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E. O. Schmidt
,
R. F. Arduini
,
B. A. Wielicki
,
R. S. Stone
, and
S-C. Tsay

Abstract

Brightness temperature difference (BTD) values are calculated for selected Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-6) channels (3.9, 12.7 µm) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer channels (3.7, 12.0 µm). Daytime and nighttime discrimination of particle size information is possible given the infrared cloud extinction optical depth and the BTD value. BTD values are presented and compared for cirrus clouds composed of equivalent ice spheres (volume, surface area) versus randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals. The effect of the hexagonal ice crystals is to increase the magnitude of the BTD values calculated relative to equivalent ice sphere (volume, surface area) BTDs. Equivalent spheres (volume or surface area) do not do a very good job of modeling hexagonal ice crystal effects on BTDs; however, the use of composite spheres improves the simulation and offers interesting prospects. Careful consideration of the number of Legendre polynomial coefficients used to fit the scattering phase functions is crucial to realistic modeling of cirrus BTDs. Surface and view-angle effects are incorporated to provide more realistic simulation.

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P. H. Stone
,
S. Hess
,
R. Hadlock
, and
P. Ray

Abstract

An experiment has been designed to test the predictions of nongeostrophic baroclinic stability theory. The apparatus is similar to the conventional rotating annulus experiments, except that the vertical temperature difference can be controlled as well as the horizontal temperature difference. Therefore, the Richardson number can be decreased by heating the bottom of the annulus relative to the top. The first qualitative observations derived from the experiment are described and are found to agree well with the theory. With no vertical temperature difference applied, the motion consists of a conventional baroclinic instability superimposed on the basic thermal wind. As the fluid is destabilized symmetric instabilities first appear superimposed on the baroclinic instability. As further destabilization occurs the symmetric instabilities completely replace the baroclinic instability, and are themselves subsequently replaced by small-scale, nonsymmetric instabilities.

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Robert S. Stone
,
Graeme L. Stephens
,
C. M. R. Platt
, and
S. Banks

Abstract

The problem of retrieving cirrus cloud optical depth from radiance measurements made by instruments aboard operational meteorological satellites is addressed. A method is proposed that exploits the relationship between observed differences in the near infrared (NIR) and infrared (IR) window radiances (expressed in terms of brightness temperature differences ΔT) and the optical depth of the cloud. The approach designed to test this method relies on the simultaneous collection of ground-based lidar and infrared radiometric (LIRAD) data, radiosonde data and bispectral satellite images.

Two case studies are described for which independent estimates of satellite pixel and coincident time-averaged LIRAD optical depths are compared with radiative transfer calculations made for hypothetical clouds characterized by distributions of spherical ice particles. Such comparative analyses yield information about cloud microphysics and enable the selection of representative theoretical relationships between estimates of cloud optical depth and observed spectral differences. A third case demonstrates the potential use of this split window technique to estimate cirrus cloud optical depth when only operational data is available.

In the first two cases, it was found that the LIRAD-derived optical depths agree to within 70% of the satellite estimates for optical depths greater than about 0.3, and that the differences tend to be systematic. Larger discrepancies are noted for thinner clouds, however, indicating inaccuracies in one or the other, or possibly both of these methods when applied to very thin layers. Another possible cause for these large discrepancies is the potential ambiguity in comparing the spatially averaged satellite data with time-averaged LIRAD data if physical changes in cloud structure occur during the course of the experiment.

We also found that, in all cases, the observed spectral differences (NIR-IR) agree reasonably well with model simulations if the clouds are assumed to be composed of distributions of large spherical ice particles having effective radii in the 32–64 μm range.

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V. E. Derr
,
R. S. Stone
,
H. P. Hanson
, and
L. S. Fedor

Abstract

Surface measurements of solar flux and total integrated liquid-water content, radiosonde data, and infrared satellite images are analyzed in conjunction with radiative transfer calculations to derive an empirical parameterization for the shortwave transmissivity of continental stratiform water clouds. The data were collected near Denver, Colorado, over a period of six years. Seventeen days on which uniform stratiform clouds persisted over the observing site were selected for detailed analysis, and form the basis for deriving the parameterization. A mulitiple reflection radiative transfer model is employed to estimate stratus cloud transmissivity in terms of the measurable liquid-water path (LWP). A nonlinear fit of estimated transmissivities to the corresponding observations of LWP yields close agreement with a previous, more complicated parameterization. The derived expression for cloud transmissivity is used to predict mean daily surface fluxes for 61 days during which periods of stratiform clouds were observed over the Denver area. A comparison between predicted and measured fluxes shows agreement to within ±4%, with best agreement for clouds of moderate optical thickness. Potential sources of error are identified with sensitivity studies.

