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Patrick C. Campbell, Bart Geerts, and Philip T. Bergmaier

Abstract

A first observational and modeling study of a dryline and associated initiation of deep convection over the high plains of southeastern Wyoming is presented. Radar and station measurements show that the dryline is a well-defined convergent humidity boundary with a modest density (i.e., buoyancy) gradient. Its development, intensity, and movement are regulated by the terrain, diurnal land surface and boundary layer processes, and synoptic-scale evolution. At least one of the thunderstorms that emerged from the dryline became severe. Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) simulations accurately reproduce measured aspects of this dryline, as well as the timing and location of convection initiation. The WRF output is used further to characterize the dryline vertical and horizontal structures and to examine convection initiation processes. A dryline bulge over a local terrain ridge appears to be an essential ingredient in convection initiation on this day: just north of this bulge the surface convergence and buoyancy gradient are strongest, and deep convection is triggered. In this region especially, the WRF simulation produces horizontal convective rolls intersecting with the dryline, as well as small cyclonic vortices along the dryline. In fact, the primary storm cell initiates just downwind of one such vortex. Part II of this study describes the finescale vertical structure of this dryline using airborne Raman lidar data.

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P. Gloersen, T. T. Wilheit, T. C. Chang, W. Nordberg, and W. J. Campbell

Synoptic views of the entire polar regions of Earth have been obtained free of the usual persistent cloud cover using a scanning microwave radiometer operating at a wavelength of 1.55 cm on board the Nimbus-5 satellite. Three different views at each pole are presented utilizing data obtained at approximately one-month intervals during December 1972 to February 1973. The major discoveries resulting from an analysis of these data are as follows: 1) Large discrepancies exist between the long-term ice cover depicted in various atlases and the actual extent of the canopies. 2) The distribution of multiyear ice in the north polar region is markedly different from that predicted by existing ice dynamics models. 3) Irregularities in the edge of the Antarctic sea ice pack occur that have neither been observed previously nor anticipated. 4) The brightness temperatures of the Greenland and Antarctic glaciers show interesting contours probably related to the ice and snow morphologic structure.

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Philip T. Bergmaier, Bart Geerts, Zhien Wang, Bo Liu, and Patrick C. Campbell

Abstract

Part I of this study describes the mesoscale structure of a dryline over southeastern Wyoming. This dryline formed just east of the western rim of the high plains on 22 June 2010 and became more defined as it progressed eastward during the afternoon. Part I also describes the numerically simulated structure and evolution of this dryline and the observed initiation of deep convection in the vicinity of the dryline.

An instrumented aircraft, the University of Wyoming King Air, repeatedly flew across this dryline, mostly low enough to penetrate the moist-air wedge east of the dryline. Flight-level in situ data along these low-level penetrations indicate relatively high values of convective available potential energy (CAPE; >1500 J kg−1), yet low convective inhibition, within a few kilometers of the dryline. Water vapor transects obtained from a compact nadir-pointing Raman lidar aboard the aircraft reveal an extremely sharp humidity gradient below flight level along the dryline, coinciding with the fineline seen in operational weather radar base reflectivity imagery. They also reveal several plumes of higher specific humidity within the dry elevated mixed layer above the moist-air wedge, possibly precursors of cumulus clouds. The vertical structure of the dryline revealed by Raman lidar and the flight-level data correspond well to that in the high-resolution numerical simulation.

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Anders A. Jensen, Philip T. Bergmaier, Bart Geerts, Hugh Morrison, and Leah S. Campbell

