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Xiaowen Tang, Wen-Chau Lee, and Michael Bell

Abstract

The principal rainband in tropical cyclones is currently depicted as a solitary and continuous precipitation region. However, the airborne radar observations of the principal rainband in Typhoon Hagupit (2008) reveal multiple subrainband structures. These subbands possess many characteristics of the squall lines with trailing stratiform in the midlatitudes and are different from those documented in previous principal rainband studies. The updraft and reflectivity cores are upright and elevated. The updraft is fed by a low-level radial outflow from the inner side. The tangential wind speed shows a clear midlevel jet on the inner side of the reflectivity core. Except for the structural similarities, the dynamics of the subbands is also similar to the squall lines. The local environment near the subbands shows little convective inhibition, modest instability, and vertical wind shear. The temperature retrieval shows a cold pool structure in the stratiform precipitation region. The estimated vertical wind shear induced by the cold pool is close to that of the local environment. The structural and dynamic similarities to the squall lines imply that the variation of principal rainbands is subjected to convective-scale dynamics related to the local environment in addition to storm-scale dynamics. The subbands show positive impacts to the vortex intensity in terms of potential vorticity redistribution and absolute angular momentum advection. The positive impacts are closely related to specific structural characteristics of the subbands, which suggests the importance of understanding the convective-scale structure and dynamics of the principal rainband.

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Xiaowen Tang, Wen-Chau Lee, and Michael Bell

Abstract

This study examines the structure and dynamics of Typhoon Hagupit’s (2008) principal rainband using airborne radar and dropsonde observations. The convection in Hagupit’s principal rainband was organized into a well-defined line with trailing stratiform precipitation on the inner side. Individual convective cells had intense updrafts and downdrafts and were aligned in a wavelike pattern along the line. The line-averaged vertical cross section possessed a slightly inward-tilting convective core and two branches of low-level inflow feeding the convection. The result of a thermodynamic retrieval showed a pronounced cold pool behind the convective line. The horizontal and vertical structures of this principal rainband show characteristics that are different than the existing conceptual model and are more similar to squall lines and outer rainbands.

The unique convective structure of Hagupit’s principal rainband was associated with veering low-level vertical wind shear and large convective instability in the environment. A quantitative assessment of the cold pool strength showed that it was quasi balanced with that of the low-level vertical wind shear. The balanced state and the structural characteristics of convection in Hagupit’s principal rainband were dynamically consistent with the theory of cold pool dynamics widely applied to strong and long-lived squall lines. The analyses suggest that cold pool dynamics played a role in determining the principal rainband structure in addition to storm-scale vortex dynamics.

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George Ohring, Wen Tang, and Gloria DeSanto

Abstract

Estimates of the average surface temperature on Mars are derived from radiative equilibrium considerations. A minimum possible surface temperature is estimated by computing the radiative equilibrium temperature that the Martian surface would have if the planet had no atmosphere. An estimate of the maximum possible value of the average surface temperature is obtained by computing the surface temperature that would result from a maximum greenhouse model. The computations indicate that the average surface temperature is in the range 219K to 233K. Comparisons of the theoretical computations with indications of surface temperature obtained from thermal emission observations are found to be in reasonable agreement.

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Xiaowen Tang, Wen-Chau Lee, and Yuan Wang

Abstract

The application of the distance velocity azimuth display (DVAD) method to the retrieval of vertical wind profiles from single-Doppler radar observations is presented in this study. It was shown that Doppler velocity observations at a constant altitude can be expressed as a single polynomial function for both linear and nonlinear wind fields in DVAD. Only a one-step least squares fitting of a polynomial function is required to obtain the vertical wind profile of a real wind field. The mathematic formulation of DVAD results in two advantages over the traditional nonlinear VAD method used for the nonlinear analysis of single-Doppler observations. First, the requirement of only one-step least squares fitting leads to robust performance when Doppler velocity observations are contaminated by unevenly distributed data noise and voids. Second, the degree of nonlinearity to properly represent a real wind field can be directly estimated in DVAD instead of being empirically determined in the traditional method. A proper nonlinear wind model for approximating the real wind field can be objectively derived using the DVAD method. The merits of DVAD as a quantitative single-Doppler analysis method were compared with the traditional method using both idealized and real datasets. Results show that the simplicity and robust performance of DVAD make it a good candidate for single-Doppler retrieval in operational use.

