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Juanzhen Sun
and
Ying Zhang

Abstract

This paper presents a case study on the assimilation of observations from multiple Doppler radars of the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) network. A squall-line case documented during the International H2O Project (IHOP_2002) is used for the study. Radar radial velocity and reflectivity observations from four NEXRADs are assimilated into a convection-permitting model using a four-dimensional variational data assimilation (4DVAR) scheme. A mesoscale analysis using a supplementary sounding, velocity–azimuth display (VAD) profiles, and surface observations from Meteorological Aerodrome Reports (METAR) are produced and used to provide a background and boundary conditions for the 4DVAR radar data assimilation. Impact of the radar data assimilation is assessed by verifying the skill of the subsequent very short-term (5 h) forecasts.

Assimilation and forecasting experiments are conducted to examine the impact of radar data assimilation on the subsequent precipitation forecasts. It is found that the 4DVAR radar data assimilation significantly reduces the model spinup required in the experiments without radar data assimilation, resulting in significantly improved 5-h forecasts. Additional experiments are conducted to study the sensitivity of the precipitation forecasts with respect to 4DVAR cycling configurations. Results from these experiments suggest that the forecasts with three 4DVAR cycles are improved over those with cold start, but the cycling impact seems to diminish with more cycles. The impact of observations from each of the individual radars is also examined by conducting a set of experiments in which data from each radar are alternately excluded. It is found that the accurate analysis of the environmental wind surrounding the convective cells is important in successfully predicting the squall line.

Full access
Hong Yin
and
Ying Sun

Abstract

Threshold indices of extreme temperature are defined based on temperature values that fall above or below fixed thresholds and thus have important implications for agriculture, engineering, and human health. Here, we focus on four extreme temperature fixed threshold indices and their detection and attribution at the global and continental scales, as well as within China. These indices include the number of days with daily minimum temperatures below 0°C [frost days (FD)] and above 20°C [tropical nights (TR)] and the number of days with daily maximum temperatures below 0°C [ice days (ID)] and above 25°C [summer days (SU)]. We employ an optimal fingerprinting method to compare the spatial and temporal changes in these fixed threshold indices assessed from observations and simulations performed with multiple models. We find that an anthropogenic signal can be robustly detected in these fixed threshold indices at scales of over the globe, most of the continents, and China. A natural signal cannot be identified in the changes in most of the indices, thus indicating the dominant role of anthropogenic forcing in producing these changes. In North and South America, the models show poor performance in reproducing the fixed threshold indices related to daily maximum temperature. The changes in summer days are not clearly related to their responses to external forcing over these two continents. This study provides a useful complement to other detection studies and sheds light on the importance of anthropogenic forcing in determining most of the fixed threshold indices at the global scale and over most of the continents, compared with internal variability.

Open access
Hong Yin
and
Ying Sun

Abstract

Human influence on regional warming since 1901 has received little attention because of limited data during the early period. This study investigates the relative contribution of different external forcings to observed annual, summer, and winter warming in China over the period 1901–2018. First, four observational datasets were compared to validate data representativeness, particularly during the early twentieth century. Observed temperature changes were then compared with outputs from phases 5 and 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5 and CMIP6) based on an optimal fingerprinting method. Generally, both generations of climate models were able to reliably reproduce long-term warming in China over the period 1901–2018; however, they slightly underestimate the amplitude of annual and winter temperature increases. The observed annual warming of 1.54°C from 1901 to 2018 was more rapid than the global mean and was mostly attributable to the anthropogenic forcing signal. The three-signal detection analyses, including greenhouse gas (GHG), anthropogenic aerosol (AA), and natural external (NAT) forcings, indicated the detectable and distinct influence of GHG and AA signals on annual, summer, and winter temperatures during 1901–2018. For annual mean temperature, the GHG and AA contributed to 2.06°C (from 1.58° to 2.54°C) and −0.45°C (from −0.17° to −0.73°C) of observed change, respectively. The GHG signal was detectable from individual CMIP6 models and thus was indicative of the robustness of this influence. While during 1951–2018, GHG and AA were simultaneously detected in the summer temperatures based on the CMIP6 models; here, the AA cooling effects offset approximately 25% of GHG-induced warming.

Open access
Chunhui Lu
,
Ying Sun
, and
Xuebin Zhang
Open access
Siyan Dong
,
Ying Sun
, and
Chao Li

Abstract

This paper examines the possible influence of external forcings on observed changes in precipitation extremes in the mid-to-high latitudes of Asia during 1958–2012 and attempts to identify particular extreme precipitation indices on which there are better chances to detect the influence of external forcings. We compare a recently compiled dataset of observed extreme indices with those from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) simulations using an optimal fingerprinting method. We consider six indices that characterize different aspects of extreme precipitation, including annual maximum amount of precipitation falling in 1 day (Rx1day) or 5 days (Rx5day), the total amount of precipitation from the top 5% or top 1% daily amount on wet days, and the fraction of the annual total precipitation from these events. For single-signal analysis, the fingerprints of external forcings including anthropogenic agents are robustly detected in most studied extreme indices over all Asia and for midlatitude Asia but not for high-latitude Asia. For two-signal analysis, anthropogenic influence is detectable in these indices over Asia at 5% or slightly less than 5% significance level, whereas natural influence is not detectable. In high-latitude Asia, anthropogenic influence is detected only in a fractional index, representing a stark contrast to the midlatitude and full Asia results. We find relatively smaller internal variability and thus higher signal-to-noise ratio in the fractional indices when compared with the other ones. Our results point to the need for studying precipitation extreme indices that are less affected by internal variability while still representing the relevant nature of precipitation extremes to improve the possibility of detecting a forced signal if one is present in the data.

