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B. J. Hoskins
and
G.-Y. Yang

Abstract

The global perspective presented here is built on earlier papers discussing the dynamics of the upper branch of the Hadley cell in the two solsticial seasons. The role of the tropics is made explicit in a conceptual model that is presented and evaluated. The fluctuation of deep tropical convection in longitude and time is seen as crucial. The filamentary outflows from such convective events move westward and across the equator deep into the winter hemisphere. The horizontal tilt of the cross-equatorial flow implies a significant upper-tropospheric flux of westerly momentum from the winter tropics to the summer hemisphere. These properties are related to the cross-equatorial propagation of wave activity triggered by deep tropical convection in the summer hemisphere. The filaments carry with them near-equatorial values of absolute vorticity and potential vorticity. After turning anticyclonically, some filaments move eastward and poleward to the equatorial edge of the winter subtropical jet. There is strong evidence they can interact with the eddies on this jet and enhance their poleward westerly momentum flux. In the global perspective, tropical and extratropical systems and the interaction between them are all important for the dynamics of the upper branch of the Hadley cell.

significance statement

The Hadley cell is the large-scale overturning in the atmosphere with air in the upper troposphere moving from the equatorial region to near 30° in the winter hemisphere. In the standard view it is midlatitude weather systems that are responsible for removing angular momentum from this upper branch of the Hadley cell. Here it is proposed that tropical systems and their interaction with the midlatitude systems are also important. Insight into the role of the tropics in the dynamics of the Hadley cell can be obtained by considering it as the sum of many events of active deep convection occurring in different longitudes and at different times.

Open access
B. J. Hoskins
and
G.-Y. Yang

Abstract

This paper complements an earlier paper on the June–August Hadley cell by giving a detailed analysis of the December–February Hadley cell as seen in a 30-yr climatology of ERA-Interim data. The focus is on the dynamics of the upper branch of the Hadley cell. There are significant differences between the Hadley cells in the two solsticial seasons. These are particularly associated with the ITCZs staying north of the equator and with mean westerlies in the equatorial regions of the east Pacific and Atlantic in December–February. The latter enables westward-moving mixed Rossby–gravity waves to be slow moving in those regions and therefore respond strongly to upstream off-equatorial active convection. However, the main result is that in both seasons it is the regions and times of active convection that predominantly lead to upper-tropospheric outflows and structures that average to give the mean flow toward the winter pole, and the steady and transient fluxes of momentum and vorticity that balance the Coriolis terms. The response to active convection in preferred regions is shown by means of regressions on the data from the climatology and by synoptic examples from one season. Eddies with tropical origin are seen to be important in their own right and also in their interaction with higher-latitude systems. There is support for the relevance of a new conceptual model of the Hadley cell based on the sporadic nature of active tropical convection in time and space.

Open access
T. Y. Tang
,
Y. Hsueh
,
Y. J. Yang
, and
J. C. Ma

Abstract

Hydrographic observations and current measurements with a Shipboard Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler over the continental shelf–slope junction northeast of Taiwan during 10–17 August 1994 allow the construction of the mesoscale flow pattern generated by the collision of the Kuroshio and a stretch of the continental shelf that has turned to run nearly east–west. The pattern is made up of a deflected Kuroshio mainstream to the east, an intrusion of Kuroshio water onto the continental shelf region, a counterclockwise circulation over Mien-Hwa Canyon (MHC) immediately northeast of Taiwan, a deep southwestward countercurrent along the northern wall of MHC, and a seaward outflow of continental shelf water around the northern coast of Taiwan. The hydrography features a cold dome over the west side of MHC that consisted of subsurface Kuroshio water. A temperature–salinity plot of all the station data shows the incorporation in the neighborhood of Taiwan of continental shelf water into the Kuroshio.