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Wen-Chau Lee, Xiaowen Tang, and Ben J.-D. Jou

Abstract

The concept and mathematical framework of the distance velocity–azimuth display (DVAD) methodology is presented. DVAD uses rV d (Doppler velocity scaled by the distance from the radar to a gate, r) as the basis to display, interpret, and extract information from single Doppler radar observations. Both linear and nonlinear wind fields can be represented by the same Cartesian polynomial with different orders. DVAD is mathematically concise and superior to the velocity–azimuth display (VAD) in interpreting and deducing flow characteristics. The rV d pattern of a two-dimensional linear wind field is exclusively in the form of a bivariate quadratic equation representing conic sections (e.g., ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola) centered at the radar depending only on divergence and deformation. The presence of a constant background flow translates the conic sections to a different origin away from the radar. It is possible to graphically estimate the characteristics of a linear wind field from the conical sections without performing a VAD analysis. DVAD analysis can deduce quantitative flow characteristics by a least squares fitting and/or a derivative method, and is a natural way to account for nonlinearity. The rV d pattern behaves similar to a type of velocity potential in fluid mechanics where (rV d ) is a proxy of the true wind vector and is used to estimate the general flow pattern in the vicinity of the radar.

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Lingzhi Zhong, Rongfang Yang, Lin Chen, Yixin Wen, Ruiyi Li, Guoqiang Tang, and Yang Hong

Abstract

This study presents a statistical analysis of the variability of the vertical structure of precipitation in the eastern downstream region of the Tibetan Plateau as measured by the Precipitation Radar (PR) on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Data were analyzed over an 11-yr time span (January 2004–December 2014). The results show the seasonal and spatial variability of the storm height, freezing level, and bright band for different types of precipitation as well as the characteristics of intensity-related and type-related vertical profiles of reflectivity (VPR). Major findings were as follows: About 90% of the brightband peak reflectivity of stratiform precipitation was less than 32 dBZ, and 40% of the maximum reflectivity of convective precipitation exceeded 35 dBZ. The intensity of surface rainfall rates also depended on the shapes of VPRs. For stratiform precipitation, ice–snow aggregation was faster during moderate and heavy rainfall than it was in light rainfall. Since both the moisture and temperature are lower in winter, the transformation efficiency of hydrometeors becomes slower. Typical Ku-band representative climatological VPRs (CPRs) for stratiform precipitation have been created on the basis of the integration of normalized VPR shape for the given area and the rainfall intensity. All of the findings indicate that the developed CPRs can be used to improve surface precipitation estimates in regions with complex terrain where the ground-based radar net has limited visibility at low levels.

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Huaqing Cai, Wen-Chau Lee, Michael M. Bell, Cory A. Wolff, Xiaowen Tang, and Frank Roux

Abstract

Uncertainties in aircraft inertial navigation system and radar-pointing angles can have a large impact on the accuracy of airborne dual-Doppler analyses. The Testud et al. (THL) method has been routinely applied to data collected by airborne tail Doppler radars over flat and nonmoving terrain. The navigation correction method proposed in Georgis et al. (GRH) extended the THL method over complex terrain and moving ocean surfaces by using a variational formulation but its capability over ocean has yet to be tested. Recognizing the limitations of the THL method, Bosart et al. (BLW) proposed to derive ground speed, tilt, and drift errors by statistically comparing aircraft in situ wind with dual-Doppler wind at the flight level. When combined with the THL method, the BLW method can retrieve all navigation errors accurately; however, it can be applied only to flat surfaces, and it is rather difficult to automate. This paper presents a generalized navigation correction method (GNCM) based on the GRH method that will serve as a single algorithm for airborne tail Doppler radar navigation correction for all possible surface conditions. The GNCM includes all possible corrections in the cost function and implements a new closure assumption by taking advantage of an accurate aircraft ground speed derived from GPS technology. The GNCM is tested extensively using synthetic airborne Doppler radar data with known navigation errors and published datasets from previous field campaigns. Both tests show the GNCM is able to correct the navigation errors associated with airborne tail Doppler radar data with adequate accuracy.