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J. Hansen
,
G. Russell
,
D. Rind
,
P. Stone
,
A. Lacis
,
S. Lebedeff
,
R. Ruedy
, and
L. Travis

Abstract

A global atmospheric model is developed with a computational efficiency which allows long-range climate experiments. The model solves the simultaneous equations for conservation of mass, energy and momentum, and the equation of state on a grid. Differencing schemes for the dynamics are based on work of Arakawa; the schemes do not need any viscosity for numerical stability, and can thus yield good results with coarse resolution. Radiation is computed with a semi-implicit spectral integration, including all significant atmospheric gases, aerosols and cloud particles. Cloud cover and vertical distribution are computed. Convection mixes moisture, heat and momentum, with buoyant air allowed to penetrate to a height determined by its buoyancy. Ground temperature calculations include diurnal variation and seasonal heat storage. Ground hydrology incorporates a water-holding capacity appropriate for the root zone of local vegetation. Snow depth is computed. Snow albedo includes effects of snow age and masking by vegetation. Surface fluxes are obtained from a drag-law formulation and parameterization of the Monin-Obukhov similarity relations.

The initial Model I is used for 60 climate sensitivity experiments with integration times from 3 months to 5 years. These experiments determine the dependence of model simulation on various physical assumptions and model parameters. Several modifications are incorporated to produce Model II, the greatest changes arising from more realistic parameterization of the effect of boundary layer stratification on surface fluxes and the addition of friction in the top stratospheric layer to minimize effects of wave reflection from the rigid model top. The model's climate simulations are compared to observations and a brief study is made of effects of horizontal resolution. It is verified that the major features of global climate can be realistically simulated with a resolution as coarse as 1000 km, which requires an order of magnitude less computation time than used by most general circulation models.

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Željka Stone
,
G. R. Alvey III
,
J. P. Dunion
,
M. S. Fischer
,
D. J. Raymond
,
R. F. Rogers
,
S. Sentić
, and
J. Zawislak

Abstract

As a part of the Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification Project (TCRI), observations were made of the rapid intensification of Hurricane Sally (2020) as it passed over the Gulf of Mexico. High-altitude dropsondes and radar observations from NOAA’s Gulfstream IV, radar observations from WP-3D aircraft, the WSR-88D ground radar network, satellite images, and satellite-detected lightning strikes are used to apply recently developed theoretical knowledge about tropical cyclone intensification. As observed in many other tropical cyclones, strong, bottom-heavy vertical mass flux profiles are correlated with low (but positive) values of low- to midlevel moist convective instability along with high column relative humidity. Such mass flux profiles produce rapid spinup at low levels and the environmental conditions giving rise to them are associated with an intense midlevel vortex. This low-level spinup underneath the midlevel vortex results in the vertical alignment of the vortex column, which is a key step in the rapid intensification process. In the case of Sally, the spinup of the low-level vortex resulted from vorticity stretching, while the spinup of the midlevel vortex at 6 km resulted from vorticity tilting produced by the interaction of convective ascent with moderate vertical shear.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study is to investigate the rapid intensification of Hurricane Sally as it was approaching the Florida Panhandle. We do that by analyzing an unprecedented dataset from the NOAA WP-3D and Gulfstream-IV aircraft, together with ground-based radar and satellite data. We find that both the dynamics (vorticity structure and evolution) and thermodynamics (instability index, saturation fraction, heating/mass flux profiles) need to be considered in diagnosing intensification processes. Further field projects with continuous high-altitude dropsondes and research are needed to see if these are applicable to other reformation events as well as genesis.

Open access
C. Toledano
,
V. E. Cachorro
,
A. M. de Frutos
,
B. Torres
,
A. Berjón
,
M. Sorribas
, and
R. S. Stone

Abstract

The Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) site “El Arenosillo,” equipped with a Cimel sun photometer, has been in operation since 2000. The data collected there are analyzed to establish an aerosol synoptic climatological description that is representative of the region. Different air masses and aerosol types are present over the site depending on the synoptic conditions. The frequent intrusion of dust from the Sahara Desert at El Arenosillo suggested the use of back trajectories to determine the airmass origins of other types of aerosol observed there. The focus of this study is to classify the air masses arriving at El Arenosillo by means of back-trajectory analyses and to characterize the aerosol within each type by means of the aerosol optical depth (AOD) and its spectral signature, given as the Ångström exponent (AE). The goal is to determine how aerosols observed over the station (receptor site) differ depending on source region and transport pathways. Two classification methods are used, one based on sectors and a second based on cluster analysis. The period analyzed is from 2000 to 2004. Both methods show that maritime air masses are predominant, occurring 70% of the time and having relatively low AOD (≈0.1 at 440 nm) and a wide range of AE (from about 0 to 2.0). Air masses with continental characteristics are moderately turbid and have values of AE that average ≈1.4. Air masses arriving from the south and southwest show the distinct features of the desert dust, having moderate to high values of AOD (0.30–0.35 at 440 nm) and low values of AE.

