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R. Bradley Pierce and T. Duncan A. Fairlie

Abstract

Ten yeah of stratosphere geopotential height data are analyzed in an attempt to determine whether there are preferred flow regimes in the Northern Hemisphere winter stratosphere. The data are taken from Stratospheric Sounding Units on board NOAA satellites. The probability density estimate of the amplitude of the wavenumber 1 10-mb height is found to be bimodal. The density distribution is composed of a dominant large-amplitude mode and a less frequent low-amplitude mode. When the wavenumber 1 10-mb height data are projected onto the phase plant defined by the 10-mb zonal-mean winds and wavenumber 1 100-mb heights, three preferred regimes are evident. The small-amplitude mode separates into a strong zonal wind-weak wave regime and a weak zonal wind-weak wave regime. The large-amplitude mode is an intermediate zonal wind-strong wave regime. Transitions between the large-amplitude regime and the weak zonal wind-weak wave regime are found to be associated with major stratospheric warnings. The clustering of the stratospheric data into the preferred flow regimes is interpreted in light of the bifurcation properties of the Holton and Mass model. The interannual variability of the Northern Hemisphere winter stratosphere is interpreted in terms of the relative frequency of the observed preferred regimes.

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R. Bradley Pierce, Fred M. Reames, Tom H. Zapotocny, Donald R. Johnson, and Bart J. Wolf

Abstract

In a validation experiment of a hybrid isentropic–sigma coordinate primitive equation model developed at the University of Wisconsin (the UW θσ model), an initial value technique is used to investigate numerically the normal-mode characteristics of baroclinically amplifying disturbances over a spectrum of meteorologically significant wavelength. The experiments are designed to determine the impact of coupling an isentropic-coordinate free atmospheric domain to a sigma-coordinate planetary boundary layer (PBL) on the normal-mode characteristics. The growth rate and phase speed spectra of the most unstable normal modes are obtained for an analytically prescribed zonal flow field. The evolution and vertical structure of the kinetic energy, energy conversions, growth rates, and geopotential fields are investigated.

Several modifications have been made to earlier versions of the UW θσ model to overcome noise introduced by adjustments associated with emerging and submerging grid volumes at the sigma–isentropic interface. With these modifications, the hybrid model accurately simulates the evolution and structure of normal-mode baroclinic disturbances for all wavenumbers considered except for wavenumber two. The normal-mode growth rate and phase speed spectra compare well with previous studies using standard sigma coordinate models. There is no evidence of aliasing the baroclinic normal-mode characteristics due to the coupling of isentropic and sigma domains.

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Tom H. Zapotocny, Fred M. Reames, R. Bradley Pierce, Donald R. Johnson, and Bart J. Wolf

Abstract

The main goals of this paper are 1) to demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating a prognostic equation for water vapor and diabatic processes in the University of Wisconsin θσ model discussed in Part I, 2) to document methods applied to overcome difficulties stemming from the inclusion of moist processes and 3) to present results illustrating the effects of latent heat release on baroclinic development. The results confirm earlier studies that a prognostic equation for water vapor and the diabatic component of latent heat release may be included in a hybrid model. However, the modifications made in this study were important for eliminating spurious supersaturation and release of latent heat within grid volumes emerging and submerging through the interface between sigma and isentropic model domains. The results demonstrate the hybrid model's robust nature and potential for use in prediction.

For this demonstration, model simulations of an analytically specified synoptic-scale wave that amplified baroclinically under dry and moist conditions are compared. Simulations with and without a hydrological component show that the overall effect of latent heat release is to markedly enhance cyclo- and frontogenesis. The resultant pattern of precipitation is coherent, and the structure of the developing wave is consistent with the concepts of self-development. No detrimental effects are evident in either the structure or processes resulting from the inclusion of moist processes and the presence of an interface between sigma and isentropic model domains.

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Donald R. Johnson, Tom H. Zapotocny, Fred M. Reames, Bart J. Wolf, and R. Bradley Pierce

Abstract

The primary objectives of this study are threefold: 1) to compare simulators of dry and moist baroclinic development from 10-and 22-layer hybrid isentropic-sigma coordinate models with those from 11-, 27-, and 35-layer sigma coordinate models; 2) to examine the ability of the models to transport water vapor and simulate equivalent potential temperature θe; and 3) to compare predictions of the timing, location, and amount of precipitation. A model's capability to predict precipitation sterns from the accuracy of its simulation of the joint distribution of mass, potential temperature, and water vapor throughout the model domain. In a series of experiments to compare simulations of precipitation, several analytic distributions of water vapor are specified initially. The water vapor distributions include a “cylinder”extending vertically throughout the atmosphere and “lenses” within isentropic, sigma, and isobaric layers. The effect of increased horizontal resolution are also studied.