Abstract

The OWLeS IOP2b lake-effect case is simulated using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model with a horizontal grid spacing of 148 m (WRF-LES mode). The dynamics and microphysics of the simulated high-resolution snowband and a coarser-resolution band from the parent nest (1.33-km horizontal grid spacing) are compared to radar and aircraft observations. The Ice Spheroids Habit Model with Aspect-ratio Evolution (ISHMAEL) microphysics is used, which predicts the evolution of ice particle properties including shape, maximum diameter, density, and fall speed. The microphysical changes within the band that occur when going from 1.33-km to 148-m grid spacing are explored. Improved representation of the dynamics at higher resolution leads to a better representation of the microphysics of the snowband compared to radar and aircraft observations. Stronger updrafts in the high-resolution grid produce higher ice number concentrations and produce ice particles that are more heavily rimed and thus more spherical, smaller (in terms of mean maximum diameter), and faster falling. These changes to the ice particle properties in the high-resolution grid limit the production of aggregates and improve reflectivity compared to observations. Graupel, observed in the band at the surface, is simulated in the strongest convective updrafts, but only at the higher resolution. Ultimately, the duration of heavy precipitation just onshore from the collapse of convection is better predicted in the high-resolution domain compared to surface and radar observations.

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Philip T. Bergmaier, Bart Geerts, Leah S. Campbell, and W. James Steenburgh

Abstract

Intense lake-effect snowfall results from a long-lake-axis-parallel (LLAP) precipitation band that often forms when the flow is parallel to the long axis of an elongated body of water, such as Lake Ontario. The intensity and persistence of the localized precipitation along the downwind shore and farther inland suggests the presence of a secondary circulation that helps organize such a band, and maintain it for some time as the circulation is advected inland. Unique airborne vertical-plane dual-Doppler radar data are used here to document this secondary circulation in a deep, well-organized LLAP band observed during intensive observing period (IOP) 2b of the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS) field campaign. The circulation, centered on a convective updraft, intensified toward the downwind shore and only gradually weakened inland. The question arises as to what sustains such a circulation in the vertical plane across the LLAP band. WRF Model simulations indicate that the primary LLAP band and other convergence zones observed over Lake Ontario during this IOP were initiated by relatively shallow airmass boundaries, resulting from a thermal contrast (i.e., land-breeze front) and differential surface roughness across the southern shoreline. Airborne radar data near the downwind shore of the lake indicate that the secondary circulation was much deeper than these shallow boundaries and was sustained primarily by rather symmetric solenoidal forcing, enhanced by latent heat release within the updraft region.

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R. J. Small, T. Campbell, J. Teixeira, S. Carniel, T. A. Smith, J. Dykes, S. Chen, and R. Allard

Abstract

In situ experimental data and numerical model results are presented for the Ligurian Sea in the northwestern Mediterranean. The Ligurian Sea Air–Sea Interaction Experiment (LASIE07) and LIGURE2007 experiments took place in June 2007. The LASIE07 and LIGURE2007 data are used to validate the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) developed at the Naval Research Laboratory. This system includes an atmospheric sigma coordinate, nonhydrostatic model, coupled to a hydrostatic sigma-z-level ocean model (Navy Coastal Ocean Model), using the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF).

A month-long simulation, which includes data assimilation in the atmosphere and full coupling, is compared against an uncoupled run where analysis SST is used for computation of the bulk fluxes. This reveals that COAMPS has reasonable skill in predicting the wind stress and surface heat fluxes at LASIE07 mooring locations in shallow and deep water. At the LASIE07 coastal site (but not at the deep site) the validation shows that the coupled model has a much smaller bias in latent heat flux, because of improvements in the SST field relative to the uncoupled model. This in turn leads to large differences in upper-ocean temperature between the coupled model and an uncoupled ocean model run.

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Dan Welsh, Bart Geerts, Xiaoqin Jing, Philip T. Bergmaier, Justin R. Minder, W. James Steenburgh, and Leah S. Campbell

Abstract

The distribution of radar-estimated precipitation from lake-effect snowbands over and downwind of Lake Ontario shows more snowfall in downwind areas than over the lake itself. Here, two nonexclusive processes contributing to this are examined: the collapse of convection that lofts hydrometeors over the lake and allows them to settle downwind; and stratiform ascent over land, due to the development of a stable boundary layer, frictional convergence, and terrain, leading to widespread precipitation there. The main data sources for this study are vertical profiles of radar reflectivity and hydrometeor vertical velocity in a well-defined, deep long-lake-axis-parallel band, observed on 11 December 2013 during the Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS) project. The profiles are derived from an airborne W-band Doppler radar, as well as an array of four K-band radars, an X-band profiling radar, a scanning X-band radar, and a scanning S-band radar.

