Paper on easterly waves in the Eastern Atlantic that can form into tropical cyclones published in The Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

Easterly waves” are areas of low air pressure in the tropics that move westward and may become tropical cyclones. The most well-known type of easterly wave is the “African easterly wave,” which moves from West Africa north of the equator into the Atlantic Ocean and sometimes into the Pacific. Although almost all Northeast Pacific tropical cyclones develop from easterly waves, it is unclear how important the African waves are to this region. Most previous studies indicate that Northeast Pacific easterly waves are actually African easterly waves that cross Central America. However, it is difficult to observe an African easterly wave moving from the Atlantic to the Northeast Pacific. The authors were curious if easterly waves could develop in the Northeast Pacific. They used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to study if strong daily thunderstorms near the Gulf of Panama (i.e., Panama Bight) could produce enough wind to form easterly waves in the Northeast Pacific.Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 12.47.15 PM.png

Important Conclusions:

  1. Daily thunderstorms near the Gulf of Panama (i.e., Panama Bight) can create easterly waves locally or strengthen African easterly waves that cross over Central America. Either way, these easterly waves may form into tropical cyclones in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.
  2. When Central American mountains were removed in the model, there was less wind produced by thunderstorms near the Gulf of Panama and easterly waves were much weaker in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.
  3. When African easterly waves were blocked from entering the Northeast Pacific Ocean in the model, easterly waves there were weaker than they were if they moved in from the Atlantic.

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http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JAS-D-16-0124.1

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HRD researchers contribute to new textbook on recent advances in tropical cyclone research

The new textbook titled “Advanced Numerical Modeling and Data Assimilation Techniques for Tropical Cyclone Predictions”, was co-edited by HRD scientist Dr. Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan. It is based on a series of lectures by scientists from the US, India and Australia, at a workshop held in Bhubaneswar, India on 9-14 July 2012.  It provides information on recent advances in tropical cyclone observations, data assimilation (the process of getting these observations into forecast models), and these forecast models, and is meant to be used for teaching and reference at universities and research laboratories.  There is specific information about how tropical cyclones move, how their structure and strength changes, and forecasts of impacts like storm surge and rainfall.

The new textbook has 27 chapters, three of them authored by HRD scientists. The first chapter, by HRD Director Frank Marks, provides an overview of NOAA’s Hurricane Field Program, the use of aircraft observations for improving forecasts, and future observing technologies. Drs. Thiago Quirino and Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan discuss how to derive some useful and basic information from forecast models.  And a chapter on the Hurricane Boundary Layer by Dr. Gopalakrishnan and others shows the importance of near-surface processes that control structure and intensity change in tropical cyclones.

The textbook was first released in India during TROPMET 2016 Climate Change and Coastal Vulnerability organized by the Indian Meteorological Society (IMS), and is  available here.

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HRD Seminar – Kelly Ryan, CIMAS and AOML/HRD, NSSL, Norman, OK – 10 February 2017

Kelly Ryan presented a seminar titled  “OSSE Evaluation of the Impact of Aircraft Observations on Hurricane Analyses and Forecasts” at the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory NSSL.

ABSTRACT

Each year, NOAA/AOML’s Hurricane Research Division (HRD) conducts its Hurricane Field Program in which observations are collected via NOAA aircraft to improve the understanding and prediction of hurricanes. Mission experiments suggest a variety of flight patterns and sampling strategies aimed towards their respective goals described by the Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX; Rogers et al., BAMS, 2006, 2013), a collaborative effort among HRD, NHC, and EMC. Evaluating the potential impact of various trade-offs in design is valuable for determining the optimal air reconnaissance flight pattern for a given prospective mission. AOML’s HRD has developed a system for performing regional Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) to assess the potential impact of proposed observing systems on hurricane track and intensity forecasts and analyses. This study focuses on investigating the potential impact of proposed aircraft reconnaissance observing system designs. Aircraft instrument and flight level retrievals were simulated from a regional WRF ARW Nature Run (Nolan et al., 2013) spanning 13 days, covering the life cycle of a rapidly intensifying Atlantic tropical cyclone. The aircraft trajectories are simulated in a variety of ways and are evaluated to investigate the potential impact of aircraft reconnaissance observations on hurricane track and intensity forecasts.

 

A copy of the presentation is available on the anonymous ftp site: ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pub/blog/seminars/2017/Ryan_Seminar_NSSL_20170210.pptx

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HRD observation team monthly meeting – 16 February 2017

The purpose of the observation team meetings is to bring together the people who use observations in their research on a regular basis to discuss issues they’re having, provide updates on observations they’re analyzing or collecting, and any other information that may be of interest to the broader group.  These meetings are also an excellent opportunity to integrate all of the many uses of observations in HRD’s capacity to improve the understanding and prediction of tropical cyclones.

