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Tetsu Sakai, Tomohiro Nagai, Masahisa Nakazato, Takatsugu Matsumura, Narihiro Orikasa, and Yoshinori Shoji

Abstract

The vertical distribution profiles of the water vapor mixing ratio (w) were measured by Raman lidar at the Meteorological Research Institute, Japan, during the period from 2000 to 2004. The measured values were compared with those obtained with radiosondes, hygrometers on a meteorological observation tower, and global positioning system (GPS) antennas near the lidar site. The values of w obtained with the lidar were lower than those obtained with the corrected Meisei RS2-91 radiosonde by 1.2% on average and higher than those obtained with the corrected Vaisala RS80-A radiosonde by 17% for w ≥ 0.5 g kg−1. The lidar data were higher than those radiosondes’ data by 19% or 33% for w < 0.5 g kg−1. The vertical variations of w obtained with the lidar differed from those obtained with the Meisei RS-01G radiosonde and Meteolabor Snow White radiosonde by 5% on average for w ≥ 0.5 g kg−1. The lidar data were lower than those radiosondes’ data by 37% or 39% for w < 0.5 g kg−1. The temporal variations of w obtained with the lidar and the hygrometers on the meteorological tower agreed to within 0.4% at a height of 213 m, although the absolute values differed systematically by 9%–14% due to the incomplete overlap of the laser beam and the receiver’s field of view at heights between 50 and 150 m. The precipitable water vapor obtained with the lidar indicated a mean positive bias of 2 mm (9%–11%) relative to those obtained with GPS. The lidar water vapor calibration coefficient that was calculated using RS2-91 radiosonde data varied by 11% during an 18-month period. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an accurate, yet convenient, method for determining the calibration coefficient for the use of the lidar.

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Takuya Kawabata, Hironori Iwai, Hiromu Seko, Yoshinori Shoji, Kazuo Saito, Shoken Ishii, and Kohei Mizutani

Abstract

The authors evaluated the effects of assimilating three-dimensional Doppler wind lidar (DWL) data on the forecast of the heavy rainfall event of 5 July 2010 in Japan, produced by an isolated mesoscale convective system (MCS) at a meso-gamma scale in a system consisting of only warm rain clouds. Several impact experiments using the nonhydrostatic four-dimensional variational data assimilation system (NHM-4DVAR) and the Japan Meteorological Agency nonhydrostatic model with a 2-km horizontal grid spacing were conducted in which 1) no observations were assimilated (NODA), 2) radar reflectivity and radial velocity determined by Doppler radar and precipitable water vapor determined by GPS satellite observations were assimilated (CTL), and 3) radial velocity determined by DWL were added to the CTL experiment (LDR) and five data denial and two observational error sensitivity experiments. Although both NODA and CTL simulated an MCS, only LDR captured the intensity, location, and horizontal scale of the observed MCS. Assimilating DWL data improved the wind direction and speed of low-level airflows, thus improving the accuracy of the simulated water vapor flux. The examination of the impacts of specific assimilations and assigned observation errors showed that assimilation of all data types is important for forecasting intense MCSs. The investigation of the MCS structure showed that large amounts of water vapor were supplied to the rainfall event by southerly flow. A midlevel inversion layer led to the production of exclusively liquid water particles in the MCS, and in combination with the humid airflow into the MCS, this inversion layer may be another important factor in its development.

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Tsuyoshi Nakatani, Ryohei Misumi, Yoshinori Shoji, Kazuo Saito, Hiromu Seko, Naoko Seino, Shin-ichi Suzuki, Yukari Shusse, Takeshi Maesaka, and Hirofumi Sugawara
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Ryohei Misumi, Yoshinori Shoji, Kazuo Saito, Hiromu Seko, Naoko Seino, Shin-ichi Suzuki, Yukari Shusse, Kohin Hirano, Stéphane Bélair, V. Chandrasekar, Dong-In Lee, Augusto Jose Pereira Filho, Tsuyoshi Nakatani, and Masayuki Maki

Abstract

The Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS) began as a Japanese domestic research project in 2010 and aimed to elucidate the mechanisms behind local high-impact weather (LHIW) in urban areas, to improve forecasting techniques for LHIW, and to provide high-resolution weather information to end-users (local governments, private companies, and the general public) through social experiments. Since 2013, the project has been expanded as an international Research and Development Project (RDP) of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Through this project, the following results were obtained: 1) observation data for LHIW around Tokyo were recorded using a dense network of X-band radars, a C-band polarimetric radar, a Ku-band fast-scanning radar, coherent Doppler lidars, and the Global Navigation Satellite System; 2) quantitative precipitation estimation algorithms for X-band polarimetric radars have been developed as part of an international collaboration; 3) convection initiation by the interaction of sea breezes and urban impacts on the occurrence of heavy precipitation around Tokyo were elucidated by a dense observation network, high-resolution numerical simulations, and different urban surface models; 4) an “imminent” nowcast system based on the vertically integrated liquid water derived from the X-band polarimetric radar network has been developed; 5) assimilation methods for data from advanced observation instruments such as coherent Doppler lidars and polarimetric radars were developed; and 6) public use of high-resolution radar data were promoted through the social experiments.

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