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Ping Chang
and
S. George Philander

Abstract

Recent observational studies have suggested that interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean play an important role in the pronounced annual cycle of the eastern equatorial Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The key to this atmosphere–ocean interaction is a positive feedback between the surface winds and the local SST gradients in the cold tongue/ITCZ complex regions, which leads to an instability in the coupled system. By means of linear instability analyses and numerical model experiments, such an instability mechanism is explored in a simple coupled ocean-atmosphere system. The instability analysis yields a family of antisymmetric and symmetric unstable SST modes. The antisymmetric mode has the most rapid growth rate. The most unstable antisymmetric mode occurs at zero wavenumber and has zero frequency. The symmetric SST mode, although its growth rate is smaller, has a structure at annual period that appears to resemble the observed westward propagating feature in the annual cycle of near-equatorial zonal wind and SST. Unlike the ENSO type of coupled unstable modes, the modes of relevance to the seasonal cycle do not involve changes in the thermocline depth. The growth rates of these modes are linearly proportional to the mean vertical temperature gradient and inversely proportional to the depth of mean thermocline in the ocean. Because of the shallow thermocline and strong subsurface thermal gradients in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, these coupled unstable modes strongly influence the seasonal cycles of those regions. On the basis of theoretical analyses and the observational evidence, it is suggested that the antisymmetric SST mode may be instrumental in rapidly reestablishing the cold tongues in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans during the Northern Hemisphere summer, whereas the symmetric SST mode contributes to the westward propagating feature in the annual cycle of near-equatorial zonal winds and SST.

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S. J. Ying
and
C. C. Chang

Abstract

A laboratory model of the tornado-like vortex near the ground is developed and studied. The circulation is produced by a rotating cylindrical screen and the updraft is produced by an exhaust fan at the opening of the top hood. By means of kerosene smoke, the vortex core and a reverse flow zone were observed in the experiment. The profiles of velocity and pressure were measured at three different circulation strengths. The maximum inward radial velocity in the boundary layer is approximately proportional to the circulation strength. Outside the vortex core, the top hood and ground boundary layers, the flow is a potential vortex flow with a very small inward radial velocity. The vertical velocity distribution generally has a Gaussian profile except that it is slightly downward in the annular reverse flow region. The diameter of the reverse flow region is controlled by the opening size of the outlet on the top hood. The reverse flow region extends to the top of the ground boundary layer only when the circulation is strong enough. The maximum downward flow speed observed in the experiments was less than 30 cm sec−1. A minimum pressure occurs at 1.27 cm from the ground on the vortex axis and shows the complexity of the flow in the conjunction region of the vortex core and the ground boundary layer.

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Joseph S. Scire
and
Joseph Chang

Abstract

A comprehensive air quality and meteorological monitoring project entitled the South-Central Coast Cooperative Aerometric Monitoring Program (SCCCAMP 1985) was conducted in the Santa Barbara Channel and adjacent areas from Point Sal to Point Dume during a five-week period in September–October 1985. As part of a larger study to analyze the SCCCAMP 1985 observations and related databases, an analysis has been conducted of a six-year historical ozone and meteorological database.

The objectives of the historical data analysis study were to 1) characterize meteorological and ozone concentration patterns during a six-year historical period (1979–1984), 2) identify relationships between meteorological variables and high ozone concentrations in the SCCCAMP region, and 3) compare the meteorological conditions and ozone concentrations observed during the SCCCAMP 1985 study with those during the same periods in the historical database in order to assess the representativeness of the SCCCAMP 1985 study period as a whole and individual high ozone events within the period.

The analysis indicated that high ozone concentrations in Santa Barbara County were associated with two conditions occurring simultaneously: 1) subsidence and limited mixing conditions, and 2) moderate easterly or southerly geostrophic flow. Although the actual flow fields and mixing conditions in the region are complex and variable, the 850-mb temperature and surface-pressure parameters were found to be useful, robust indicators of high ozone conditions in Santa Barbara. The seasonal distribution of high ozone events in Santa Barbara County, which peaks in September with a secondary peak in June, was found to be strongly related to the seasonal frequency of occurrence of favorable values of these meteorological variables. In contrast, the peak Ventura County ozone concentrations did not show the same sensitivity to surface pressure parameters, and the seasonal frequency of high ozone events, which peak in July, corresponds closely to that of the 850-mb temperature.

The SCCCAMP 1985 period was unusual in terms of its low frequency of occurrence of meteorological conditions associated with high ozone events in the region. As a result the observed average ozone concentrations were below historical values. However, several high ozone events did occur during the SCCCAMP 1985 study. The meteorological conditions during these individual events were found to be consistent with those typical of historical high ozone events.