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Xue-Fa Wen, Xuhui Lee, Xiao-Min Sun, Jian-Lin Wang, Ya-Kun Tang, Sheng-Gong Li, and Gui-Rui Yu

Abstract

The δ 18O and δD of atmospheric water vapor are important tracers in hydrological and ecological studies. Isotope ratio infrared spectroscopy (IRIS) provides an in situ technology for measuring δ 18O and δD in ambient conditions. An intercomparison experiment was carried out with four commercial IRIS analyzers to characterize their performance and transferability of calibration methods. Over a 15-day atmospheric measurement, during which the water vapor concentration ranged from 14 to 27 mol mol−1 and the isotopic ratios spanned about 90‰ and 13‰ for δD and δ 18O, respectively, these analyzers tracked the natural variability in ambient conditions very well and achieved an average difference between one another within 2‰ for δD and within 0.1‰ for δ 18O after calibration at appropriate frequencies. Two of the calibration methods (discrete liquid water injection and continuous dripping) agreed with each other within the tolerance thresholds of 2‰ for δD and 0.1‰ for δ 18O. The Rayleigh distillation technique appeared to be acceptable as a calibration standard for δD but not for δ 18O. The δD measurements were less prone to concentration dependence errors than the δ 18O measurements. The concentration dependence underscores the importance of using a calibration procedure at multiple mixing ratios to bracket the range of natural variability.

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Min-Hui Lo, Wen-Ying Wu, Lois Iping Tang, Dongryeol Ryu, Mehnaz Rashid, and Ren-Jie Wu

Abstract

One of the critical components in understanding the climate system is the interaction between the land and the atmosphere. Whereas previous studies on land–atmosphere coupling mostly focus on its spatial hotspots, we explore the temporal evolution of land surface coupling strength (LCS) during a large-scale flood event in a semiarid region in northern Australia. The LCS indicates the relationship between soil moisture and latent heat flux, and the spatiotemporal variability in precipitation and soil water strongly affects the variability of LCS. The LCS is usually positive in the semiarid climate, where evapotranspiration (ET) occurs under the soil moisture–limited regime and thus increases with soil moisture. However, our analyses of combined land surface modeling and observational datasets show high temporal variability of LCS in the course of the extreme flood event followed by a drying period. The wet regions transferred the ET regime from the soil moisture–limited to the transition section, weakening the linear growth of ET with soil moisture, which resulted in the decline of LCS. The LCS remained weak until the flood retreated and the soil water approached the prestorm average state. Such temporal variation of the LCS has important implications for realistic parameterization of the land–atmosphere coupling and consequently improving subseasonal to seasonal climate forecast.

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Jinyuan Xin, Yuesi Wang, Yuepeng Pan, Dongsheng Ji, Zirui Liu, Tianxue Wen, Yinghong Wang, Xingru Li, Yang Sun, Jie Sun, Pucai Wang, Gehui Wang, Xinming Wang, Zhiyuan Cong, Tao Song, Bo Hu, Lili Wang, Guiqian Tang, Wenkang Gao, Yuhong Guo, Hongyan Miao, Shili Tian, and Lu Wang

Abstract

Based on a network of field stations belonging to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Campaign on Atmospheric Aerosol Research network of China (CARE-China) was recently established as the country’s first monitoring network for the study of the spatiotemporal distribution of aerosol physical characteristics, chemical components, and optical properties, as well as aerosol gaseous precursors. The network comprises 36 stations in total and adopts a unified approach in terms of the instrumentation, experimental standards, and data specifications. This ongoing project is intended to provide an integrated research platform to monitor online PM2.5 concentrations, nine-size aerosol concentrations and chemical component distributions, nine-size secondary organic aerosol (SOA) component distributions, gaseous precursor concentrations (including SO2, NOx, CO, O3, and VOCs), and aerosol optical properties. The data will be used to identify the sources of regional aerosols, the relative contributions from nature and anthropogenic emissions, the formation of secondary aerosols, and the effects of aerosol component distributions on aerosol optical properties. The results will reduce the levels of uncertainty involved in the quantitative assessment of aerosol effects on regional climate and environmental changes and ultimately provide insight into how to mitigate anthropogenic aerosol emissions in China. The present paper provides a detailed description of the instrumentation, methodologies, and experimental procedures used across the network, as well as a case study of observations taken from one station and the distribution of main components of aerosol over China during 2012.

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