Results indicate that when the relative humidity is vertically uniform through a substantial extent of the atmosphere, all the models produce very similar precipitation distributions. However, when water vapor is confined to relatively shallow layers, the ability of the sigma coordinate models to simulate the timing, location, and amount of precipitation is severely compromised. Furthermore, the 10-layer hybrid model conserves θe to a higher degree of accuracy and simulates a more realistic evolution of precipitation even when compared to results from sigma models with increased vertical and horizontal resolution. In all instances, the experiments demonstrate that advantages reside in prediction of precipitation with the hybrid model. Both theoretical and conceptual bases for thew differences are provided.

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R. Bradley Pierce, T. Duncan Fairlie, William L. Grose, Richard Swinbank, and Alan O'Neill

Abstract

Lagrangian material line simulations are performed using U.K. Meteorological Office assimilated winds and temperatures to examine mixing processes in the middle- and lower-stratospheric polar night jet during the 1992 Southern Hemisphere spring and Northern Hemisphere winter. The Lagrangian simulations are undertaken to provide insight into the effects of mixing within the polar night jet on observations of the polar vortex made by instruments onboard the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite during these periods. A moderate to strong kinematic barrier to large-scale isentropic exchange, similar to the barrier identified in GCM simulations, is identified during both of these periods. Characteristic timescales for mixing by large-scale isentropic motions within the polar night jet range from 20 days in the Southern Hemisphere lower stratosphere to years in the Northern Hemisphere middle stratosphere. The long mixing timescales found in the Northern Hemisphere polar night jet do not persist. Instead, the Northern Hemisphere kinematic barriers are broken down as part of the large-scale stratospheric response to a strong tropospheric blocking event. A series of Lagrangian experiments are conducted to investigate the sensitivity of the kinematic barrier to diabatic effects and to small-scale inertial gravity wave motions. Differential diabatic descent is found to have a significant impact on mixing processes within the Southern Hemisphere middle-stratospheric jet core. The interaction between small-scale displacements by idealized, inertial gravity waves and the large-scale flow is found to have a significant impact on mixing within the polar night jet in both hemispheres. These sensitivity experiments suggest that scales of motion that are unresolved in global assimilated datasets may contribute to mass exchange across the kinematic barrier to large-scale isentropic motion.

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R. Bradley Pierce, William L. Grose, James M. Russell III, Adrian F. Tuck, Richard Swinbank, and Alan O'Neill

Abstract

The distribution of dehydrated air in the middle and lower stratosphere during the 1992 Southern Hemisphere spring is investigated using Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE) observations and trajectory techniques. Comparisons between previously published Version 9 and the improved Version 16 retrievals on the 700-K isentropic surface show very slight (0.05 ppmv) increases in Version 16 CH4 relative to Version 9 within the polar vortex. Version 16 H2O mixing ratios show a reduction of 0.5 ppmv relative to Version 9 within the polar night jet and a reduction of nearly 1.0 ppmv in middle latitudes when compared to Version 9. The Version 16 HALOE retrievals show low mixing ratios of total hydrogen (2CH4 + H2O) within the polar vortex on both 700 and 425 K isentropic surfaces relative to typical middle-stratospheric 2CH4 + H2O mixing ratios. The low 2CH4 + H2O mixing ratios are associated with dehydration. Slight reductions in total hydrogen, relative to typical middle-stratospheric values, are found at these levels throughout the Southern Hemisphere during this period. Trajectory calculations show that middle-latitude air masses are composed of a mixture of air from within the polar night jet and air from middle latitudes. A strong kinematic barrier to large-scale exchange is found on the poleward flank of the polar night jet at 700 K. A much weaker kinematic barrier is found at 425 K. The impact of the finite tangent pathlength of the HALOE measurements is investigated using an idealized tracer distribution. This experiment suggests that HALOE should be able to resolve the kinematic barrier, if it exists.

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Timothy J. Wagner, Alan C. Czarnetzki, Megan Christiansen, R. Bradley Pierce, Charles O. Stanier, Angela F. Dickens, and Edwin W. Eloranta

Abstract

Ground-based thermodynamic and kinematic profilers were placed adjacent to the western shore of Lake Michigan at two sites as part of the 2017 Lake Michigan Ozone Study. The southern site near Zion, Illinois, hosted a microwave radiometer (MWR) and a sodar wind profiler, while the northern site in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, featured an Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI), a Doppler lidar, and a High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL). Each site experienced several lake-breeze events during the experiment. Composite time series and time–height cross sections were constructed relative to the lake-breeze arrival time so that commonalities across events could be explored. The composited surface observations indicate that the wind direction of the lake breeze was consistently southeasterly at both sites regardless of its direction before the arrival of the lake-breeze front. Surface relative humidity increased with the arriving lake breeze, though this was due to cooler air temperatures as absolute moisture content stayed the same or decreased. The profiler observations show that the lake breeze penetrated deeper when the local environment was unstable and preexisting flow was weak. The cold air associated with the lake breeze remained confined to the lowest 200 m of the troposphere even if the wind shift was observed at higher altitudes. The evolution of the lake breeze corresponded well to observed changes in baroclinicity and calculated changes in circulation. Collocated observations of aerosols showed increases in number and mass concentrations after the passage of the lake-breeze front.