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Yonghong Li
and
Julius S. Chang

Abstract

The flux-form advection scheme of Bott is modified for the spherical coordinates, combined with the expanded-polar-zone (EPZ) technique to improve the overall performance of the advection calculations. With the EPZ technique, this Eulerian scheme has comparable efficiency as semi-Lagrangian methods for advection of nonreactive tracers on a sphere but with somewhat better overall numerical accuracy. The conservation of global tracer mass and the, positive definiteness of the algorithm are achieved to machine precision. For the test problem of solid body rotations on a sphere, this scheme shows small numerical diffusion, almost undetectable phase errors, and very little artificial deformation of the test shape even for cross-polar transport. In comparison with some semi-Lagrangian schemes and other high-order Eulerian methods, it shows very competitive performance. Numerical tests also indicate that, without any modifications, it performs just as well on slightly nonuniform Gaussian grid as on uniform grid. For the vertical advection, a fourth-order and two second-order versions of this scheme formulated on a nonuniform grid system have also been derived. The performance of these versions is tested with a nonuniform sigma grid system by using ideal one-dimensional test problems. This accurate numerical scheme is recommended for models where resolving the sharp vertical gradients of atmospheric trace species such as water vapor is important.

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Melinda S. Peng
and
Simon W. Chang

Abstract

Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) retrieved rainfall rates were assimilated into a limited-area numerical prediction model in an attempt to improve the initial analysis and forecast of a tropical cyclone. Typhoon Flo of 1990, which was observed in an intensive observation period of the Tropical Cyclone Motion Experiment-1990, was chosen for this study. The SSM/I retrieved rainfall rates within 888 km (8° latitude) of the storm center were incorporated into the initial fields by a reversed Kuo cumulus parameterization. In the procedure used here, the moisture field in the model is adjusted so that the model generates the SSM/I-observed rainfall rates. This scheme is applied through two different assimilation methods. The first method is based on a dynamic initialization in which the prediction model is integrated backward adiabatically to t = −6 h and then forward diabatically for 6 h to the initial time. During the diabatic forward integration, the SSM/I rainfall rates are incorporated using the reversed Kuo cumulus parameterization. The second method is a forward data assimilation integration starting from t = −12 h. From t = −6 h to t = 0, the SSM/I rainfall rates are incorporated, also using the reversed Kuo scheme. During this period, the momentum fields are relaxed to the initial (t = 0) analysis to reduce the initial position error generated during the preforecast integration. Five cases for which SSM/I overpasses were available were tested, including two cases before and three after Flo's recurvature. Forecasts at 48 h are compared with the actual storm track and intensifies estimated by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. For the five cases tested, the assimilation of SSM/I retrieved rainfall rates reduced the average 48-h forecast distance error from 239 km in the control runs to 81 km in the assimilation experiments. It is postulated that the large positive impact was a consequence of the improved forecast intensity and speed of the typhoon when the SSM/I rain-rate data were assimilated.

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Donald C. Norquist
and
Sam S. Chang

Abstract

Accuracy of humidity forecasts has been considered relatively unimportant to much of the operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) community. However, the U.S. Air Force is interested in accurate water vapor and cloud forecasts as end products. It is expected that the NWP community as a whole will become more involved in improving their humidity forecasts as they recognize the important role of accurate water vapor distributions in data assimilation, forecasts of temperature and precipitation, and climate change research.

As a modeling community, we need to begin now to identify and rectify the systematic humidity forecast errors that are present in NWP models. This will allow us to take full advantage of the new types of remotely sensed water vapor and cloud measurements that are on the horizon. The research reported in this paper attempts to address this issue in a simple, straightforward manner, using the Phillips Laboratory Global Spectral Model (PL GSM).

It was found that significant systematic specific humidity errors exist in the much-used FGGE [First CARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) Global Experimental] (initialized) analyses. However, when a correction on the analyses was imposed and the PL GSM forecasts rerun, forecast errors similar to the forecast errors generated from the uncorrected analyses were observed. The errors were diagnosed through an evaluation of the tendency terms in the model's specific humidity prognostic equation. The results showed that systematic low-level tropical drying and upper-level global moistening could be attributed to the convective terms and the horizontal and vertical advection terms, respectively. Alternative formulations of the model were identified in an attempt to reduce or eliminate these errors. In general, it was found that the alternative formulations that do not modify the convection parameterization of the model reduced the upper-level moistening, while those that do modify the convection scheme reduced low-level tropical drying but introduced low-level and midlevel moistening in the summer hemisphere extratropics. The authors conclude that the nonconvective modifications could be instituted in the model as is. However, more work is needed on improving the way that convective parameterizations distribute water vapor in the vertical.

