Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 17 items for

  • Author or Editor: Richard Turner x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Richard Turner
and
Tony Hurst

Abstract

The prediction of the dispersal of volcanic ash from events such as the Ruapehu eruptions of 1995 and 1996 is important, not only for civil-defense authorities who need to warn people in downwind areas, but for airline companies that have to reroute aircraft to avoid the encounters with volcanic ash clouds that can badly damage expensive jet engines and jeopardize passenger safety. The results of numerical simulations of volcanic ash dispersal using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) and Hybrid Particle and Concentration Transport Model (HYPACT) for three periods (11–12 October 1995, 14 October 1995, and 17 June 1996) during the recent Ruapehu eruptive sequence are presented here. RAMS is a 3D atmospheric model that can be used to give detailed predictions of winds for regions such as the volcanic plateau. HYPACT is a particle dispersion model that uses the RAMS-generated wind fields to predict the movement and concentration of the volcanic ash cloud. Validation is achieved through comparison of predictions of airborne distributions and ashfall patterns with contour maps of ashfall depth and with satellite images of the ash cloud. Comparison of the performance of RAMS/HYPACT with that of the current Gaussian-plume “ASHFALL” Model currently used for ashfall advisory guidance in New Zealand indicates that the RAMS/HYPACT suite provides more accurate spatial and temporal forecasts than ASHFALL does, but that, like ASHFALL, its accuracy is limited by the accuracy of the initial and lateral boundary conditions provided and by the accuracy of the volcanological parameters that control the eruption-plume characteristics.

Full access
Andrew Tait
and
Richard Turner

Abstract

Daily rainfall totals are a key input for hydrological models that are designed to simulate water and pollutant flow through both soil and waterways. Within New Zealand there are large areas and many river catchments where no long-term rainfall observations exist. A method for estimating daily rainfall over the whole of New Zealand on a 5-km grid is described and tested over a period from January 1985 to April 2002. Improvement over a spatial interpolation method was gained by scaling high-elevation rainfall estimates using simulated mesoscale model rainfall surfaces that are generated for short periods in 1994 and 1996. This method is judged to produce reasonable and useful estimates of daily rainfall.

Full access
Steve J. Reid
and
Richard Turner

Abstract

Wind speeds over a 6-month period from 21 surface stations, 3 upper-wind stations, and 2 different models are compared. Similar data are used for three different topographic regions of New Zealand broadly classed as having low, moderate, and high terrain. Mesoscale model winds are obtained in the three regions over 300 km by 300 km squares. The dataset is at 40-km grid spacing but some 20-km winds are also used. Correlation coefficients among the surface wind speeds decrease more quickly with separation the more mountainous the terrain. Correlation coefficients of observed surface speeds are lower than for model winds but composites of the observed station winds in each region have similar spatial variations to the model winds. An extrapolation technique for estimating the quality of model wind speed fields is inferred.

Full access
Zaitao Pan
,
Eugene Takle
,
Moti Segal
, and
Richard Turner

Abstract

The sensitivities of soil moisture impacts on summer rainfall in the central United States to different commonly used cumulus parameterization and surface flux schemes are examined using the PSU-NCAR MMS under different atmospheric and soil moisture conditions. The cumulus convection schemes used are the Kuo and Grell parameterization schemes, while the surface-moisture flux schemes used are the aerodynamic formulation and the Simple Biosphere (SiB) Model. Results show that a transient increase in soil moisture enhanced total rainfall over the simulation domain. The increase in soil moisture enhanced local rainfall when the lower atmosphere was thermally unstable and relatively dry, but it decreased the rainfall when the atmosphere was humid and lacked sufficient thermal forcing to initiate deep convection. Soil moisture impacts were noticeably stronger for the Kuo scheme, which simulated lighter peak rainfall, than those for the Grell scheme, which simulated heavier peak rainfall. The greater sensitivity to soil moisture exhibited by the Kuo scheme than either the Grell or explicit scheme implies that it exaggerated the role of soil moisture. This difference was related to how each scheme partitioned rainfall between convective and stable forms, and possibly to each scheme's closure assumptions. Adding details to the surface-moisture flux schemes had a secondary influence on soil moisture impacts on rainfall within a 24-h period.