Full access
X. Yang
,
E. F. Wood
,
J. Sheffield
,
L. Ren
,
M. Zhang
, and
Y. Wang

ABSTRACT

In this study, the equidistant cumulative distribution function (EDCDF) quantile-based mapping method was used to develop bias-corrected and downscaled monthly precipitation and temperature for China at 0.5° × 0.5° spatial resolution for the period 1961–2099 for eight CMIP5 GCM simulations. The downscaled dataset was constructed by combining observations from 756 meteorological stations across China with the monthly GCM outputs for the historical (1961–2005) and future (2006–99) periods for the lower (RCP2.6), medium (RCP4.5), and high (RCP8.5) representative concentration pathway emission scenarios. The jackknife method was used to cross validate the performance of the EDCDF method and was compared with the traditional quantile-based matching method (CDF method). This indicated that the performance of the two methods was generally comparable over the historic period, but the EDCDF was more efficient at reducing biases than the CDF method across China. The two methods had similar mean absolute error (MAE) for temperature in January and July. The EDCDF method had a slight advantage over the CDF method for precipitation, reducing the MAE by about 0.83% and 1.2% at a significance level of 95% in January and July, respectively. For future projections, both methods exhibited similar spatial patterns for longer periods (2061–90) under the RCP8.5 scenario. However, the EDCDF was more sensitive to a reduction in variability.

Full access
X. Y. Zhang
,
Y. Q. Wang
,
W. L. Lin
,
Y. M. Zhang
,
X. C. Zhang
,
S. Gong
,
P. Zhao
,
Y. Q. Yang
,
J. Z. Wang
,
Q. Hou
,
X. L. Zhang
,
H. Z. Che
,
J. P. Guo
, and
Y. Li

Before and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics from June to September, ground-based and satellite monitoring were carried out over Beijing and its vicinity (BIV) in a campaign to quantify the outcomes of various emission control measures. These include hourly surface PM10 and PM2.5 and their fraction of black carbon (BC), organics, nitrate, sulfate, ammonium, and daily aerosol optical depth (AOD), together with hourly reactive gases, surface ozone, and daily columnar NO2 from satellite. The analyses, excluding the estimates from weather contributions, demonstrate that after the control measures, including banning ~300,000 “yellow-tag” vehicles from roads, the even–odd turn of motor vehicles on the roads, and emission reduction aiming at coal combustion, were implemented, air quality in Beijing improved substantially. The levels of NO, NO2, NOx, CO, SO2, BC, organics, and nitrate dropped by about 30%–60% and the ozone moderately increased by ~40% while the sulfate and ammonium exhibited different patterns during various control stages. Weather conditions have a great impact on the summertime secondary aerosol (~80% of total PM) and O3 formations over BIV. During the Olympic Game period, various atmospheric components decreased dramatically at Beijing compared to the same period in the previous years. This decrease was related not only to the implementation of rigorous control measures, but also to the favorable weather processes. The subtropical high was located to the south so that Beijing's weather was dominated by the interaction between a frequently eastward shifting trough in the westerlies and a cold continental high with clear to cloudy days or showery weather.

Full access
B. L. Cheong
,
R. D. Palmer
,
T-Y. Yu
,
K-F. Yang
,
M. W. Hoffman
,
S. J. Frasier
, and
F. J. Lopez-Dekker

Abstract

In this work, the accuracy of the Doppler beam-swinging (DBS) technique for wind measurements is studied using an imaging radar—the turbulent eddy profiler (TEP) developed by the University of Massachusetts, with data collected in summer 2003. With up to 64 independent receivers, and using coherent radar imaging (CRI), several hundred partially independent beams can be formed simultaneously within the volume defined by the transmit beam. By selecting a subset of these beams, an unprecedented number of DBS configurations with varying zenith angle, azimuth angle, and number of beams can be investigated. The angular distributions of echo power and radial velocity obtained by CRI provide a unique opportunity to validate the inherent assumption in the DBS method of homogeneity across the region defined by the beam directions. Through comparison with a reference wind field, calculated as the optimal uniform wind field derived from all CRI beams with sufficient signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the accuracy of the wind estimates for various DBS configurations is statistically analyzed. It is shown that for a three-beam DBS configuration, although the validity of the homogeneity assumption is enhanced at smaller zenith angles, the root-mean-square (RMS) error increases because of the ill-conditioned matrix in the DBS algorithm. As expected, inhomogeneities in the wind field produce large bias for the three-beam DBS configuration for large zenith angles. An optimal zenith angle, in terms of RMS error, of approximately 9°–10° was estimated. It is further shown that RMS error can be significantly reduced by increasing the number of off-vertical beams used for the DBS processing.

