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R. Atlas

Abstract

A study of the evolution of sounding data impact in the high-resolution GLAS model forecasts from 19 February 1976 has been conducted. The significant prognostic differences which develop in this case are shown to be traceable to specific initial state differences which resulted from the assimilation of satellite-derived temperature soundings.

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R. C. Srivastava and D. Atlas

Abstract

Equations relating the mean of the Doppler spectrum and the distribution of point velocities, and their spectra are derived under the assumptions that: 1) the scatterers follow the air motion faithfully, 2) the reflectivity is constant, and 3) the beam illumination function is separable. It is found that the three-dimensional spectral density function is strongly attenuated at scales small compared to the beam dimensions, and essentially unaffected at scales large compared to the beam dimensions. Relationships between the one-dimensional longitudinal and transverse spectra of the mean velocity and the three-dimensional spectrum of the point velocities are derived. Numerical computations with a model Kolmogorov-Obukhov turbulence spectrum are performed to illustrate the effects of filtering. Energy at scales small compared to the beam dimensions is attenuated. Energy at scales large compared to the beam dimensions is also reduced, in the case of the one-dimensional spectrum, because small scales in the orthogonal directions contributing to the energy are attenuated by the filtering. The energy depleted from the spectrum of the mean velocity appears as an increased variance of the Doppler spectrum. The ratio of the total energy under the measured spectrum to that under the spectrum of the point velocities is computed as a function of beam dimensions. An equivalent rectangular filter approximation is proposed for computing the one-dimensional spectra. Analytical results are obtained for the longitudinal spectrum and are shown to be in excellent agreement with the numerical results for the actual filter. The use of a spherical volume equal to that of the actual radar pulse volume is shown to be invalid.

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David Atlas and Christopher R. Williams

Abstract

This study provides a very clear picture of the microphysics and flow field in a convective storm in the Rondonia region of Brazil through a synthesis of observations from two unique radars, measurements of the surface drop size distribution (DSD), and particle types and sizes from an aircraft penetration. The primary findings are 1) the growth of rain by the collision–coalescence–breakup (CCB) process to equilibrium drop size distributions entirely below the 0°C level; 2) the subsequent growth of larger ice particles (graupel and hail) at subfreezing temperatures; 3) the paucity of lightning activity during the former process, and the increased lightning frequency during the latter; 4) the occurrence of strong downdrafts and a downburst during the latter phase of the storm resulting from cooling by melting and evaporation; 5) the occurrence of turbulence along the main streamlines of the storm; and 6) the confirmation of the large drops reached during the CCB growth by polarimetric radar observations. These interpretations have been made possible by estimating the updraft magnitude using the “lower bound” of the Doppler spectrum at vertical incidence, and identifying the “balance level” at which particles are supported for growth. The combination of these methods shows where raindrops are supported for extended periods to allow their growth to equilibrium drop size distributions, while smaller drops ascend and large ones descend. A hypothesis worthy of pursuit is the control of the storm motion by the winds at the balance level, which is the effective precipitation generating level. Above the 0°C level the balance level separates the small ascending ice crystals from the large descending graupel and hail. Collisions between the two cause electrical charging, while gravity and the updrafts separate the charges to cause lightning. Below the 0°C level, large downward velocities (caused by the above-mentioned cooling) in excess of the terminal fall speeds of raindrops represent the downbursts, which are manifested in the surface winds.

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R. C. Srivastava and D. Atlas

Abstract

No abstract available.

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R. C. Srivastava and D. Atlas

Abstract

Analytical solutions for the growth and vertical and horizontal motion of a precipitation particle growing by coalescence with cloud drops are derived under simplified steady-state assumptions. An equation is also developed for the concentration density of a continuous distribution of growing particles.

Assuming that the cloud water content varies linearly with height, and that the fall speed of a drop is proportional to the square root of its diameter, it is shown that the combination of a linearly increasing updraft surmounted by a sharply decreasing one sets a sharp upper limit to the particle size, and sorts the particles horizontally. Particles which spend their entire life in regions of horizontal convergence associated with increasing updraft are packed into a narrower shaft than that in which they originated. Initially smaller particles are carried above into the region of horizontal divergence associated with decreasing updraft and are displaced far to the sides of the cloud core. It is found that when the updraft increases sharply there is a very small range of initial sizes which can grow to fall-out size. These facts are used to suggest that a steady “balance level” (equal reflectivity in rising and falling particles) may be maintained at a height near and below an updraft maximum. Particle size spectra computed from the concentration density equation are continuous and well-behaved for rising, floating and falling particles alike, without necessarily even maximizing for the floating size.

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N. Wolfson, R. Atlas, and Y. C. Sud

Abstract

A series of numerical forecast experiments has been conducted with the Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres (GLA) fourth-order general circulation model in order to study the role of (i) sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the North Pacific, (ii) soil moisture anomalies over the continental United States, as derived from observations of precipitation and surface temperature, and (iii) solar radiational forcing in the maintenance and breakdown of the severe heat wave over the United States in the summer of 1980.

Results from these experiments show opposite effects of the SST and soil moisture anomalies on the model's medium-range (ten-day) simulations of the maintenance of the heat wave. The lower than normal soil moisture over the United States during the summer of 1980 resulted in reduced surface evaporation, higher ground temperature, increased sensible heat flux from ground to air, higher surface temperature, lower sea-level pressure and higher 500 mb height over much of the Great Plains in the model forecasts. In contrast, the SST anomalies in the North Pacific during the same period resulted in an enhanced northerly flow of cooler and dryer air, increased evaporation, decreased ground and air temperature and reduced 500-mb heights over the Great Plains. These results suggest that once established, soil moisture deficits contribute to maintaining warm, dry conditions. Although long-term effects of North Pacific SST anomalies may be to create or enhance the heat wave, ten-day simulations showed that such anomalies contributed to lower temperatures over shorter time scales.