Full access
Zaitao Pan
,
Eugene Takle
,
William Gutowski
, and
Richard Turner

Abstract

Regional climate simulations are long time integrations over an open system where the atmosphere over part of the model domain (boundary zones) is updated periodically. Model reinitialization after a long period of integration can allow several segments of a long simulation to be run in parallel and also minimize possible drift caused by accumulated model errors. However, the spinup problems introduced by each additional restart must be addressed. The necessity and feasibility of subdividing long integrations is investigated by means of a series of experiments in which the authors examine the effects of reinitialization frequency and the relative importance of surface forcing and atmospheric forcing. It is found that for integrations that continued without reinitialization, locations of specific meteorological features drifted downstream because simulated winds were too strong, implying the need for periodic reinitialization of the model. The results indicate also that when the model reinitialization interval is relatively long, simulated domain-averaged variables, including rainfall, were not very sensitive to model reinitialization since they are largely constrained by transient boundary conditions, suggesting the feasibility of dividing long regional climate simulations into a set of shorter ones that could be run in parallel.

Full access
T. Duncan
,
A. Fairlie
,
Richard E. Turner
, and
David E. Siskind

Abstract

A three-dimensional off-line spectral transport model has been combined with a global, mechanistic, finite-difference dynamics model of the middle atmosphere in order to study transport and photochemistry in the middle atmosphere for specific, observed episodes. In this paper, the basic transport characteristics of the combined models are examined, first using steady, idealized flow fields and second using time-dependent flow fields closely related to observed atmospheric behavior. Transport conducted with the combined models is found to compare favorably with transport conducted on-line in the dynamics model, given appropriate time averaging of the flow fields and suitable choice of artificial diffusion.

Full access
Yang Yang
,
Michael Uddstrom
,
Mike Revell
,
Stuart Moore
, and
Richard Turner

Abstract

Strong southerly winds regularly occur in the Cook Strait region of New Zealand. Occasionally, these winds are strong enough to cause severe damage to property and threaten human life. One example of a storm containing such winds is the “Wellington Storm,” which occurred on 20 June 2013. For this case, wind speeds in Cook Strait were stronger than those observed or forecast elsewhere in the storm. Even though wind speeds of this intensity are rare, storms affecting New Zealand with central pressures equal to the Wellington Storm (~976 hPa) are not uncommon. Numerical experiments have been carried out to investigate the possible reasons for the exceptional damaging southerly winds (DSWs) occurring in this storm. Analyses of the simulations showed that DSWs in Cook Strait for this event were actually barrier jets, not gap winds as they appeared. The strength of barrier jets in Cook Strait is sensitive to the precise location of the storm center. This explains the uncommon occurrence of DSWs in Cook Strait. Numerical experiments that used scaled (either increased or decreased) New Zealand orography showed that the barrier jets became shallower and weaker when the mountain top heights were lower. This decrease in barrier jet strength with mountain height is largely consistent with the results from linear-scale analyses in previous publications. This result implies that numerical simulations using a lower topography than actual (usually the case in current operational NWP) may lead to errors in timing and in forecasting the strength of the damaging winds associated with barrier jets.

Full access
Richard Turner
,
Xiaogu Zheng
,
Neil Gordon
,
Michael Uddstrom
,
Greg Pearson
,
Rilke de Vos
, and
Stuart Moore