Agenda for February 2017:

  1. Hurricane Field Program (HFP) 2017 plans (Paul Reasor)
    • Updates on planning
    • Online form for submitting experiments/modules for HFP
    • Online form for submitting Lead Project Scientist mission summaries
  2. Potential for web-based aircraft data visualization (Brad Klotz)
  3. HWRF case studies of interest and analysis plans (Gus Alaka)
  4. Initial analysis of Hurricane Hermine and Tropical Storm Karl dropsondes in ashear-relative framework (Zawislak)

The presentation from the meeting is available on the anonymous ftp site: ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pub/blog/meetings/2017/Observations/HRD_ObsMeet_20170216.pptx

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HRD Monthly Science Meeting of February 2017

February’s science meeting consisted of 7 presentations:

  1. Bachir Annane: Impact of Simulated CYGNSS Ocean Surface Winds on Tropical Cyclone Analyses and Forecasts in a Regional OSSE Framework
  2. Mark Leidner (AER): Creating Vector Winds from Simulated CYGNSS Ocean Surface Wind Speed Retrievals Using Variational Analysis
  3. Brittany Dahl: Impact of Global Hawk Observing Strategies on Vortex-Scale Tropical Cyclone Analyses and Forecasts in an OSSE Framework
  4. Addison Alford (University of Oklahoma): An Update on the SMART Radar Observations of Hurricane Matthew
  5. Brian McNoldy (UM/RSMAS): An Evaluation of Satellite-Derived Atmospheric Motion Vector (AMV) Characteristics Using TCI HDSS Dropsondes
  6. Paul Reasor: Eddy contributions to the spin-up of a vertically-sheared TC in an axisymmetric balance model
  7. Heather Holbach: Preliminary Analysis of HIRAD Data

All the presentations are available on the anonymous ftp site at: ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pub/blog/meetings/2017/Science/HRD_SciMeeti_20170209.zip

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HRD & AOML researchers at 97th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA – 23-27 January 2017

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Abstracts and recordings of  the 25 presentations and 6 posters AOML & HRD researchers presented (or were co-authors) at the 97th AMS Annual Meeting are available online from the AMS website:

Presentations:

