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Wei Gong and Wei-Chyung Wang

Abstract

This is the second part of a study investigating the 1991 severe precipitation event over the Yangtze–Huai River valley (YHRV) in China using both observations and regional model simulations. While Part I reported on the Mei-yu front and its association with large-scale circulation, this study documents the biases associated with the treatment of the lateral boundary in the regional model. Two aspects of the biases were studied: the driving field, which provides large-scale boundary forcing, and the coupling scheme, which specifies how the forcing is adopted by the model. The former bias is defined as model uncertainty because it is not related to the model itself, while the latter bias (as well as those biases attributed to other sources) is referred to as model error. These two aspects were examined by analyzing the regional model simulations of the 1991 summer severe precipitation event over YHRV using different driving fields (ECMWF–TOGA objective analysis, ECMWF reanalysis, and NCEP–NCAR reanalysis) and coupling scheme (distribution function of the nudging coefficient and width of the buffer zone). Spectral analysis was also used to study the frequency distribution of the bias.

The analyses suggest that the 200-hPa winds, 500-hPa geopotential height, and 850-hPa winds and water vapor mixing ratio, which have dominant influences on Mei-yu evolution, are sensitive to large-scale boundary forcing. In particular the 500-hPa geopotential height, and 850-hPa water vapor mixing ratio near the Tibetan Plateau and over the western Pacific Oceans are highly dependent on the driving field. On the other hand, the water vapor in the lower troposphere, wind at all levels, and precipitation pattern are much more affected by the treatment of nudging in the coupling scheme. It is interesting to find that the two commonly used coupling schemes, the lateral boundary coupling and the spectral coupling, provide similar large-scale information to the simulation domain when the former scheme used a wider buffer zone and stronger nudging coefficient. Systematical model errors, existing in the north of the simulation domain, are caused by the overprediction of low-level inversion stratiform clouds.

The analyses further indicate that the model mesoscale signal is not significantly influenced by the different treatments of the nudging procedure. However, it is also shown that the model performance, especially the monthly mean precipitation and its spatial pattern, is substantially improved with the increase of buffer zone width and nudging coefficient.

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Wei-Chyung Wang, Wei Gong, and Helin Wei

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The summer Mei-yu event over eastern China, which is strongly influenced by large-scale circulation, is an important aspect of East Asian climate; for example, the Mei-yu frequently brings heavy precipitation to the Yangtze–Huai River valley (YHRV). Both observations and a regional model were used to study the Mei-yu front and its relation to large-scale circulation during the summer of 1991 when severe floods occurred over YHRV. This study has two parts: the first part, presented here, analyzes the association between heavy Mei-yu precipitation and relevant large-scale circulation, while the second part, documented by W. Gong and W.-C. Wang, examines the model biases associated with the treatment of lateral boundary conditions (the objective analyses and coupling schemes) used as the driving fields for the regional model.

Observations indicate that the Mei-yu season in 1991 spans 18 May–14 July, making it the longest Mei-yu period during the last 40 yr. The heavy precipitation over YHRV is found to be intimately related to the western Pacific subtropical high, upper-tropospheric westerly jet at midlatitudes, and lower-tropospheric southwest wind and moisture flux. The regional model simulates reasonably well the regional mean surface air temperature and precipitation, in particular the precipitation evolution and its association with the large-scale circulation throughout the Mei-yu season. However, the model simulates smaller precipitation intensity, which is due partly to the colder and drier model atmosphere resulting from excessive low-level clouds and the simplified land surface process scheme used in the present study.

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Ke Wei and Lin Wang

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Water resources are an essential part of the ecosystem in the extremely arid northwestern part of China. Previous studies revealed a dry-to-wet climate change since the late 1980s in this region, which suggested a relief from the drought condition. However, the analysis in this study using the updated data shows that the arid situation has continued and even intensified in the past decade. This is reflected by the fact that the low-level air relative humidity and deep soil relative humidity have decreased in the past decade. Examination of the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index (sc-PDSI) indicates that the severity and spatial extent of aridity and drought have increased substantially in northwestern China in the most recent decade. It is shown that the drought intensification in northwestern China is mainly caused by the increase of evaporation that results from the continuous rise in temperature, which will pose a continuous threat to the ecosystem and economic development in this region, especially under the background of global warming.