Abstract

Wind data at time scales from 10 min to 1 h are an important input for modeling the performance of wind farms and their impact on many countries’ national electricity systems. Planners need long-term realistic (i.e., meteorologically spatially and temporally consistent) wind-farm data for projects studying how best to integrate wind power into the national electricity grid. In New Zealand, wind data recorded at wind farms are confidential for commercial reasons, however, and publicly available wind data records are for sites that are often not representative of or are distant from wind farms. In general, too, the public sites are at much lower terrain elevations than hilltop wind farms and have anemometers located at 10 m above the ground, which is much lower than turbine hub height. In addition, when available, the mast records from wind-farm sites are only for a short period. In this paper, the authors describe a novel and practical method to create a multiyear 10-min synthetic wind speed time series for 15 wind-farm sites throughout the country for the New Zealand Electricity Commission. The Electricity Commission (known as the Electricity Authority since 1 October 2010) is the agency that has regulatory oversight of the electricity industry and that provides advice to central government. The dataset was constructed in such a way as to preserve meteorological realism both spatially and temporally and also to respect the commercial secrecy of the wind data provided by power-generation companies.

Full access
Yang Yang
,
Michael Uddstrom
,
Mike Revell
,
Phil Andrews
,
Hilary Oliver
,
Richard Turner
, and
Trevor Carey-Smith

Abstract

Historically most soil moisture–land surface impact studies have focused on continents because of the important forecasting and climate implications involved. For a relatively small isolated mountainous landmass in the ocean such as New Zealand, these impacts have received less attention. This paper addresses some of these issues for New Zealand through numerical experiments with a regional configuration of the Met Office Unified Model atmospheric model. Two pairs of idealized simulations with only contrasting dry or wet initial soil moisture over a 6-day period in January 2004 were conducted, with one pair using realistic terrain and the other pair flat terrain.

For the mean of the 6 days, the differences in the simulated surface air temperature between the dry and moist cases were 3–5 K on the leeside slopes and 1–2 K on the windward slopes and the central leeside coastal region of the South Island in the afternoon. This quite nonuniform response in surface air temperature to a uniformly distributed soil moisture content and soil type is mainly attributed to modification of the effects of soil moisture by mountains through two different processes: 1) spatial variation in cloud coverage across the mountains ranges leading to more shortwave radiation at ground surface on the leeside slope than the windward slope, and 2) the presence of a dynamically and thermally induced onshore flow on the leeside coast bringing in air with a lower sensitivity to soil moisture.

The response of local winds to soil moisture content is through direct or indirect effects. The direct effect is due to the thermal contrast between land and sea/land shown for the leeside solenoidal circulations, and the indirect effect is through the weakening of the upstream blocking of the South Island for dryer soils shown by the weakening and onshore shift of the upstream deceleration and forced ascent of incoming airflow.

Full access
Richard Turner
,
Amir A. Safaei Pirooz
,
Richard G. J. Flay
,
Stuart Moore
, and
Mike Revell

Abstract

This paper describes how a combination of high-resolution numerical modeling, a robust homogenization algorithm, and local pressure observations have been used to understand and reconcile time series of daily, seasonal, and annual peak wind gusts recorded at observing sites in the Cook Strait region of New Zealand. The homogenization algorithm consists of corrections for the relocation of masts, changes in instrumentations, data acquisition and signal processing, surrounding surface roughness, and measurement heights. In addition, a statistical method, penalized maximal F test (PMFT), was used to assess the homogeneity of the wind speed time series and detect and eliminate all remaining, undocumented, artificial (i.e., nonclimatic) breakpoints. A three-dimensional time-dependent computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation was carried out using the Gerris model to characterize the turbulence environment at the mast sites and to estimate topographic speedup effects. Trends in magnitudes and frequencies of the homogenized seasonal and annual peak wind gusts are evaluated and presented for the Cook Strait region. The pressure gradients between pairs of stations were used to study the correlation between the gust wind speeds and the pressure field. A high-resolution convection-resolving numerical weather prediction model [the New Zealand Convective-Scale Model (NZCSM)] was employed to aid the interpretation of results and analyze wind trends. The trend in gust speeds is also shown to be consistent with larger-scale NCEP–NCAR reanalysis pressure trends. The homogenization algorithm showed promising results in eliminating the artificial breakpoints and trends. Overall, strong correlations were found between the homogenized gust speeds, the pressure field across the region, and NZCSM predictions.

Open access