Full access
Christian Kummerow
,
Y. Hong
,
W. S. Olson
,
S. Yang
,
R. F. Adler
,
J. McCollum
,
R. Ferraro
,
G. Petty
,
D-B. Shin
, and
T. T. Wilheit

Abstract

This paper describes the latest improvements applied to the Goddard profiling algorithm (GPROF), particularly as they apply to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). Most of these improvements, however, are conceptual in nature and apply equally to other passive microwave sensors. The improvements were motivated by a notable overestimation of precipitation in the intertropical convergence zone. This problem was traced back to the algorithm's poor separation between convective and stratiform precipitation coupled with a poor separation between stratiform and transition regions in the a priori cloud model database. In addition to now using an improved convective–stratiform classification scheme, the new algorithm also makes use of emission and scattering indices instead of individual brightness temperatures. Brightness temperature indices have the advantage of being monotonic functions of rainfall. This, in turn, has allowed the algorithm to better define the uncertainties needed by the scheme's Bayesian inversion approach. Last, the algorithm over land has been modified primarily to better account for ambiguous classification where the scattering signature of precipitation could be confused with surface signals. All these changes have been implemented for both the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I). Results from both sensors are very similar at the storm scale and for global averages. Surface rainfall products from the algorithm's operational version have been compared with conventional rainfall data over both land and oceans. Over oceans, GPROF results compare well with atoll gauge data. GPROF is biased negatively by 9% with a correlation of 0.86 for monthly 2.5° averages over the atolls. If only grid boxes with two or more atolls are used, the correlation increases to 0.91 but GPROF becomes positively biased by 6%. Comparisons with TRMM ground validation products from Kwajalein reveal that GPROF is negatively biased by 32%, with a correlation of 0.95 when coincident images of the TMI and Kwajalein radar are used. The absolute magnitude of rainfall measured from the Kwajalein radar, however, remains uncertain, and GPROF overestimates the rainfall by approximately 18% when compared with estimates done by a different research group. Over land, GPROF shows a positive bias of 17% and a correlation of 0.80 over monthly 5° grids when compared with the Global Precipitation Climatology Center (GPCC) gauge network. When compared with the precipitation radar (PR) over land, GPROF also retrieves higher rainfall amounts (20%). No vertical hydrometeor profile information is available over land. The correlation with the TRMM precipitation radar is 0.92 over monthly 5° grids, but GPROF is positively biased by 24% relative to the radar over oceans. Differences between TMI- and PR-derived vertical hydrometeor profiles below 2 km are consistent with this bias but become more significant with altitude. Above 8 km, the sensors disagree significantly, but the information content is low from both TMI and PR. The consistent bias between these two sensors without clear guidance from the ground-based data reinforces the need for better understanding of the physical assumptions going into these retrievals.