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P. Zuidema
,
B. Baker
,
Y. Han
,
J. Intrieri
,
J. Key
,
P. Lawson
,
S. Matrosov
,
M. Shupe
,
R. Stone
, and
T. Uttal

Abstract

The microphysical characteristics, radiative impact, and life cycle of a long-lived, surface-based mixed-layer, mixed-phase cloud with an average temperature of approximately −20°C are presented and discussed. The cloud was observed during the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic experiment (SHEBA) from 1 to 10 May 1998. Vertically resolved properties of the liquid and ice phases are retrieved using surface-based remote sensors, utilize the adiabatic assumption for the liquid component, and are aided by and validated with aircraft measurements from 4 and 7 May. The cloud radar ice microphysical retrievals, originally developed for all-ice clouds, compare well with aircraft measurements despite the presence of much greater liquid water contents than ice water contents. The retrieved time-mean liquid cloud optical depth of 10.1 ± 7.8 far surpasses the mean ice cloud optical depth of 0.2, so that the liquid phase is primarily responsible for the cloud’s radiative (flux) impact. The ice phase, in turn, regulates the overall cloud optical depth through two mechanisms: sedimentation from a thin upper ice cloud, and a local ice production mechanism with a time scale of a few hours, thought to reflect a preferred freezing of the larger liquid drops. The liquid water paths replenish within half a day or less after their uptake by ice, attesting to strong water vapor fluxes. Deeper boundary layer depths and higher cloud optical depths coincide with large-scale rising motion at 850 hPa, but the synoptic activity is also associated with upper-level ice clouds. Interestingly, the local ice formation mechanism appears to be more active when the large-scale subsidence rate implies increased cloud-top entrainment. Strong cloud-top radiative cooling rates promote cloud longevity when the cloud is optically thick. The radiative impact of the cloud upon the surface is significant: a time-mean positive net cloud forcing of 41 W m−2 with a diurnal amplitude of ∼20 W m−2. This is primarily because a high surface reflectance (0.86) reduces the solar cooling influence. The net cloud forcing is primarily sensitive to cloud optical depth for the low-optical-depth cloudy columns and to the surface reflectance for the high-optical-depth cloudy columns. Any projected increase in the springtime cloud optical depth at this location (76°N, 165°W) is not expected to significantly alter the surface radiation budget, because clouds were almost always present, and almost 60% of the cloudy columns had optical depths >6.

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R.C.J. Somerville
,
P.H. Stone
,
M. Halem
,
J.E. Hansen
,
J.S. Hogan
,
L.M. Druyan
,
G. Russell
,
A.A. Lacis
,
W.J. Quirk
, and
J. Tenenbaum

Abstract

A model description and numerical results are presented for a global atmospheric circulation model developed at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The model version described is a 9-level primitive-equation model in sigma coordinates. It includes a realistic distribution of continents, oceans and topography. Detailed calculations of energy transfer by solar and terrestrial radiation make use of cloud and water vapor fields calculated by the model. The model hydrologic cycle includes two precipitation mechanisms: large-scale supersaturation and a parameterization of subgrid-scale cumulus convection.

Results are presented both from a comparison of the 13th to the 43rd days (January) of one integration with climatological statistics, and from five short-range forecasting experiments. In the extended integration, the near-equilibrium January-mean model atmosphere exhibits an energy cycle in good agreement with observational estimates, together with generally realistic zonal mean fields of winds, temperature, humidity, transports, diabatic heating, evaporation, precipitation, and cloud cover. In the five forecasting experiments, after 48 hr, the average rms error in temperature is 3.9K, and the average rms error in 500-mb height is 62 m. The model is successful in simulating the 2-day evolution of the major features of the observed sea level pressure and 500-mb height fields in a region surrounding North America.

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A. P. Sokolov
,
P. H. Stone
,
C. E. Forest
,
R. Prinn
,
M. C. Sarofim
,
M. Webster
,
S. Paltsev
,
C. A. Schlosser
,
D. Kicklighter
,
S. Dutkiewicz
,
J. Reilly
,
C. Wang
,
B. Felzer
,
J. M. Melillo
, and
H. D. Jacoby
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