  1. Bachir Annane B. D. McNoldy, S. M. Leidner, R. N. Hoffman, R. Atlas, and S. J. Majumdar, Impact of Simulated CYGNSS Ocean Surface Winds on Tropical Cyclone Analyses and Forecasts in a Regional OSSE Framework
  2. Altug Aksoy, J. Cione, B. Dahl, K. Ryan, H. Christophersen, and R. Atlas, Evaluating the Impact of Hurricane Observations from the Unmanned Coyote Aircraft in Observing System Simulation Experiments
  3. Robert Atlas, Core Science Keynote on Observing System Simulation Experiments (Invited Presentation)
  4. Peter G. Black, J. P. Dunion, G. A. Wick, L. Cucurull, J. J. Coffey, J. Sippel, A. Aksoy, and J. R. Walker, NOAA’s Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) Project: Strategies for Improving and Augmenting Existing Satellite and Manned Aircraft Observations with Recent Pacific El Niño and Atlantic Hurricane Rapid Response Global Hawk Flights
  5. William J. Blackwell, S. A. Braun, R. Bennartz,  C. S. Velden, M. DeMaria, R. Atlas, J. P. Dunion, F. D. Marks Jr., and R. F. Rogers, The Tropics Smallsat Tropical Cyclone Mission: High Temporal Resolution Microwave Imagery As Part of Nasa’s Third Earth Venture-Instrument (EVI-3) Program
  6. Lisa Bucci, D. Emmitt, C. O’Handley, J. Zhang, K. Ryan, and R. Atlas, Impacts of an Airborne Doppler Wind Lidar on Tropical Cyclone Analyses and Forecasts
  7. Sean Casey, R. Atlas, R. N. Hoffman, L. Cucurull, and N. Shahroudi, Global OSSEs for Error-Added Geo-Hyper IR (IASI) Observations
  8. Hui Christophersen, A. Aksoy, J. P. Dunion, R. Atlas, K. Sellwood, and B. Dahl, Use of Global Hawk Observations in Combination with Satellite Observations for Optimal Tropical Cyclone Analyses and Forecasts
  9. Joe Cione, K. Twining, M. Silah, A. Brescia,  E. A. Kalina, A. Farber, C. Troudt, A. Ghanooni, B. B. Baker, E. J. Dumas Jr., T. Hock, J. A. Smith, J. French, C. W. Fairall, G. deBoer, and G. Bland, NOAA’s operational end game for the Coyote Unmanned Aircraft System
  10. Brittany Dahl, A. Aksoy, J. P. Dunion, and H. Christophersen, Impact of Global Hawk Observing Strategies on Vortex-Scale Tropical Cyclone Forecasts in an OSSE Framework
  11. Javier Delgado, R. Atlas and S. Gopalakrishnan, Overview of Running a Regional Basin Scale Nature Run for Hurricane OSSEs
  12. George R. Halliwell Jr., M. F. Mehari, V. H. Kourafalou, R. Atlas, H. S. Kang, M. Le Henaff, and Y. S. Androulidakis, OSSE Evaluation of Rapid-Response Ocean Profile Surveys Prior to Hurricanes Edouard and Gonzalo
  13. Mark Leidner, B. Annane, R. N. Hoffman, and R. Atlas, Creating Vector Winds from Simulated CYGNSS Ocean Surface Wind Speed Retrievals Using Variational Analysis
  14. Zhenglong Li, J. Li, P. Wang, A. Lim, T. J. Schmit, J. Li, F. W. Nagle, R. Atlas, S. A. Boukabara, T. Pagano, W. J. Blackwell, and J. Pereira, Quick Regional OSSEs on Cubesat Based IR/MW Sounders on Local Severe Storm Forecasts
  15. Frank MarksPioneering the Use of Doppler Radar in Tropical Cyclones
  16. Frank Marks, Landfalling Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Distributions
  17. Shirley Murillo, Chris Landesea, R2O via The Joint Hurricane Testbed
  18. David S. Nolan, and B. W. Klotz, Further Studies of Observational Undersampling of the Surface Wind and Pressure Fields in the Hurricane Inner-Core
  19. Christopher S. Ruf, R. Atlas, P. Chang, M. P. Clarizia, J. L. Garrison, S. Gleason, S. J. Katzberg, Z. Jelenak, J. T. Johnson, S. J. Majumdar, A. O’Brien, D. J. Posselt, D. provost, A. Ridley, R. Rose, F. Said, J. Scherrer, S. Soisuvarn, and V. Zavorotny, The NASA CYGNSS Satellite Constellation for Tropical Cyclone Observations
  20. Kelly Ryan, L. Bucci, J. Delgado, R. Atlas, C. W. Landsea, and S. Murillo, Improving NOAA G-IV Synoptic Surveillance Targeting for Tropical Cyclones by Evaluating Aircraft Reconnaissance Observations in an OSSE Framework
  21. Kathyrn Sellwood, H. Christophersen, A. Aksoy, B. Dahl, and J. Dunion, Impact of Assimilating Surface Wind Fields from the Hurricane Imaging Radiometer (HIRAD) on Analyses and Forecasts of Tropical Cyclones
  22. Fred Toepfer, E. Rappaport, F. D. Marks Jr., V. Tallapragada, S. G. Gopalakrishnan, and A. Mehra, The Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project: Advancements Made in Recent Operational Implementations
  23. John R. Walker, G. Wick, P. G. Black, J. P. Dunion, L. Cucurull, A. C. Kren, H. Wang, J. A. Sippel, M. B. Sporer, R. F. Morales Jr., and J. May, NOAA UAS Program’s Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) Project: A Case Study for the End-to-End Utilization of High- and Low-altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  24. Xuejin Zhang, G. J. Alaka Jr., B. Thomas, D. Sheinin, Z. Zhang, R. St. Fleur, S. Gopalakrishnan, and I. Ginis, Development on the Atmosphere-Ocean Coupled Basin-scale HWRF System: Targeting Research-to-Operation Transition
  25. Jun A. Zhang, F. D. Marks Jr. and X. Zhang, Improving Physical Parameterizations of the Operational Hurricane Weather and Research Forecast (HWRF) Model Using Aircraft Observations

Posters:

