Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 24 items for

  • Author or Editor: Stephen J. Lord x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Stephen J. Lord

Abstract

The verification of the Arakawa and Schubert (1974) cumulus parameterization is continued using a semi-prognostic approach. Observed data from Phase III of GATE are used to provide estimates of the large-scale forcing of a cumulus ensemble at each observation time. Instantaneous values of the precipitation and the warming and drying due to cumulus convection are calculated using the parameterization.

The results show that the calculated precipitation agrees very well with estimates from the observed large-scale moisture budget and from radar observations. The calculated vertical profiles of cumulus warming and drying also are quite similar to the observed. It is shown that the closure assumption adopted in the, parameterization (the cloud-work function quasi-equilibrium) results in errors of generally <10% in the calculated precipitation. The sensitivity of the parameterization to some assumptions of the cloud ensemble model and the solution method for the cloud-base mass flux is investigated.

Full access
Stephen J. Lord and Jacqueline M. Lord

Abstract

A statistical analysis of several experiments with different microphysical parameterizations in an axisymmetric, nonhydrostatic tropical cyclone model illustrates the impact of icc-phase microphysics on model vertical velocity structure. The parameterizations are designed to illustrate the effects of 1) thermodynamic input through latent heating, 2) vertical sorting of microphysical species by fallspeed, and 3) different rates of the parameterized microphysical conversion processes. The results confirm previous studies on the thermodynamic effect of melting, but they also show that the other factors, namely, fallspeed and microphysical conversion rates, are important in determining model vertical velocity structure and evolution. Statistical summaries of updrafts and downdrafts show distinct increases in the intensity and horizontal scale of downdrafts near the melting level when parameterized snow is included. Model storms without snow show a greater percentage of convective-scale updrafts and downdrafts; they intensify more slowly but ultimately become stronger than those that have larger scale vertical velocity structures.

Full access
Stephen J. Lord and Akio Arakawa

Abstract

The closure assumption of the Arakawa-Schubert (1974) cumulus parameterization takes the form of a balance between the generation of moist convective instability by large-scale processes and its destruction by clouds. This assumption can be justified by consideration of the kinetic energy budget of a cumulus subensemble. First, the kinetic energy generation and dissipation per unit cloud-base mass flux should approximately balance over time scales of the order of the large-scale processes. Second, the dissipation per unit cloud-base mass flux and, therefore, the kinetic energy generation per unit cloud-base mass flux (the cloud-work function) for a given subensemble should not depend substantially on the large-scale conditions. The cloud-work function quasi-equilibrium follows consequently and the unknown cloud-base mass flux is determined by an integral equation.

Observational evidence for the cloud-work function quasi-equilibrium is presented. Cloud-work functions are calculated from a variety of data sets in the tropics and subtropics including the GATE, AMTEX, VIMHEX and composited typhoon data. The results show that the cloud-work functions fall into a well-defined narrow range for each subensemble although the thermodynamical vertical structures for each data set are quite different.

Full access
Robert E. Tuleya and Stephen J. Lord

Abstract

The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) of NOAA have collaborated to postprocess Omega dropwindsonde (ODW) data into the NCEP operational global analysis system for a series of 14 cases of Atlantic hurricanes (or tropical storms) from 1982 to 1989. Objective analyses were constructed with and without ingested ODW data by the NCEP operational global system. These analyses were then used as initial conditions by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) high-resolution regional forecast model.

This series of 14 experiments with and without ODWs indicated the positive impacts of ODWs on track forecasts using the GFDL model. The mean forecast track improvement at various forecast periods ranged from 12% to 30% relative to control cases without ODWs: approximately the same magnitude as those of the NCEP global model and higher than those of the VICBAR barotropic model for the same 14 cases. Mean track errors were reduced by 12 km at 12 h, by ∼50 km for 24–60 h, and by 127 km at 72 h (nine cases). Track improvements were realized with ODWs at ∼75% of the verifying times for the entire 14-case ensemble.

With the improved analysis using ODWs, the GFDL model was able to forecast the interaction of Hurricane Floyd (1987) with an approaching midlatitude trough and the storm’s associated movement from the western Caribbean north, then northeastward from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic east of Florida. In addition, the GFDL model with ODWs accurately forecasted the rapid approach and landfall of Hurricane Hugo (1989) onto the U.S. mainland. An assessment of the differences between analyses indicates that the impact of ODWs can be attributable in part to differences of ∼1 m s−1 in steering flow of the initial state.

In addition to track error, the skill of intensity prediction using the ODW dataset was also investigated. Results indicate a positive impact on intensity forecasts with ODW analyses. However, the overall skill relative to the National Hurricane Center statistical model SHIFOR is shown only after 2 or 3 days. It is speculated that with increased data coverage such as ODWs both track and intensity error can be further reduced provided that data sampling can be optimized and objective analysis techniques utilizing asynoptic data can be developed and improved.

Full access
Stephen J. Lord and James L. Franklin

Abstract

A three-dimensional, nested analysis of wind fields in the environment of Hurricane Debby (1982) has been completed. The basic analysis tool uses a two-dimensional least-squares fitting algorithm combined with a derivative constraint that acts as a spatial low-pass filter on the analyzed field. Gridded results of horizontally analyzed fields are combined into vertical cross sections and then analyzed to produce vertical continuity. Consequently, a three-dimensional analysis is obtained.

The database for the analysis comes primarily from Omega dropwindsondes (ODWs), rawinsondes, and satellite-derived winds above 400 mb in the environment of Hurricane Debby near 0000 UTC 16 September 1982. Since these data come from many different sources, and thus are not evenly distributed in the horizontal or vertical, techniques have been developed to alleviate difficulties associated with inhomogeneous data. The analyzed wind fields provide an independent evaluation of satellite-derived winds at and below 400 mb.