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Thomas J. Greenwald, R. Bradley Pierce, Todd Schaack, Jason Otkin, Marek Rogal, Kaba Bah, Allen Lenzen, Jim Nelson, Jun Li, and Hung-Lung Huang

Abstract

In support of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R series (GOES-R) program, the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is generating high quality simulated Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) radiances and derived products in real time over the continental United States. These data are mainly used for testing data-handling systems, evaluating ABI-derived products, and providing training material for forecasters participating in GOES-R Proving Ground test bed activities. The modeling system used to generate these datasets consists of advanced regional and global numerical weather prediction models in addition to state-of-the-art radiative transfer models, retrieval algorithms, and land surface datasets. The system and its generated products are evaluated for the 2014 Pacific Northwest wildfires; the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma, tornado; and Hurricane Sandy. Simulated aerosol optical depth over the Front Range of Colorado during the Pacific Northwest wildfires was validated using high-density Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) measurements. The aerosol, cloud, and meteorological modeling system used to generate ABI radiances was found to capture the transport of smoke from the Pacific wildfires into the Front Range of Colorado and true-color imagery created from these simulated radiances provided visualization of the smoke plumes. Evaluation of selected simulated ABI-derived products for the Moore tornado and Hurricane Sandy cases was done using real-time GOES sounder/imager products produced at CIMSS. Results show that simulated ABI moisture and atmospheric stability products, cloud products, and red–green–blue (RGB) airmass composite imagery are well suited as proxy ABI data for user preparedness.

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Jassim Al-Saadi, James Szykman, R. Bradley Pierce, Chieko Kittaka, Doreen Neil, D. Allen Chu, Lorraine Remer, Liam Gumley, Elaine Prins, Lewis Weinstock, Clinton MacDonald, Richard Wayland, Fred Dimmick, and Jack Fishman

Accurate air quality forecasts can allow for mitigation of the health risks associated with high levels of air pollution. During September 2003, a team of NASA, NOAA, and EPA researchers demonstrated a prototype tool for improving fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air quality forecasts using satellite aerosol observations. Daily forecast products were generated from a near-real-time fusion of multiple input data products, including aerosol optical depth (AOD) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)/Earth Observing System (EOS) instrument on the NASA Terra satellite, PM2.5 concentration from over 300 state/local/national surface monitoring stations, meteorological fields from the NOAA/NCEP Eta Model, and fire locations from the NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WF_ABBA) product. The products were disseminated via a Web interface to a small group of forecasters representing state and local air management agencies and the EPA. The MODIS data improved forecaster knowledge of synoptic-scale air pollution events, particularly over oceans and in regions devoid of surface monitors. Forecast trajectories initialized in regions of high AOD offered guidance for identifying potential episodes of poor air quality. The capability of this approach was illustrated with a case study showing that aerosol resulting from wildfires in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada is transported across the continent to influence air quality in the Great Lakes region a few days later. The timing of this demonstration was selected to help improve the accuracy of the EPA's AIRNow (www.epa.gov/airnow/) next-day PM2.5 air quality index forecast, which began on 1 October 2003. Based on the positive response from air quality managers and forecasters, this prototype was expanded and transitioned to an operational provider during the summer of 2004.

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Wayman E. Baker, Robert Atlas, Carla Cardinali, Amy Clement, George D. Emmitt, Bruce M. Gentry, R. Michael Hardesty, Erland Källén, Michael J. Kavaya, Rolf Langland, Zaizhong Ma, Michiko Masutani, Will McCarty, R. Bradley Pierce, Zhaoxia Pu, Lars Peter Riishojgaard, James Ryan, Sara Tucker, Martin Weissmann, and James G. Yoe

The three-dimensional global wind field is the most important remaining measurement needed to accurately assess the dynamics of the atmosphere. Wind information in the tropics, high latitudes, and stratosphere is particularly deficient. Furthermore, only a small fraction of the atmosphere is sampled in terms of wind profiles. This limits our ability to optimally specify initial conditions for numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and our understanding of several key climate change issues.

Because of its extensive wind measurement heritage (since 1968) and especially the rapid recent technology advances, Doppler lidar has reached a level of maturity required for a space-based mission. The European Space Agency (ESA)'s Atmospheric Dynamics Mission Aeolus (ADM-Aeolus) Doppler wind lidar (DWL), now scheduled for launch in 2015, will be a major milestone.

This paper reviews the expected impact of DWL measurements on NWP and climate research, measurement concepts, and the recent advances in technology that will set the stage for space-based deployment. Forecast impact experiments with actual airborne DWL measurements collected over the North Atlantic in 2003 and assimilated into the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational model are a clear indication of the value of lidar-measured wind profiles. Airborne DWL measurements collected over the western Pacific in 2008 and assimilated into both the ECMWF and U.S. Navy operational models support the earlier findings.

These forecast impact experiments confirm observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) conducted over the past 25–30 years. The addition of simulated DWL wind observations in recent OSSEs performed at the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) leads to a statistically significant increase in forecast skill.

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