  1. Ghassan J. Alaka Jr., X. Zhang, Gopalakrishnan, and F. D. Marks Jr., Investigation of Tropical Cyclone Forecasts in the Basin-Scale HWRF Ensemble System
  2. Bachir Annane, M. Leidner, B. D. McNoldy, R. N. Hoffman, and R. Atlas, Assimilation of CYGNSS Ocean Surface Winds in HWRF
  3. Sean Casey, R. Atlas, R. N. Hoffman, L. Cucurull, J. S. Woollen, I. Moradi, N. Shahroudi, S. A. Boukabara, K. Ide, R. Li, N. Prive, and F. Yang, Creation of a Control Dataset and Forecast System for Global OSSEs
  4. Ross N. Hoffman, A. Boukabara, V. K. Kumar, K. Garrett, S. Casey, and R. Atlas, A Non-Parametric Definition of Summary NWP Forecast Assessment Metrics
  5. Leon Nguyen, R. F. Rogers, and P. Reasor, Thermodynamic and Kinematic Influences on Precipitation Symmetry in Sheared Tropical Cyclones: Bertha and Cristobal (2014)
  6. Robert Rogers, and J. Zawislak, Precipitation Structure Upshear and Its Role in Tropical Cyclone Intensification
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HRD observation team monthly meeting – 19 January 2017

The purpose of the observation team meetings is to bring together the people who use observations in their research on a regular basis to discuss issues they’re having, provide updates on observations they’re analyzing or collecting, and any other information that may be of interest to the broader group.  These meetings are also an excellent opportunity to integrate all of the many uses of observations in HRD’s capacity to improve the understanding and prediction of tropical cyclones.

Agenda for January 2017:

  1. Update on 2017 HFP (Paul Reasor)
  2. Coyote, IR/BT comparison, West Pacific updates (Joe Cione)
  3. DWL/dropsonde comparisons (Lisa Bucci)
  4. HIRAD observations for initialization of the HWRF vortex (Kathryn Sellwood)

The presentation from the meeting is available on the anonymous ftp site: ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pub/blog/meetings/2017/Observations/HRD_ObsMeet_20170119.pptx.

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HRD scientists participate in HFIP Annual Review, NHC, Miami, FL – 11-12 January 2017

The HFIP program is coordinated through 3 strategic planning teams (Model Development, Data Assimilation/Ensemble, and Post Processing and Verification Development) and 3 tiger teams (High Resolution Physics, Ensemble Product, and Ocean Model Impact). The HFIP strategic planning teams develop our multi-year strategy for improving hurricane forecast guidance, while the tiger teams are responsible for overseeing the development of specific new capabilities for the hurricane forecast guidance system. The goal of the Annual Review is to assess the past year’s accomplishments and to develop an integrated plan for next year that includes involvement across NOAA and from the community outside NOAA that leads to progress toward the overall HFIP goals. This meeting will provide updates from the various teams and discuss the NOAA strategy to address the hurricane problem under the Next Generation Global Prediction System developments. The agenda can be found here.

HRD scientists Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan, Frank Marks, and Xuejin Zhang provided invited presentations available here.

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HRD researchers provide overview of NOAA hurricane research at Indian Meteorological Society TROPMET 2016, Bhubaneswar, India – 18-20 December 2016

HRD researchers Drs. Frank Marks and Sundaraman Gopalakrishnan attended TROPMET 2016 Climate Change and Coastal Vulnerability organized by the Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) held at Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha to present an overview of NOAA’s hurricane research under the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP).

Copies of the slides from Drs. Marks’s and Gopalakrishnan’s presentations are available on the anonymous ftp site at ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pub/blog/seminars/2017/TROPMET-2016.zip.

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HRD & AOML researchers at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA – 12-16 December 2016

AOML & HRD researchers presented 4 presentations and 2 posters at the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting.

Presentations:

  1. Robert Atlas, Application of Observing System Simulation Experiments to determining requirements for space-based missions
  2. Hua Chen, S. Gopalakrishnan, and J. A. Zhang, The Role of Shallow Convection and Deep convection in the Intensity Changes of Hurricanes
  3. Evan A. Kalina, J. Cione, G. Bryan, D. Lenschow, and C. Fairall, Power spectra and eddy dissipation rate measured by the Coyote Unmanned Aircraft System in Hurricane Edouard (2014)
  4. Jun A. Zhang, L. Bucci, K. Ryan, D. Emmitt, C. O’Handley, R. Atlas, and F. D. Marks, The Boundary Layer of Tropical Storm Erika (2015) Observed by Airborne Doppler Wind Lidar

 

Posters:

  1. Bachir Annane, B. McNoldy, S. M. Leidner, R. Hoffman, R. Atlas, and S. Majumdar, Impact of CYGNSS Data on Tropical Cyclone Analyses and Forecasts in a Regional OSSE Framework
  2. Kelly Ryan, L. Bucci, J. Delgado, R. Atlas, S. Murillo, and P. Dodge, OSSE Evaluation of Aircraft Reconnaissance Observations and their Impact on Hurricane Analyses and Forecasts

Copies of the 4 presentations and 2 posters are available online at ftp://ftp.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/pub/blog/seminars/2017/AGU-2016.zip.

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