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Atmosphere, Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2017)

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Cover Story Classical radar range height indicators (top panels) reveal, in more detail, some of the specific [...] Read more.
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Research

Open AccessArticle The Urban Heat Island Effect and the Role of Vegetation to Address the Negative Impacts of Local Climate Changes in a Small Brazilian City
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 18; doi:10.3390/atmos8020018
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
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Abstract
This study analyzes the influence of urban-geographical variables on determining heat islands and proposes a model to estimate and spatialize the maximum intensity of urban heat islands (UHI). Simulations of the UHI based on the increase of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), using
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This study analyzes the influence of urban-geographical variables on determining heat islands and proposes a model to estimate and spatialize the maximum intensity of urban heat islands (UHI). Simulations of the UHI based on the increase of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), using multiple linear regression, in Iporá (Brazil) are also presented. The results showed that the UHI intensity of this small city tended to be lower than that of bigger cities. Urban geometry and vegetation (UI and NDVI) were the variables that contributed the most to explain the variability of the maximum UHI intensity. It was observed that areas located in valleys had lower thermal values, suggesting a cool island effect. With the increase in NDVI in the central area of a maximum UHI, there was a significant decrease in its intensity and size (a 45% area reduction). It is noteworthy that it was possible to spatialize the UHI to the whole urban area by using multiple linear regression, providing an analysis of the urban set from urban-geographical variables and thus performing prognostic simulations that can be adapted to other small tropical cities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Use of Combined Observational- and Model-Derived Photochemical Indicators to Assess the O3-NOx-VOC System Sensitivity in Urban Areas
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 22; doi:10.3390/atmos8020022
Received: 10 December 2016 / Revised: 14 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
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Abstract
Tropospheric levels of O3 have historically exceeded the official annual Mexican standards within the Monterrey Metropolitan Area (MMA) in NE Mexico. High-frequency and high-precision measurements of tropospheric O3, NOy, NO2, NO, CO, SO2, PM
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Tropospheric levels of O3 have historically exceeded the official annual Mexican standards within the Monterrey Metropolitan Area (MMA) in NE Mexico. High-frequency and high-precision measurements of tropospheric O3, NOy, NO2, NO, CO, SO2, PM10 and PM2.5 were made at the Obispado monitoring site near the downtown MMA from September 2012 to August 2013. The seasonal cycles of O3 and NOy are driven by changes in meteorology and to a lesser extent by variations in primary emissions. The NOy levels were positively correlated with O3 precursors and inversely correlated with O3 and wind speed. Recorded data were used to assess the O3-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)-NOx system’s sensitivity through an observational-based approach. The photochemical indicator O3/NOy was derived from measured data during the enhanced O3 production period (12:00–18:00 Central Daylight Time (CDT), GMT-0500). The O3/NOy ratios calculated for this time period showed that the O3 production within the MMA is VOC sensitive. A box model simulation of production rates of HNO3 (PHNO3) and total peroxides (Pperox) carried out for O3 episodes in fall and spring confirmed the VOC sensitivity within the MMA environment. No significant differences were observed in O3/NOy from weekdays to weekends or for PHNO3/Pperox ratios, confirming the limiting role of VOCs in O3 production within the MMA. The ratified photochemical regime observed may allow the environmental authorities to revise and verify the current policies for air quality control within the MMA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropospheric Ozone and Its Precursors)
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Open AccessArticle On the Implementation of a Regional X-Band Weather Radar Network
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 25; doi:10.3390/atmos8020025
Received: 5 November 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
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Abstract
In the last few years, the number of worldwide operational X-band weather radars has rapidly been growing, thanks to an established technology that offers reliability, high performance, and reduced efforts and costs for installation and maintenance, with respect to the more widespread C-
