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Gang Liu, Yangang Liu, and Satoshi Endo

Abstract

Surface momentum, sensible heat, and latent heat fluxes are critical for atmospheric processes such as clouds and precipitation, and are parameterized in a variety of models ranging from cloud-resolving models to large-scale weather and climate models. However, direct evaluation of the parameterization schemes for these surface fluxes is rare due to limited observations. This study takes advantage of the long-term observations of surface fluxes collected at the Southern Great Plains site by the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program to evaluate the six surface flux parameterization schemes commonly used in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and three U.S. general circulation models (GCMs). The unprecedented 7-yr-long measurements by the eddy correlation (EC) and energy balance Bowen ratio (EBBR) methods permit statistical evaluation of all six parameterizations under a variety of stability conditions, diurnal cycles, and seasonal variations. The statistical analyses show that the momentum flux parameterization agrees best with the EC observations, followed by latent heat flux, sensible heat flux, and evaporation ratio/Bowen ratio. The overall performance of the parameterizations depends on atmospheric stability, being best under neutral stratification and deteriorating toward both more stable and more unstable conditions. Further diagnostic analysis reveals that in addition to the parameterization schemes themselves, the discrepancies between observed and parameterized sensible and latent heat fluxes may stem from inadequate use of input variables such as surface temperature, moisture availability, and roughness length. The results demonstrate the need for improving the land surface models and measurements of surface properties, which would permit the evaluation of full land surface models.

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Gang Liu, Yangang Liu, and Satoshi Endo
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David M. Romps, Rusen Öktem, Satoshi Endo, and Andrew M. Vogelmann

Abstract

A cloud’s life cycle determines how its mass flux translates into cloud cover, thereby setting Earth’s albedo. Here, an attempt is made to quantify the most basic aspects of the life cycle of a shallow cumulus cloud: the degree to which it is a bubble or a plume, and active or forced. Quantitative measures are proposed for these properties, which are then applied to hundreds of shallow cumulus clouds in Oklahoma using data from stereo cameras, a Doppler lidar, and large-eddy simulations. The observed clouds are intermediate between active and forced, but behave more like bubbles than plumes. The simulated clouds, on the other hand, are more active and plumelike, suggesting room for improvement in the modeling of shallow cumulus.

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Satoshi Endo, Taro Shinoda, Tetsuya Hiyama, Hiroshi Uyeda, Kenji Nakamura, Hiroki Tanaka, and Kazuhisa Tsuboki

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to clarify the characteristics of the convective boundary layer (CBL) over a humid terrestrial area, the Huaihe River basin in China, which is covered by a large, nearly flat plain with uniform farmland. Data were collected in early summer 2004 using a 32-m flux tower and a 1290-MHz wind profiler radar. When mature wheat fields or bare fields dominated (the first period), the sensible heat flux (SHF) from the land surface was nearly equal to the latent heat flux (LHF). After vegetation changed to paddy fields (the second period), the LHF was much larger than the SHF. Two clear days from the first and second periods were selected and are referred to as the dry case and wet case, respectively. For the dry case, a deep CBL developed rapidly from the early morning, and thermal updrafts in the CBL were vigorous. For the wet case, a shallow CBL developed slowly from late morning, and thermals were weak. To study the thermodynamic process in the CBL, a large-eddy simulation (LES) was conducted. The simulation adequately reproduced the surface heat flux and the CBL development for both the dry case and the wet case. For the dry case, sensible heat contributed to nearly all of the buoyancy flux. In contrast, for the wet case, heat and moisture made equal contributions. The large contribution of moisture to the buoyancy is one of the main characteristics of the CBL over humid terrestrial areas.