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Tsing-Chang Chen
,
Ming-Cheng Yen
,
Jenq-Dar Tsay
,
Chi-Chang Liao
, and
Eugene S. Takle

Abstract

Environmental conditions for the roughly three million people living in the Taipei basin of Taiwan are greatly affected by the land–sea breeze and afternoon thunderstorm activities. A new perspective on the land–sea breeze life cycle and how it is affected by afternoon thunderstorm activity in the Taipei basin during the dry season is provided. During the summer monsoon break–revival phase, about 75% of rainfall in the Taipei basin is produced by afternoon thunderstorms triggered by sea-breeze interactions with the mountains to the south of this basin. Because the basic characteristics of the land–sea breeze and the changes it undergoes through the influence of afternoon thunderstorms have not been comprehensively analyzed/documented, a mini–field experiment was conducted during the summers of 2004 and 2005 to explore these aspects of the land–sea breeze in this basin. Thunderstorm rainfall is found to change not only the basin’s land–sea-breeze life cycle, but also its ventilation mechanism. On the nonthunderstorm day, the sea breeze supplies the open-sea fresh air for about 8 h during the daytime, but the land breeze persists on the thunderstorm day from afternoon to the next morning, acting to sweep polluted urban air out of the basin.

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S. Zhang
,
Y.-S. Chang
,
X. Yang
, and
A. Rosati

Abstract

Given a biased coupled model and the atmospheric and oceanic observing system, maintaining a balanced and coherent climate estimation is of critical importance for producing accurate climate analysis and prediction initialization. However, because of limitations of the observing system (e.g., most of the oceanic measurements are only available for the upper ocean), directly evaluating climate estimation with real observations is difficult. With two coupled models that are biased with respect to each other, a biased twin experiment is designed to simulate the problem. To do that, the atmospheric and oceanic observations drawn from one model based on the modern climate observing system are assimilated into the other. The model that produces observations serves as the truth and the degree by which an assimilation recovers the truth steadily and coherently is an assessment of the impact of the data constraint scheme on climate estimation. Given the assimilation model bias of warmer atmosphere and colder ocean, where the atmospheric-only (oceanic only) data constraint produces an overcooling (overwarming) ocean through the atmosphere–ocean interaction, the constraints with both atmospheric and oceanic data create a balanced and coherent ocean estimate as the observational model. Moreover, the consistent atmosphere–ocean constraint produces the most accurate estimate for North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW), whereas NADW is too strong (weak) if the system is only constrained by atmospheric (oceanic) data. These twin experiment results provide insights that consistent data constraints of multiple components are very important when a coupled model is combined with the climate observing system for climate estimation and prediction initialization.

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Sam S. Chang
and
Roscoe R. Braham Jr.

Abstract

Using aircraft data collected during the University of Chicago Lake-Effect Snow Storm project, the results of a case study of the convective thermal internal boundary layer (TIBL) over Lake Michigan are presented. An intense cold air outbreak on 20 January 1984 featured a rapid growth of the convective TIBL thickness and the concurrent development of cloud and snow. The average slope of the TIBL top over a fetch of 123.7 km was 1.0%. Microphysical characteristics of cloud and snow along with the TIBL development are also presented. Results of the TIBL integrated budgets of heat and total water (including cloud and snow water) are given in detail. Over the surface of Lake Michigan the average downward snow flux (snow precipitation rate) was 0.79 mm (water) per day. The average sensible and latent heat fluxes at the water surface were 323 and 248 W m−2, respectively. About 13 percent of the total warming of this cloud-topped TIBL was due to radiation.

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Tarun Verma
,
R. Saravanan
,
P. Chang
, and
S. Mahajan

Abstract

The large-scale and long-term climate impacts of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols consist of Northern Hemisphere cooling and a southward shift of the tropical rain belt. On interannual time scales, however, the response to aerosols is localized with a sizable imprint on local ocean–atmosphere interaction. A large concentration of anthropogenic sulfates over Asia may impact ENSO by modifying processes and interactions that generate this coupled ocean–atmosphere variability. Here, we use climate model experiments with different degrees of ocean–atmosphere coupling to study the tropical Pacific response to an abrupt increase in anthropogenic sulfates. These include an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) coupled to either a full-ocean GCM or a slab-ocean model, or simply forced by climatology of sea surface temperature. Comparing the responses helps differentiate between the fast atmospheric and slow ocean-mediated responses, and highlights the role of ocean–atmosphere coupling in the latter. We demonstrate the link between the Walker circulation and the equatorial Pacific upper-ocean dynamics in response to increased sulfate aerosols. The local surface cooling due to sulfate aerosols emitted over the Asian continent drives atmospheric subsidence over the equatorial west Pacific. The associated anomalous circulation imparts westerly momentum to the underlying Pacific Ocean, leading to an El Niño–like upper-ocean response and a transient warming of the east equatorial Pacific Ocean. The oceanic adjustment eventually contributes to its decay, giving rise to a damped oscillation of the tropical Pacific Ocean in response to abrupt anthropogenic sulfate aerosol forcing.

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