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Harry van Loon and Roy L. Jenne

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Harry Van Loon and Roy L. Jenne

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We have tested three methods of estimating the level of a coming season's mean temperature at a station where the statistical association between two selected seasons is as high as one can expect in extratropical regions. The methods are contingency tables, regression equations, and the use of the last few decades if there is a trend at the station which will separate the mean of these decades a fair distance from the long-term mean. A moderate amount of skill was achieved, but the degree of seasonal association in our test case was exceptionally high, and generally these methods will provide only a small improvement over a probability based on knowing only the observed frequency distribution.

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Harry van Loon and Roy L. Jenne

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In the tropics of the Southern Hemisphere the zonal wind in the troposphere above the 500-mb level has a well defined half-yearly oscillation with westerly maxima (easterly minima) in May and November. It is demonstrated that the oscillation is associated with second harmonics of opposite phase in the temperature above the equator and in the subtropics. The temperature oscillations are tentatively explained as being the result of an intensification of vertical motions from autumn to winter. The half-yearly temperature oscillations reverse phase near the tropopause, and again near the 50-mb level. Above this level they are thus in the same phase as in the upper troposphere. The phase reversals imply that the second harmonic of the zonal component of the thermal wind likewise changes phase twice.

A marked longitudinal asymmetry is observed with the oscillations being considerably stronger in the Eastern than in the Western Hemisphere.

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Harry van Loon, Karin Labitzke, and Roy L. Jenne

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This note deals with the standard deviations of 24-hr changes in 10-mb temperatures and heights. The standard deviations are differently distributed in disturbed and in quiet winter months. In the disturbed months their largest values form a coherent area at high latitudes; in the quiet months they surround the polar region as a ring with its center on the Atlantic side.

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Harry Van Loon, Roland A. Madden, and Roy L. Jenne

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Two patterns dominate changes of monthly mean temperature and pressure-height in the stratosphere. In the one, the middle latitudes vary oppositely to low and high latitudes, and in the other the changes at higher latitudes are out of phase with those at lower latitudes.

A shorter trend consisting of opposite changes at middle and high latitudes is superposed on the above variations which a cross-spectrum analysis shows has a preferred time scale of one to three weeks. The contrast between middle and high latitudes thus undergoes a series of corresponding fluctuations and we show that these are associated with amplitude changes in waves 1 and 2 in that the meridional contrast decreases when the amplitude of one or both waves is large, and vice versa.

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Scott D. Woodruff, Ralph J. Slutz, Roy L. Jenne, and Peter M. Steurer

Development is described of a Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS)—the result of a cooperative project to collect global weather observations taken near the ocean's surface since 1854, primarily from merchant ships, into a compact and easily used data set. As background, a historical overview is given of how archiving of these marine data has evolved from 1854, when systematic recording of shipboard meteorological and oceanographic observations was first established as an international activity. Input data sets used for COADS are described, as well as the processing steps used to pack input data into compact binary formats and to apply quality controls for identification of suspect weather elements and duplicate marine reports. Seventy-million unique marine reports for 1854–1979 were output from initial processing. Further processing is described, which created statistical summaries for each month of each year of the period, using 2° latitude × 2° longitude boxes. Monthly summary products are available giving 14 statistics (such as the median and the mean) for each of eight observed variables (air and sea-surface temperatures, scalar and vector wind, pressure, humidity, and cloudiness), plus 11 derived variables. Examples of known temporal, spatial, and methodological inhomogeneities in marine data, and plans for periodic updates to COADS, including an update through 1986 scheduled for completion by early 1988, are presented.

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John M. Wilcox, Philip H. Scherrer, Leif Svalgaard, Walter Orr Roberts, Roger H. Olson, and Roy L. Jenne

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The solar magnetic sector structure has a sizable and reproducible influence on tropospheric and lower stratospheric vorticity. The average vorticity during winter in the Northern Hemisphere north of 2ON latitude reaches a minimum approximately one day after the passing of a sector boundary, and then increases during the following two or three days. The effect is found at all heights within the troposphere, but is not prominent in the stratosphere, except at the lower levels. No single longitudinal interval appears to dominate the effect.

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E. Kalnay, M. Kanamitsu, R. Kistler, W. Collins, D. Deaven, L. Gandin, M. Iredell, S. Saha, G. White, J. Woollen, Y. Zhu, M. Chelliah, W. Ebisuzaki, W. Higgins, J. Janowiak, K. C. Mo, C. Ropelewski, J. Wang, A. Leetmaa, R. Reynolds, Roy Jenne, and Dennis Joseph

The NCEP and NCAR are cooperating in a project (denoted “reanalysis”) to produce a 40-year record of global analyses of atmospheric fields in support of the needs of the research and climate monitoring communities. This effort involves the recovery of land surface, ship, rawinsonde, pibal, aircraft, satellite, and other data; quality controlling and assimilating these data with a data assimilation system that is kept unchanged over the reanalysis period 1957–96. This eliminates perceived climate jumps associated with changes in the data assimilation system.

The NCEP/NCAR 40-yr reanalysis uses a frozen state-of-the-art global data assimilation system and a database as complete as possible. The data assimilation and the model used are identical to the global system implemented operationally at the NCEP on 11 January 1995, except that the horizontal resolution is T62 (about 210 km). The database has been enhanced with many sources of observations not available in real time for operations, provided by different countries and organizations. The system has been designed with advanced quality control and monitoring components, and can produce 1 mon of reanalysis per day on a Cray YMP/8 supercomputer. Different types of output archives are being created to satisfy different user needs, including a “quick look” CD-ROM (one per year) with six tropospheric and stratospheric fields available twice daily, as well as surface, top-of-the-atmosphere, and isentropic fields. Reanalysis information and selected output is also available on-line via the Internet (http//:nic.fb4.noaa.gov:8000). A special CDROM, containing 13 years of selected observed, daily, monthly, and climatological data from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, is included with this issue. Output variables are classified into four classes, depending on the degree to which they are influenced by the observations and/or the model. For example, “C” variables (such as precipitation and surface fluxes) are completely determined by the model during the data assimilation and should be used with caution. Nevertheless, a comparison of these variables with observations and with several climatologies shows that they generally contain considerable useful information. Eight-day forecasts, produced every 5 days, should be useful for predictability studies and for monitoring the quality of the observing systems.

The 40 years of reanalysis (1957–96) should be completed in early 1997. A continuation into the future through an identical Climate Data Assimilation System will allow researchers to reliably compare recent anomalies with those in earlier decades. Since changes in the observing systems will inevitably produce perceived changes in the climate, parallel reanalyses (at least 1 year long) will be generated for the periods immediately after the introduction of new observing systems, such as new types of satellite data.

NCEP plans currently call for an updated reanalysis using a state-of-the-art system every five years or so. The successive reanalyses will be greatly facilitated by the generation of the comprehensive database in the present reanalysis.

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