Full access
Bryan A. Baum
,
Ping Yang
,
Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Steven Platnick
,
Michael D. King
,
Y-X. Hu
, and
Sarah T. Bedka

Abstract

This study examines the development of bulk single-scattering properties of ice clouds, including single-scattering albedo, asymmetry factor, and phase function, for a set of 1117 particle size distributions obtained from analysis of the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Regional Experiment (FIRE)-I, FIRE-II, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program intensive observation period, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Kwajalein Experiment (KWAJEX), and the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers (CRYSTAL) Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (FACE) data. The primary focus is to develop band-averaged models appropriate for use by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imager on the Earth Observing System Terra and Aqua platforms, specifically for bands located at wavelengths of 0.65, 1.64, 2.13, and 3.75 μm. The results indicate that there are substantial differences in the bulk scattering properties of ice clouds formed in areas of deep convection and those that exist in areas of much lower updraft velocities. Band-averaged bulk scattering property results obtained from a particle-size-dependent mixture of ice crystal habits are compared with those obtained assuming only solid hexagonal columns. The single-scattering albedo is lower for hexagonal columns than for a habit mixture for the 1.64-, 2.13-, and 3.75-μm bands, with the differences increasing with wavelength. In contrast, the asymmetry factors obtained from the habit mixture and only the solid hexagonal column are most different at 0.65 μm, with the differences decreasing as wavelength increases. At 3.75 μm, the asymmetry factor results from the two habit assumptions are almost indistinguishable. The asymmetry factor, single-scattering albedo, and scattering phase functions are also compared with the MODIS version-1 (V1) models. Differences between the current and V1 models can be traced to the microphysical models and specifically to the number of both the smallest and the largest particles assumed in the size distributions.

Full access
H. R. Langehaug
,
P. Ortega
,
F. Counillon
,
D. Matei
,
E. Maroon
,
N. Keenlyside
,
J. Mignot
,
Y. Wang
,
D. Swingedouw
,
I. Bethke
,
S. Yang
,
G. Danabasoglu
,
A. Bellucci
,
P. Ruggieri
,
D. Nicolì
, and
M. Årthun

Abstract

We assess to what extent seven state-of-the-art dynamical prediction systems can retrospectively predict winter sea surface temperature (SST) in the subpolar North Atlantic and the Nordic seas in the period 1970–2005. We focus on the region where warm water flows poleward (i.e., the Atlantic water pathway to the Arctic) and on interannual-to-decadal time scales. Observational studies demonstrate predictability several years in advance in this region, but we find that SST skill is low with significant skill only at a lead time of 1–2 years. To better understand why the prediction systems have predictive skill or lack thereof, we assess the skill of the systems to reproduce a spatiotemporal SST pattern based on observations. The physical mechanism underlying this pattern is a propagation of oceanic anomalies from low to high latitudes along the major currents, the North Atlantic Current and the Norwegian Atlantic Current. We find that the prediction systems have difficulties in reproducing this pattern. To identify whether the misrepresentation is due to incorrect model physics, we assess the respective uninitialized historical simulations. These simulations also tend to misrepresent the spatiotemporal SST pattern, indicating that the physical mechanism is not properly simulated. However, the representation of the pattern is slightly degraded in the predictions compared to historical runs, which could be a result of initialization shocks and forecast drift effects. Ways to enhance predictions could include improved initialization and better simulation of poleward circulation of anomalies. This might require model resolutions in which flow over complex bathymetry and the physics of mesoscale ocean eddies and their interactions with the atmosphere are resolved.

Significance Statement

In this study, we find that dynamical prediction systems and their respective climate models struggle to realistically represent ocean surface temperature variability in the eastern subpolar North Atlantic and Nordic seas on interannual-to-decadal time scales. In previous studies, ocean advection is proposed as a key mechanism in propagating temperature anomalies along the Atlantic water pathway toward the Arctic Ocean. Our analysis suggests that the predicted temperature anomalies are not properly circulated to the north; this is a result of model errors that seems to be exacerbated by the effect of initialization shocks and forecast drift. Better climate predictions in the study region will thus require improving the initialization step, as well as enhancing process representation in the climate models.

Open access
D. S. Gutzler
,
H. - K. Kim
,
R. W. Higgins
,
H. - M. H. Juang
,
M. Kanamitsu
,
K. Mitchell
,
K. Mo
,
P. Pegion
,
E. Ritchie
,
J. - K. Schemm
,
S. Schubert
,
Y. Song
, and
R. Yang
Full access