precipitation rate increases with resolution, which is approximately balanced by greater advection of dry static energy associated with more active resolved vertical motion in the ascent region of the Hadley cell.

An explanation for the sensitivity of the mean state to horizontal resolution is proposed, based on linear Boussinesq theory. The authors hypothesize that an increase in horizontal resolution in the model leads to a reduction in horizontal scale of the diabatic forcing arising from the column physics, facilitating finescale flow and faster resolved convective updrafts within the dynamical core, and steering the coupled system toward a new mean state. This hypothesis attempts to explain the underlying mechanism driving the variations in moisture transport observed in the simulations.

Full access
R. J. Reed, A. Hollingsworth, W. A. Heckley, and F. Delsol

Abstract

Substantial changes were made to the ECMWF model in May 1985. The extensive revisions to the physical parameterizations were designed to improve the treatment of the large-scale flow in the tropics. In addition, the resolution was increased substantially to a triangular truncation at T106. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the performance of the new forecasting system on the analysis and forecasting of easterly waves and their associated tropical storms over Africa and the tropical Atlantic.

A wave history generated for the months of August and September 1985 with use of operational analyses and METEOSAT imagery provides the framework for evaluating the performance of the analysis system. The difficulties caused by lack of data are discussed. Shortcomings of the analysis system are illustrated using an example of a short-scale disturbance with a marked convergence line. On the other hand, examples are also presented demonstrating the ability of the analysis system to make sense of widely scattered observations.

The maxima in the vorticity field provide a set of useful markers to track the easterly waves, both in the analyses and in the forecasts. The 48-h forecasts of the positions and intensities of the vorticity maxima are verified those cases for which there is sufficient observational data to have confidence in the low-level wind analysis. The verification results are quite encouraging.

A particular feature of the paper is the series of synoptic studies of the four waves which gave rise to named storms (Danny, Elena, and Gloria) during the period.

Full access
Alyssa M. Stansfield, Kevin A. Reed, Colin M. Zarzycki, Paul A. Ullrich, and Daniel R. Chavas

Abstract

Tropical cyclones (TCs) can subject an area to heavy precipitation for many hours, or even days, worsening the risk of flooding, which creates dangerous conditions for residents of the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts. To study the representation of TC-related precipitation over the eastern United States in current-generation global climate models, a novel analysis methodology is developed to track TCs and extract their associated precipitation using an estimate of their dynamical outer size. This methodology is applied to three variable-resolution (VR) configurations of the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5 (CAM5), with high-resolution domains over the North Atlantic and one low-resolution conventional configuration, as well as to a combination of reanalysis and observational precipitation data. Metrics and diagnostics such as TC counts, intensities, outer storm sizes, and annual mean total and extreme precipitation are compared between the CAM5 simulations and reanalysis/observations. The high-resolution VR configurations outperform the global low-resolution configuration for all variables in the North Atlantic. Realistic TC intensities are produced by the VR configurations. The total North Atlantic TC counts are lower than observations but better than reanalysis.

Restricted access
L. A. Mathews, D. W. Reed, P. St. Amand, and R. Stirton

Abstract

The time required for an ice nucleus of radius r A to dissolve in a water drop of radius r D is found for solubilities ranging from 5 × 10−10 (pure silver iodide at OC) to 10−3. The basic assumption is that the dissolution of the liquid-solid interface is rapid compared to the diffusion of solute from the interface to the bulk of the solution, and hence the latter controls the rate of solution. The calculations show that most ice nuclei smaller than 0.01 or 0.05 μ in radius will be dissolved within a period of a few seconds and in some cases within a fraction of a second.

Full access
Funing Li, Daniel R. Chavas, Kevin A. Reed, and Daniel T. Dawson II

Abstract

Severe local storm (SLS) activity is known to occur within specific thermodynamic and kinematic environments. These environments are commonly associated with key synoptic-scale features—including southerly Great Plains low-level jets, drylines, elevated mixed layers, and extratropical cyclones—that link the large-scale climate to SLS environments. This work analyzes spatiotemporal distributions of both extreme values of SLS environmental parameters and synoptic-scale features in the ERA5 reanalysis and in the Community Atmosphere Model, version 6 (CAM6), historical simulation during 1980–2014 over North America. Compared to radiosondes, ERA5 successfully reproduces SLS environments, with strong spatiotemporal correlations and low biases, especially over the Great Plains. Both ERA5 and CAM6 reproduce the climatology of SLS environments over the central United States as well as its strong seasonal and diurnal cycles. ERA5 and CAM6 also reproduce the climatological occurrence of the synoptic-scale features, with the distribution pattern similar to that of SLS environments. Compared to ERA5, CAM6 exhibits a high bias in convective available potential energy over the eastern United States primarily due to a high bias in surface moisture and, to a lesser extent, storm-relative helicity due to enhanced low-level winds. Composite analysis indicates consistent synoptic anomaly patterns favorable for significant SLS environments over much of the eastern half of the United States in both ERA5 and CAM6, though the pattern differs for the southeastern United States. Overall, our results indicate that both ERA5 and CAM6 are capable of reproducing SLS environments as well as the synoptic-scale features and transient events that generate them.