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Dr. Wei-Chyung Wang
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Wei-Chyung Wang

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A parameterization for the absorption of solar radiation as a function of the amount of water vapor in the earth's atmosphere is obtained. Absorption computations are based on the Goody band model and the near-infrared absorption band data of Ludwig et al. A two-parameter Curtis-Godson approximation is used to treat the inhomogeneous atmosphere. Heating rates based on a frequently used one-parameter pressure-scaling approximation are also discussed and compared with the present parameterization.

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Wei Wang and Eric Gill

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This paper presents a comparative study of high-resolution methods for high-frequency radar current mapping. A z-domain transformation and auxiliary z-domain manipulation of the autoregressive method is proposed for this comparison. A Weibull distribution test is recommended to justify the Rayleigh distribution of the sea clutter for quality control. Upon the power spectrum estimation, a conventional centroid method and a new symmetric-peak-sum method for the identification of current Doppler shift are proposed as another comparison. HF radar data were collected over the period from November 2012 to August 2013 at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Canada, and were compared with measurements from an acoustic Doppler current meter. This comparison is used to study the utility of high-resolution spectrum estimation and Bragg identification methods for surface current mapping. Results show promising use of these methods in different current scenarios and suggest combined applications to improve accuracy.

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Lijuan Wang, Hongchao Zuo, and Wei Wang

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FY-4A is a geostationary meteorological satellite with four advanced payloads, which can be used to quantitatively detect the earth's atmospheric system with multi spectral and high spatial-temporal resolution. However, the applicable model limits the application of the FY-4A satellite data. In this paper, the empirical statistical model developed for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor is extended for FY-4A Advanced Geosynchronous Radiation Imager (AGRI), and it is applied to observed data to evaluate the applicability of the model for AGRI measurements. To improve the accuracy of radiation estimation, the artificial intelligent particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm was used for model optimizing. Results show that the estimated radiation has diurnal variation, which accords with the characteristics of radiation variation. The estimated net surface shortwave radiation (Sn) and observed values show good correlation. However, large deviations from observations are found in the estimated values when the empirical model based on MODIS is directly used to process AGRI data. Thus, the empirical statistical model based on MODIS can be applied to AGRI data, but the empirical parameters need to be revised. Optimization of the empirical statistical model by the PSO algorithm can effectively improve the accuracy of radiation estimate. The Mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of Sn estimated by optimized models is reduced to 15%. The MAPE of the net surface long-wave radiation (Ln) estimated by optimized models is reduced to 31%, and the MAPE of the net radiation (Rn) estimated by optimized models is reduced to 27%. However, for the uncertainty caused by error accumulation effect, the influence of PSO optimization on Rn is not as obvious as that of Ln. However, from the analysis of error distribution, it shows that PSO optimization does improve the estimation results of Rn. Based on AGRI data, the surface radiation can be estimated simply, and the regional or larger scale surface radiation retrieval can quickly realize by this method which has large application potential and popularization value.

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Wei Wang and Thomas T. Warner

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The Penn State/NCAR mesoscale model has been used in a study of special static- and dynamic-initialization techniques that improve a very-short-range forecast of the heavy convective rainfall that occurred in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas during 9–10 May 1979, the SESAME IV study period. In this study, the model is initialized during the precipitation event. Two types of four-dimensional data assimilation (FDDA) procedures are used in the dynamic-initialization experiments in order to incorporate data during a 12-hour preforecast period. With the first type, FDDA by Newtonian relaxation is used to incorporate sounding data during the preforecast period. With the second FDDA procedure, radar-based precipitation-rate estimates and hourly raingage data are used to define a three-dimensional latent-heating rate field that contributes to the diabatic heating term in the model's thermodynamic equation during the preforecast period. This latent-heating specification procedure is also employed in static-initialization experiments, where the observed rainfall rate and radar echo pattern near the initial time of the forecast are used to infer a latent-heating rate that is specified in the mesoscale model's thermodynamic equation during the early part of the actual forecast. The precipitation forecasts from these static- and dynamic-initialization experiments are compared with the forecast produced when only operational radiosonde data are used in a conventional static initialization.