The presence of convection offshore is evident from deep, strong (up to 10 m s−1) updrafts producing bounded weak-echo regions and locally heavily rimed snow particles. The decrease of the standard deviation, skewness, and peak values of Doppler vertical velocity during the downwind shore crossing is consistent with the convection collapse hypothesis. Consistent with the stratiform ascent hypothesis are (i) an increase in mean vertical velocity over land; and (ii) an increasing abundance of large snowflakes at low levels and over land, due to depositional growth and aggregation, evident from flight-level and surface particle size distribution data, and from differences in reflectivity values from S-, X-, K-, and W-band radars at nearly the same time and location.

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Gerhard Theurich, C. DeLuca, T. Campbell, F. Liu, K. Saint, M. Vertenstein, J. Chen, R. Oehmke, J. Doyle, T. Whitcomb, A. Wallcraft, M. Iredell, T. Black, A. M. Da Silva, T. Clune, R. Ferraro, P. Li, M. Kelley, I. Aleinov, V. Balaji, N. Zadeh, R. Jacob, B. Kirtman, F. Giraldo, D. McCarren, S. Sandgathe, S. Peckham, and R. Dunlap IV

Abstract

The Earth System Prediction Suite (ESPS) is a collection of flagship U.S. weather and climate models and model components that are being instrumented to conform to interoperability conventions, documented to follow metadata standards, and made available either under open-source terms or to credentialed users.

The ESPS represents a culmination of efforts to create a common Earth system model architecture, and the advent of increasingly coordinated model development activities in the United States. ESPS component interfaces are based on the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF), community-developed software for building and coupling models, and the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) Layer, a set of ESMF-based component templates and interoperability conventions. This shared infrastructure simplifies the process of model coupling by guaranteeing that components conform to a set of technical and semantic behaviors. The ESPS encourages distributed, multiagency development of coupled modeling systems; controlled experimentation and testing; and exploration of novel model configurations, such as those motivated by research involving managed and interactive ensembles. ESPS codes include the Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM), the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM), and the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS); the NOAA Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) and the Modular Ocean Model (MOM); the Community Earth System Model (CESM); and the NASA ModelE climate model and the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, version 5 (GEOS-5), atmospheric general circulation model.

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M. E. Ash, R. P. Ingalls, G. H. Pettengill, I. I. Shapiro, W. B. Smith, M. A. Slade, D. B. Campbell, R. B. Dyce, R. Jurgens, and T. W. Thompson

Abstract

The 6085±10 km radius of Venus deduced from combining observations made with the Venera 4 and Mariner 5 space probes appears to be incompatible with the 6050±5 km radius determined from earth-based radar measurements.

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John L. Campbell, Lindsey E. Rustad, Sarah Garlick, Noah Newman, John S. Stanovick, Ian Halm, Charles T. Driscoll, Brian L. Barjenbruch, Elizabeth Burakowski, Steven D. Hilberg, Kristopher J. Sanders, Jason C. Shafer, and Nolan J. Doesken

Abstract

Ice storms are important winter weather events that can have substantial environmental, economic, and social impacts. Mapping and assessment of damage after these events could be improved by making ice accretion measurements at a greater number of sites than is currently available. There is a need for low-cost collectors that can be distributed broadly in volunteer observation networks; however, use of low-cost collectors necessitates understanding of how collector characteristics and configurations influence measurements of ice accretion. A study was conducted at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire that involved spraying water over passive ice collectors during freezing conditions to simulate ice storms of different intensity. The collectors consisted of plates composed of four different materials and installed horizontally; two different types of wires strung horizontally; and rods of three different materials, with three different diameters, and installed at three different inclinations. Results showed that planar ice thickness on plates was 2.5–3 times as great as the radial ice thickness on rods or wires, which is consistent with expectations based on theory and empirical evidence from previous studies. Rods mounted on an angle rather than horizontally reduced the formation of icicles and enabled more consistent measurements. Results such as these provide much needed information for comparing ice accretion data. Understanding of relationships among collector configurations could be refined further by collecting data from natural ice storms under a broader range of weather conditions.

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