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In the last few years, the number of worldwide operational X-band weather radars has rapidly been growing, thanks to an established technology that offers reliability, high performance, and reduced efforts and costs for installation and maintenance, with respect to the more widespread C- and S-band systems. X-band radars are particularly suitable for nowcasting activities, as those operated by the LaMMA (Laboratory of Monitoring and Environmental Modelling for the sustainable development) Consortium in the framework of its institutional duties of operational meteorological surveillance. In fact, they have the capability to monitor precipitation, resolving very local scales, with good spatial and temporal details, although with a reduced scanning range. The Consortium has recently installed a small network of X-band weather radars that partially overlaps and completes the existing national radar network over the north Tyrrhenian area. This paper describes the implementation of this regional network, detailing the aspects related with the radar signal processing chain that provides the final reflectivity composite, starting from the acquisition of the signal power data. The network performances are then qualitatively assessed for three case studies characterised by different precipitation regimes and different seasons. Results are satisfactory especially during intense precipitations, particularly regarding what concerns their spatial and temporal characterisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Total Lightning Flash Activity Response to Aerosol over China Area
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 26; doi:10.3390/atmos8020026
Received: 16 October 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
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Abstract
Twelve years of measurements of aerosol optical depth (AOD), cloud fraction, cloud top height, ice cloud optical thickness and lightning flash density from 2001 to 2012 have been analyzed to investigate the effect of aerosols on electrical activity over an area of China.
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Twelve years of measurements of aerosol optical depth (AOD), cloud fraction, cloud top height, ice cloud optical thickness and lightning flash density from 2001 to 2012 have been analyzed to investigate the effect of aerosols on electrical activity over an area of China. The results show that increasing aerosol loading inspires the convective intensity, and then increases the lightning flash density. The spatial distribution of the correlation between aerosol loading and electrical activity shows a remarkable regional difference over China. The high-correlation regions embody the positive aerosol microphysical effect on the intensity of the electrical activity, while the large-scale processes may play the main role in convection development and producing lightning in low-correlation regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Role of Wind Filtering and Unbalanced Flow Generation in Middle Atmosphere Gravity Wave Activity at Chatanika Alaska
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 27; doi:10.3390/atmos8020027
Received: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 26 January 2017
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Abstract
The meteorological control of gravity wave activity through filtering by winds and generation by spontaneous adjustment of unbalanced flows is investigated. This investigation is based on a new analysis of Rayleigh LiDAR measurements of gravity wave activity in the upper stratosphere-lower mesosphere (USLM,40–50km)on
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The meteorological control of gravity wave activity through filtering by winds and generation by spontaneous adjustment of unbalanced flows is investigated. This investigation is based on a new analysis of Rayleigh LiDAR measurements of gravity wave activity in the upper stratosphere-lower mesosphere (USLM,40–50km)on 152 nights at Poker Flat Research Range (PFRR), Chatanika, Alaska (65◦ N, 147◦ W), over 13 years between 1998 and 2014. The LiDAR measurements resolve inertia-gravity waves with observed periods between 1 h and 4 h and vertical wavelengths between 2 km and 10 km. The meteorological conditions are defined by reanalysis data from the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA). The gravity wave activity shows large night-to-night variability, but a clear annual cycle with a maximum in winter,and systematic interannual variability associated with stratospheric sudden warming events. The USLM gravity wave activity is correlated with the MERRA winds and is controlled by the winds in the lower stratosphere through filtering by critical layer filtering. The USLM gravity wave activity is also correlated with MERRA unbalanced flow as characterized by the residual of the nonlinear balance equation. This correlation with unbalanced flow only appears when the wind conditions are taken into account, indicating that wind filtering is the primary control of the gravity wave activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Gravity Waves)
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Open AccessArticle Windthrow Variability in Central Amazonia
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 28; doi:10.3390/atmos8020028
Received: 16 November 2016 / Revised: 21 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
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Abstract
Windthrows are a recurrent disturbance in Amazonia and are an important driver of forest dynamics and carbon storage. In this study, we present for the first time the seasonal and interannual variability of windthrows, focusing on Central Amazonia, and discuss the potential meteorological