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Wayne M. Angevine, Joseph Olson, Jaymes Kenyon, William I. Gustafson Jr., Satoshi Endo, Kay Suselj, and David D. Turner

Abstract

Representation of shallow cumulus is a challenge for mesoscale numerical weather prediction models. These cloud fields have important effects on temperature, solar irradiance, convective initiation, and pollutant transport, among other processes. Recent improvements to physics schemes available in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model aim to improve representation of shallow cumulus, in particular over land. The DOE LES ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation Workflow (LASSO) project provides several cases that we use here to test the new physics improvements. The LASSO cases use multiple large-scale forcings to drive large-eddy simulations (LES), and the LES output is easily compared to output from WRF single-column simulations driven with the same initial conditions and forcings. The new Mellor–Yamada–Nakanishi–Niino (MYNN) eddy diffusivity mass-flux (EDMF) boundary layer and shallow cloud scheme produces clouds with timing, liquid water path (LWP), and cloud fraction that agree well with LES over a wide range of those variables. Here we examine those variables and test the scheme’s sensitivity to perturbations of a few key parameters. We also discuss the challenges and uncertainties of single-column tests. The older, simpler total energy mass-flux (TEMF) scheme is included for comparison, and its tuning is improved. This is the first published use of the LASSO cases for parameterization development, and the first published study to use such a large number of cases with varying cloud amount. This is also the first study to use a more precise combined infrared and microwave retrieval of LWP to evaluate modeled clouds.

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Chunsong Lu, Yangang Liu, Guang J. Zhang, Xianghua Wu, Satoshi Endo, Le Cao, Yueqing Li, and Xiaohao Guo

Abstract

This work examines the relationships of entrainment rate to vertical velocity, buoyancy, and turbulent dissipation rate by applying stepwise principal component regression to observational data from shallow cumulus clouds collected during the Routine Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Aerial Facility (AAF) Clouds with Low Optical Water Depths (CLOWD) Optical Radiative Observations (RACORO) field campaign over the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site near Lamont, Oklahoma. The cumulus clouds during the RACORO campaign simulated using a large-eddy simulation (LES) model are also examined with the same approach. The analysis shows that a combination of multiple variables can better represent entrainment rate in both the observations and LES than any single-variable fitting. Three commonly used parameterizations are also tested on the individual cloud scale. A new parameterization is thus presented that relates entrainment rate to vertical velocity, buoyancy, and dissipation rate; the effects of treating clouds as ensembles and humid shells surrounding cumulus clouds on the new parameterization are discussed. Physical mechanisms underlying the relationships of entrainment rate to vertical velocity, buoyancy, and dissipation rate are also explored.

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Hua Song, Wuyin Lin, Yanluan Lin, Audrey B. Wolf, Leo J. Donner, Anthony D. Del Genio, Roel Neggers, Satoshi Endo, and Yangang Liu

Abstract

This study evaluates the performances of seven single-column models (SCMs) by comparing simulated cloud fraction with observations at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site from January 1999 to December 2001. Compared with the 3-yr mean observational cloud fraction, the ECMWF SCM underestimates cloud fraction at all levels and the GISS SCM underestimates cloud fraction at levels below 200 hPa. The two GFDL SCMs underestimate lower-to-middle level cloud fraction but overestimate upper-level cloud fraction. The three Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) SCMs overestimate upper-level cloud fraction and produce lower-level cloud fraction similar to the observations but as a result of compensating overproduction of convective cloud fraction and underproduction of stratiform cloud fraction. Besides, the CAM3 and CAM5 SCMs both overestimate midlevel cloud fraction, whereas the CAM4 SCM underestimates. The frequency and partitioning analyses show a large discrepancy among the seven SCMs: Contributions of nonstratiform processes to cloud fraction production are mainly in upper-level cloudy events over the cloud cover range 10%–80% in SCMs with prognostic cloud fraction schemes and in lower-level cloudy events over the cloud cover range 15%–50% in SCMs with diagnostic cloud fraction schemes. Further analysis reveals different relationships between cloud fraction and relative humidity (RH) in the models and observations. The underestimation of lower-level cloud fraction in most SCMs is mainly due to the larger threshold RH used in models. The overestimation of upper-level cloud fraction in the three CAM SCMs and two GFDL SCMs is primarily due to the overestimation of RH and larger mean cloud fraction of cloudy events plus more occurrences of RH around 40%–80%, respectively.