General features of the environmental wind fields surrounding Debby are described. The wind analyses are then used to diagnose terms in the vorticity equation. The spatial orientation of a calculated dipole in the horizontal vorticity flux convergence term indicates that it is an approximate indicator of Debby's observed short-term motion.

Finally, to provide an initial assessment of the wind analysis quality, experimental track forecasts with a barotropic model are performed with the layer-mean wind fields and operationally available data outside the analysis domain. Initial errors in the forecast tracks are directly related to the orientation of the diagnosed vorticity flux convergence dipole. The research wind analysis results in a substantial reduction in track error for short-term (12 h) forecasts compared to analyses from operationally available data. This reduction is due to an improved representation of the wind fields in the near-storm environment.

Full access
Stephen J. Lord and James L. Franklin

Abstract

A three-dimensional analysis of temperature and relative humidity in the environment of Hurricane Debby (1982) has been completed. Observations from Omega dropwindsondes (ODWs) within 1000 km of the storm have been combined with rawinsondes over the continental United States and the Caribbean and with observations from surface ships and aircraft data where possible.

The temperature and relative humidity analyses, together with wind analyses from a previous study, form a dataset that can be used an an initial condition in a multilevel prognostic model when combined with analyses over area larger than our analysis domain. In this paper a series of diagnostic tests has been applied to the dataset to evaluate its performance without using a prognostic model. These tests include horizontal maps of the moist convective instability, calculation of the heat and moisture budgets in the vicinity of Bermuda, which was 350 km to the northeast of the storm center, and diagnosis of precipitation from these budgets and from the Arakawa-Schubert cumulus parameterization.

Results show that the horizontal distribution of moist convective instability is strongly affected by the low-level moisture field upstream of the main inflow region to the storm. The total surface heat flux, estimated with a bulk aerodynamic method, matches the vertically integrated eddy flux of moist static energy to within observational errors. Precipitation estimates from the budgets give rates of approximately 20 mm day−1, which are consistent with an estimated rate from radar. Partition of the rainfall rate into convective scale and resolvable scale (stratiform) shows about equal contributions.

Our results lead us to believe that, within the limitations determined by the horizontal distribution of the observations, the final dataset for Hurricane Debby provides a realistic depiction of the various physical processes that were occurring in Debby's environment. Future work will include data sensitivity experiments with a three-dimensional forecast model.

Full access
James L. Franklin and Stephen J. Lord

Abstract

Synoptic-wale thermodynamic fields in the environment of Hurricane Debby (1982) determined from two sets of VAS soundings (VAS1, VAS2) are compared with those obtained from in-situ data (INS). VAS1 sounding were derived from an iterative solution of the radiative transfer equation with manual quality control. VAS2 soundings, which represent the present state-of-the-art, were derived from a simultaneous solution of the transfer equation with objective quality control. In situ data were obtained primarily from Omega dropwindsondes. Comparisons are made for 0000 UTC 16 September 1982 at the mandatory pressure levels up to 400 mb. The integrated effect of VAS-INS differences is estimated by comparing 400 mb geopotential height fields and their associated gradient winds.

The comparisons show that the VAS1-INS temperature differences are not spatially uniform at most levels, due largely to the influence of moisture. The quality of the VAS2 data is much improved over VAS1; the effect of moisture is not noticeable. However, the VAS2 analyses still show spatially nonuniform differences from INS at some levels. Thus, VAS gradient data may be of irregular quality on the synoptic scale. Geopotential height fields at 400 mb imply gradient wind differences from INS of up to 12 m s−1 for VAS 1 and 6 m s−1 for VAS2. The VAS2 sounding set could be improved further by the use of manual data editing, and a more accurate first-guess of the surface temperature analysis.

Full access
Michael J. Reeder, Roger K. Smith, and Stephen J. Lord

Abstract

No abstract available.

Full access
Michael J. Reeder, Roger K. Smith, and Stephen J. Lord

Abstract

Data from a numerical simulation of a moving barotropic vortex on a sphere with 10-km resolution are used to assess the ability of a state-of-the-art objective analysis scheme to detect certain large-scale tropical cyclone asymmetries, the so-called “beta gyres” to which the cyclone motion appears to be attributed.

A series of analyses is conducted, first using the entire dataset and then taking subsets of it. Four subsets were considered in which data at a regular array of points were extracted, progressively increasing the separation between points. A fifth calculation was considered in which data were selected at points corresponding to the proposed upgraded upper-air network for a tropical cyclone motion experiment in the northwest Pacific region.

It is shown that for a moderate-sized tropical cyclone-scale vortex, a regular grid spacing on the order of 100–150 km is required to adequately define the gyres, at least when the ambient flow is weak. The upgraded upper-air network was found to be inadequate by itself for this purpose, suggesting that aircraft dropwindsonde data are a prerequisite for this task.

Full access
Stephen J. Lord, Winston C. Chao, and Akio Arakawa

Abstract

An application of the Arakawa-Schubert (1974) cumulus parameterization to a prognostic model of the large-scale atmospheric circulations is presented. The cloud subensemble thermodynamical properties are determined from the conservation of mass, moist static energy and total water (vapor, suspended liquid water and precipitation). Algorithms for calculating the large-scale forcing and the mass flux kernel are presented. Several methods for solving the discrete version of the integral equation for the cumulus mass flux are discussed. Equations describing the cumulus feedback on the large-scale thermodynamical fields are presented.

Full access