Restricted access
J. A. Curry, C. A. Clayson, W. B. Rossow, R. Reeder, Y.-C. Zhang, P. J. Webster, G. Liu, and R.-S. Sheu

An integrated approach is presented for determining from several different satellite datasets all of the components of the tropical sea surface fluxes of heat, freshwater, and momentum. The methodology for obtaining the surface turbulent and radiative fluxes uses physical properties of the atmosphere and surface retrieved from satellite observations as inputs into models of the surface turbulent and radiative flux processes. The precipitation retrieval combines analysis of satellite microwave brightness temperatures with a statistical model employing satellite observations of visible/infrared radiances. A high-resolution dataset has been prepared for the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) intensive observation period (IOP), with a spatial resolution of 50 km and temporal resolution of 3 h. The high spatial resolution is needed to resolve the diurnal and mesoscale storm-related variations of the fluxes. The fidelity of the satellite-derived surface fluxes is examined by comparing them with in situ measurements obtained from ships and aircraft during the TOGA COARE IOP and from vertically integrated budgets of heat and freshwater for the atmosphere and ocean. The root-mean-square differences between the satellite-derived and in situ fluxes are dominated by limitations in the satellite sampling; these are reduced when some averaging is done, particularly for the precipitation (which is from a statistical algorithm) and the surface solar radiation (which uses spatially sampled satellite pixels). Nevertheless, the fluxes are determined with a useful accuracy, even at the highest temporal and spatial resolution. By compiling the fluxes at such high resolution, users of the dataset can decide whether and how to average for particular purposes. For example, over time, space, or similar weather events.

Full access
Janet Sprintall, Victoria J. Coles, Kevin A. Reed, Amy H. Butler, Gregory R. Foltz, Stephen G. Penny, and Hyodae Seo

Abstract

Process studies are designed to improve our understanding of poorly described physical processes that are central to the behavior of the climate system. They typically include coordinated efforts of intensive field campaigns in the atmosphere and/or ocean to collect a carefully planned set of in situ observations. Ideally the observational portion of a process study is paired with numerical modeling efforts that lead to better representation of a poorly simulated or previously neglected physical process in operational and research models. This article provides a framework of best practices to help guide scientists in carrying out more productive, collaborative, and successful process studies. Topics include the planning and implementation of a process study and the associated web of logistical challenges; the development of focused science goals and testable hypotheses; and the importance of assembling an integrated and compatible team with a diversity of social identity, gender, career stage, and scientific background. Guidelines are also provided for scientific data management, dissemination, and stewardship. Above all, developing trust and continual communication within the science team during the field campaign and analysis phase are key for process studies. We consider a successful process study as one that ultimately will improve our quantitative understanding of the mechanisms responsible for climate variability and enhance our ability to represent them in climate models.

Full access
Gabriele Villarini, David A. Lavers, Enrico Scoccimarro, Ming Zhao, Michael F. Wehner, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Thomas R. Knutson, and Kevin A. Reed

Abstract

Heavy rainfall and flooding associated with tropical cyclones (TCs) are responsible for a large number of fatalities and economic damage worldwide. Despite their large socioeconomic impacts, research into heavy rainfall and flooding associated with TCs has received limited attention to date and still represents a major challenge. The capability to adapt to future changes in heavy rainfall and flooding associated with TCs is inextricably linked to and informed by understanding of the sensitivity of TC rainfall to likely future forcing mechanisms. Here a set of idealized high-resolution atmospheric model experiments produced as part of the U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Hurricane Working Group activity is used to examine TC response to idealized global-scale perturbations: the doubling of CO2, uniform 2-K increases in global sea surface temperature (SST), and their combined impact. As a preliminary but key step, daily rainfall patterns of composite TCs within climate model outputs are first compared and contrasted to the observational records. To assess similarities and differences across different regions in response to the warming scenarios, analyses are performed at the global and hemispheric scales and in six global TC ocean basins. The results indicate a reduction in TC daily precipitation rates in the doubling CO2 scenario (on the order of 5% globally) and an increase in TC rainfall rates associated with a uniform increase of 2 K in SST (both alone and in combination with CO2 doubling; on the order of 10%–20% globally).

Full access
Adam R. Herrington, Peter H. Lauritzen, Mark A. Taylor, Steve Goldhaber, Brian E. Eaton, Julio T. Bacmeister, Kevin A. Reed, and Paul A. Ullrich

Abstract

Atmospheric modeling with element-based high-order Galerkin methods presents a unique challenge to the conventional physics–dynamics coupling paradigm, due to the highly irregular distribution of nodes within an element and the distinct numerical characteristics of the Galerkin method. The conventional coupling procedure is to evaluate the physical parameterizations (physics) on the dynamical core grid. Evaluating the physics at the nodal points exacerbates numerical noise from the Galerkin method, enabling and amplifying local extrema at element boundaries. Grid imprinting may be substantially reduced through the introduction of an entirely separate, approximately isotropic finite-volume grid for evaluating the physics forcing. Integration of the spectral basis over the control volumes provides an area-average state to the physics, which is more representative of the state in the vicinity of the nodal points rather than the nodal point itself and is more consistent with the notion of a “large-scale state” required by conventional physics packages. This study documents the implementation of a quasi-equal-area physics grid into NCAR’s Community Atmosphere Model Spectral Element and is shown to be effective at mitigating grid imprinting in the solution. The physics grid is also appropriate for coupling to other components within the Community Earth System Model, since the coupler requires component fluxes to be defined on a finite-volume grid, and one can be certain that the fluxes on the physics grid are, indeed, volume averaged.

Full access