The conventional (control) initialization procedure that used only operational radiosonde data produced a precipitation prediction for the first three to four hours of the forecast period that would have been inadequate in an operational setting. Whereas at the initial time of the forecast there was substantial convective precipitation observed in a band near the edge of an elevated mixed layer, the model did not initiate the heavy rainfall until about the fourth hour of the forecast.

The use of the experimental static initialization with prescribed latent heating during the first forecast hour produced greatly improved rainfall rates during the first three to four hours. The success of the technique was shown to be not especially sensitive to moderate variations in the duration, intensity and vertical distribution of the imposed heating. Applications of the Newtonian-relaxation procedure during the preforecast period, that relaxed the model solution toward the initial large-scale analysis, produced a better precipitation forecast than did the control, with a maximum in approximately the correct position, but the intensities were too small. Combined use of either the preforecast or in-forecast latent-heat forcing with the Newtonian relaxation produced an improved forecast of rainfall intensity compared to use of the Newtonian relaxation alone. Even though both the experimental static- and dynamic-initialization procedures produced considerably improved very-short-range precipitation forecasts, compared to the control, the experimental static-initialization procedure that used latent-heat forcing during the first forecast hour did slightly better for this case.

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Yi Zhang and Wei-Chyung Wang

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Two 100-yr equilibrium simulations from the NCAR Community Climate Model coupled to a nondynamic slab ocean are used to investigate the activity of northern winter extratropical cyclones and anticyclones under a greenhouse warming scenario. The first simulation uses the 1990 observed CO2, CH4, N2O, CFC-11, and CFC-12 concentrations, and the second adopts the year 2050 concentrations according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change business-as-usual scenario. Variables that describe the characteristic properties of the cyclone-scale eddies, such as surface cyclone and anticyclone frequency and the bandpassed root-mean-square of 500-hPa geopotential height, along with the Eady growth rate maximum, form a framework for the analysis of the cyclone and anticyclone activity.

Objective criteria are developed for identifying cyclone and anticyclone occurrences based on the 1000-hPa geopotential height and vorticity fields and tested using ECMWF analyses. The potential changes of the eddy activity under the greenhouse warming climate are then examined. Results indicate that the activity of cyclone-scale eddies decreases under the greenhouse warming scenario. This is not only reflected in the surface cyclone and anticyclone frequency and in the bandpassed rms of 500-hPa geopotential height, but is also discerned from the Eady growth rate maximum. Based on the analysis, three different physical mechanisms responsible for the decreased eddy activity are discussed: 1) a decrease of the extratropical meridional temperature gradient from the surface to the midtroposphere, 2) a reduction in the land–sea thermal contrast in the east coastal regions of the Asian and North American continents, and 3) an increase in the eddy meridional latent heat fluxes. Uncertainties in the results related to the limitations of the model and the model equilibrium simulations are discussed.

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Guoxing Chen and Wei-Chyung Wang

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Recently, Chen et al. used a combination of observations and WRF simulations to illustrate that the anthropogenic aerosol–cloud microphysics–radiation interactions over the southeast Pacific can potentially reduce the excessive shortwave radiation reaching the sea surface, a common bias identified in CMIP5 models. Here, with the aid of a mixed-layer ocean, the authors further study the implications of the shortwave radiation reduction to the underlying air–sea coupling, focusing on the SST sensitivity to the changes. Results show that responses of the air–sea coupling include two negative feedbacks (a large decrease in the latent heat flux and a small decrease in the sensible heat flux, both associated with the surface cooling) and a positive feedback (an increase in the cloud cover, caused by the increase in the relative humidity within the boundary layer, especially during the daytime). The 0.1°C (W m−2)−1 SST sensitivity is about half that documented in CMIP5 models. In addition, an effective daytime cloud fraction weighted with the solar diurnal cycle is proposed to facilitate diagnosing the intensity of cloud–radiation interactions in general circulation models.

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