A limited number of experiments, with modified solar radiational forcing, showed a dramatic weakening of the heat wave pattern in the model forecasts and indicated that the interaction of changing solar declination with the prevailing synoptic situation was probably responsible for the breakdown of the heat wave in September 1980.

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M. Ghil, M. Halem and R. Atlas

Abstract

Methods are derived for the time-continuous four-dimensional assimilation of satellite sounding temperatures. The methods presented include time-continuous versions of direct insertion, successive correction and statistical linear regression. They are applied to temperature sounding data obtained from radiance measurements taken by instruments aboard the polar-orbiting satellites NOAA 4 and Nimbus 6. The data were collected during the U.S. Data System Test in January-March 1976.

A comprehensive series of experiments was performed to study the effects of using various amounts of satellite data and differing methods of assimilation. The experiments included the assimilation of data from the NOAA 4 satellite only, from Nimbus 6 only, and of data from both satellites combined. Other experiments involved variations in the application of our time-continuous statistical assimilation methods and of asynoptic successive correction methods. Intermittent assimilation of the sounding data was also tested, and its results compared with those of time-continuous assimilation.

Atmospheric states determined in the assimilation experiments served as initial states for a sequence of evenly spaced 3-day numerical weather forecasts corresponding to each experiment. The effects of the satellite data were evaluated according to the following criteria: 1) differences between the initial states produced with and without utilization of satellite data, 2) differences between numerical predictions made from these initial states, and. 3) differences in local weather forecasts resulting from the large-scale numerical predictions.

Initial-state differences were evaluated in terms of magnitude and location of large-scale differences between meteorological fields. Numerical prediction differences were evaluated in terms of SI skill scores and rms errors, as well as by synoptic case studies. An automated forecasting model (AFM) based on quasi-geostrophic theory and on subjective forecasting principles was developed to facilitate the objective evaluation of differences produced in local weather forecasts, especially precipitation forecasts.

These studies suggest the following conclusions: 1) satellite-derived temperature data can have a modest, but statistically significant positive impact on numerical weather prediction in the 2-3 day range; 2) the impact is highly sensitive to the quantity of data available, and increases with data quantity; and 3) the method used to assimilate the satellite data can influence appreciably the magnitude of the impact obtained for the same data.

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R. Atlas, M. Ghil, and M. Halem

Abstract

No abstract available.

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R. Atlas, M. Ghil, and M. Halem

Abstract

An experiment was performed to study the effect of increased model resolution on satellite sounding data impact. Assimilation cycles were carried out with data from 0000 GMT 29 January to 0300 GMT 21 February 1976, using coarse- and fine-resolution versions of the GLAS second-order general circulation model (GCM). For each model resolution, an assimilation cycle was performed using both conventional and experimental data, which included temperature soundings from the NOAA-4 and Nimbus-6 satellites. A second cycle was run using the same data but excluding the satellite-derived temperature soundings.

The objective analyses produced by the assimilation cycles were used as initial states for a series of evenly spaced 72 h numerical weather forecasts. Eleven forecasts with the same resolution in the forecast model as in the data assimilation were performed at 48 h intervals for each assimilation. Additional forecasts were made with the higher resolution forecast model from the lower resolution assimilation cycle and vice versa. Initial state differences were evaluated in terms of the magnitude, location and structure of large-scale differences between meteorological fields. Numerical prediction differences were evaluated by means of objective scores and subjective comparisons.

Objective scores show a substantially larger beneficial impact of the sounding data at 48 and 60 h with the higher resolution version of the model. Subjective evaluation also revealed a larger positive impact of satellite sounding data with the higher resolution model.

This study has two important limitations: it was carried out with two versions of one model, the GLAS GCM, and the number of forecast cases analyzed is small. Within these limitations, our results indicate that model improvement enhances the impact of satellite data.

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R. Atlas, N. Wolfson, and J. Terry

Abstract

A series of simulations of the late spring and early summer of 1988 were conducted in order to study the relative importance of different boundary forcings to the Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres model's simulation of the heat wave and drought over the Great Plains of the United States during this time period. Separate 60- day simulations were generated from 10, 20, and 30 May 1988 with a variety of boundary condition datasets. For the control experiment, climatological boundary conditions were used. This was followed by experiments in which either the observed 1988 sea surface temperatures (SST) or derived 1988 soil moisture values, or both, were used in place of the climatological fields. Additional experiments were conducted in which only tropical or midlatitude SST anomalies were used.

The impact of the different boundary forcings was evaluated relative to the control simulations of the precipitation and surface air temperature over the Great Plains. It was found that the tropical SST anomalies had a significant effect in reducing precipitation in this area, while the midlatitude anomalies did not. Due to the prescribed climatological soil moistures for the SST experiments, a significant increase in surface temperature did not occur in these simulations. In contrast, the simulations with the anomalous 1988 soil moistures produced both a larger reduction of precipitation and a significant increase in surface temperature over the Great Plains. The simulations with both anomalous SST and soil moisture showed only a slight augmentation of the heat wave and drought relative to the experiments with anomalous soil moisture alone.

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