Open access
Chunhui Lu
,
Ying Sun
, and
Xuebin Zhang

Abstract

The diurnal temperature range (DTR) as measured by the difference between daily maximum (Tmax) and minimum (Tmin) temperatures is of great importance to human health, ecology, and agriculture. The link of its long-term change to anthropogenic forcing is still unclear. This study shows evidence of human influence on long-term changes in DTR over the globe, five continents, and China during the past century (1901–2014). Using multiple observational datasets, we find a general decrease in the DTR over most of the global land since 1901, especially after the mid-1950s. Changes in DTR are due to different warming rates of Tmax and Tmin in response to external forcings. The climate models that participated in phase 6 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) generally reproduce most of the changes in DTR, along with those in Tmax and Tmin. The models have underestimated the observed changes in DTR, however. A formal detection and attribution analysis shows that the anthropogenic forcing signal, including both greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions but dominated by the greenhouse gas emissions, is the main driver for these changes. The anthropogenic aerosol signal can be detected in Tmax and Tmin but not in DTR during the period of 1901–2014 over the globe and most continents. These indicate the observed decrease in DTR is not a simple response to anthropogenic aerosol emission. The natural signal is negligible in almost all the cases. Globally, anthropogenic influence is estimated to explain more than 90% of the observed changes in the three variables. In China, human influence is also clearly detected, although model simulated results on the regional scale have larger deviation.

Significance Statement

The diurnal temperature range (DTR) is of great importance in many areas. We compare multiple observational datasets with the simulations by climate models that participated in the latest phase (phase 6) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), finding evidence of human influence on long-term changes in DTR over the past century (1901–2014) and robust evidence for the period since the early 1950s. The decrease in DTR as seen in the observational dataset is caused by different warming rates of daily maximum and daily minimum temperature in response to anthropogenic forcing, including both greenhouse gases and aerosols.

Open access
Guangxin He
,
Juanzhen Sun
, and
Zhuming Ying

Abstract

Accurate and automated dealiasing of radar data is important for data interpretation and downstream applications such as numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. In this paper an improved radial velocity dealiasing scheme is presented and evaluated using observations from several S-band radars under the severe weather conditions of typhoons and hurricanes. This scheme, named Automated Dealiasing for Typhoon and Hurricane (ADTH), is a further development of the China New Generation Doppler Weather Radar (CINRAD) improved dealiasing algorithm (CIDA). The upgraded algorithm ADTH includes three modules designed to select the first radial from which the dealiasing process starts, to conduct a two-way multipass dealiasing, and to perform an error check for a final local dealiasing. The dealiasing algorithm is applied to two typhoon hurricane cases and four typhoon cases observed with radars from CINRAD, NEXRAD of the United States, and the Taiwan radar network for a continuous period of 12 h for each of the selected cases. The results show that ADTH outperforms CIDA for all of the test cases.

Full access
Shibo Gao
,
Juanzhen Sun
,
Jinzhong Min
,
Ying Zhang
, and
Zhuming Ying

Abstract

Radar reflectivity observations contain valuable information on precipitation and have been assimilated into numerical weather prediction models for improved microphysics initialization. However, low-reflectivity (or so-called no rain) echoes have often been ignored or not effectively used in radar data assimilation schemes. In this paper, a scheme to assimilate no-rain radar observations is described within the framework of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model’s three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVar) system, and its impact on precipitation forecasts is demonstrated. The key feature of the scheme is a neighborhood-based approach to adjusting water vapor when a grid point is deemed as no rain. The performance of the scheme is first examined using a severe convective case in the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and then verified by running the 3DVar system in the same region, with and without the no-rain assimilation scheme for 68 days and 3-hourly rapid update cycles. It is shown that the no-rain data assimilation method reduces the bias and false alarm ratio of precipitation over its counterpart without that assimilation. The no-rain assimilation also improved humidity, temperature, and wind fields, with the largest error reduction in the water vapor field, both near the surface and at upper levels. It is also shown that the advantage of the scheme is in its ability to conserve total water content in cycled radar data assimilation, which cannot be achieved by assimilating only precipitation echoes.

Full access
Claire Burke
,
Peter Stott
,
Andrew Ciavarella
, and
Ying Sun
Full access
Ting Hu
,
Ying Sun
,
Xuebin Zhang
, and
Dongqian Wang

Greenhouse gas forcing has increased the likelihood of events like the 2021 wettest September in northern China by approximately twofold, while anthropogenic aerosols play a relatively minor suppressing role.

Open access