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William I. Gustafson Jr., Andrew M. Vogelmann, Zhijin Li, Xiaoping Cheng, Kyle K. Dumas, Satoshi Endo, Karen L. Johnson, Bhargavi Krishna, Tami Fairless, and Heng Xiao
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William I. Gustafson Jr, Andrew M. Vogelmann, Zhijin Li, Xiaoping Cheng, Kyle K. Dumas, Satoshi Endo, Karen L. Johnson, Bhargavi Krishna, Tami Fairless, and Heng Xiao

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility recently initiated the Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation (LASSO) activity focused on shallow convection at ARM’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) atmospheric observatory in Oklahoma. LASSO is designed to overcome an oft-shared difficulty of bridging the gap from point-based measurements to scales relevant for model parameterization development, and it provides an approach to add value to observations through modeling. LASSO is envisioned to be useful to modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists needing information relevant to cloud processes. LASSO does so by combining a suite of observations, LES inputs and outputs, diagnostics, and skill scores into data bundles that are freely available, and by simplifying user access to the data to speed scientific inquiry. The combination of relevant observations with observationally constrained LES output provides detail that gives context to the observations by showing physically consistent connections between processes based on the simulated state. A unique approach for LASSO is the generation of a library of cases for days with shallow convection combined with an ensemble of LES for each case. The library enables researchers to move beyond the single-case-study approach typical of LES research. The ensemble members are produced using a selection of different large-scale forcing sources and spatial scales. Since large-scale forcing is one of the most uncertain aspects of generating the LES, the ensemble informs users about potential uncertainty for each date and increases the probability of having an accurate forcing for each case.

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Xiang-Yu Li, Hailong Wang, Jingyi Chen, Satoshi Endo, Geet George, Brian Cairns, Seethala Chellappan, Xubin Zeng, Simon Kirschler, Christiane Voigt, Armin Sorooshian, Ewan Crosbie, Gao Chen, Richard Anthony Ferrare, William I. Gustafson Jr., Johnathan W. Hair, Mary M. Kleb, Hongyu Liu, Richard Moore, David Painemal, Claire Robinson, Amy Jo Scarino, Michael Shook, Taylor J. Shingler, Kenneth Lee Thornhill, Florian Tornow, Heng Xiao, Luke D. Ziemba, and Paquita Zuidema

Abstract

Large-eddy simulation (LES) is able to capture key boundary layer (BL) turbulence and cloud processes. Yet, large-scale forcing and surface turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent heat are often poorly prescribed for LESs. We derive these quantities from measurements and reanalysis obtained for two cold-air outbreak (CAO) events during Phase I of the Aerosol Cloud Meteorology Interactions over the Western Atlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE) in February–March 2020. We study the two contrasting CAO cases by performing LES and test the sensitivity of BL structure and clouds to large-scale forcings and turbulent heat fluxes. Profiles of atmospheric state and large-scale divergence and surface turbulent heat fluxes obtained from ERA5 data agree reasonably well with those derived from ACTIVATE field measurements for both cases at the sampling time and location. Therefore, we adopt the time-evolving heat fluxes, wind, and advective tendencies profiles from ERA5 data to drive the LES. We find that large-scale thermodynamic advective tendencies and wind relaxations are important for the LES to capture the evolving observed BL meteorological states characterized by the hourly ERA5 data and validated by the observations. We show that the divergence (or vertical velocity) is important in regulating the BL growth driven by surface heat fluxes in LESs. The evolution of liquid water path is largely affected by the evolution of surface heat fluxes. The liquid water path simulated in LES agrees reasonably well with the ACTIVATE measurements. This study paves the path to investigate aerosol–cloud–meteorology interactions using LES informed and evaluated by ACTIVATE field measurements.

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