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Windthrows are a recurrent disturbance in Amazonia and are an important driver of forest dynamics and carbon storage. In this study, we present for the first time the seasonal and interannual variability of windthrows, focusing on Central Amazonia, and discuss the potential meteorological factors associated with this variability. Landsat images over the 1998–2010 time period were used to detect the occurrence of windthrows, which were identified based on their spectral characteristics and shape. Here, we found that windthrows occurred every year but were more frequent between September and February. Organized convective activity associated with multicell storms embedded in mesoscale convective systems, such as northerly squall lines (that move from northeast to southwest) and southerly squall lines (that move from southwest to northeast) can cause windthrows. We also found that southerly squall lines occurred more frequently than their previously reported ~50 year interval. At the interannual scale, we did not find an association between El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and windthrows. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On the Possible Origin of Chaotic Pulse Trains in Lightning Flashes
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 29; doi:10.3390/atmos8020029
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 29 January 2017 / Accepted: 30 January 2017 / Published: 5 February 2017
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Abstract
In this study, electromagnetic field radiation bursts known as chaotic pulse trains (CPTs) and regular pulse trains (RPTs) generated by lightning flashes were analyzed. Through a numerical analysis it was found that a typical CPT could be generated by superimposing several RPTs onto
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In this study, electromagnetic field radiation bursts known as chaotic pulse trains (CPTs) and regular pulse trains (RPTs) generated by lightning flashes were analyzed. Through a numerical analysis it was found that a typical CPT could be generated by superimposing several RPTs onto each other. It is suggested that the chaotic pulse trains are created by a superposition of several regular pulse trains. Since regular pulse trains are probably created by dart or dart-stepped leaders or K-changes inside the cloud, chaotic pulse trains are caused by the superposition of electric fields caused by more than one of these leaders or K-changes propagating simultaneously. The hypothesis is supported by the fact that one can find regular pulse trains either in the beginning, middle or later stages of chaotic pulse trains. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Observations of a Cold Front at High Spatiotemporal Resolution Using an X-Band Phased Array Imaging Radar
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 30; doi:10.3390/atmos8020030
Received: 30 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 January 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
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Abstract
While the vertical structure of cold fronts has been studied using various methods, previous research has shown that traditional methods of observing meteorological phenomena (such as pencil-beam radars in PPI/volumetric mode) are not well-suited for resolving small-scale cold front phenomena, due to relatively
[...] Read more.
While the vertical structure of cold fronts has been studied using various methods, previous research has shown that traditional methods of observing meteorological phenomena (such as pencil-beam radars in PPI/volumetric mode) are not well-suited for resolving small-scale cold front phenomena, due to relatively low spatiotemporal resolution. Additionally, non-simultaneous elevation sampling within a vertical cross-section can lead to errors in analysis, as differential vertical advection cannot be distinguished from temporal evolution. In this study, a cold front from 19 September 2015 is analyzed using the Atmospheric Imaging Radar (AIR). The AIR transmits a 20-degree fan beam in elevation, and digital beamforming is used on receive to generate simultaneous receive beams. This mobile, X-band, phased-array radar offers temporal sampling on the order of 1 s (while in RHI mode), range sampling of 30 m (37.5 m native resolution), and continuous, arbitrarily oversampled data in the vertical dimension. Here, 0.5-degree sampling is used in elevation (1-degree native resolution). This study is the first in which a cold front has been studied via imaging radar. The ability of the AIR to obtain simultaneous RHIs at high temporal sampling rates without mechanical steering allows for analysis of features such as Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities and feeder flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Circulation Conditions’ Effect on the Occurrence of Heat Waves in Western and Southwestern Europe
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 31; doi:10.3390/atmos8020031
Received: 8 November 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract
This article aims to describe the occurrence of heat waves in Western and Southwestern Europe in the period 1976–2015 and determining pressure patterns that cause a persistence of hot days. A hot day was defined as a day on which the daily maximum
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This article aims to describe the occurrence of heat waves in Western and Southwestern Europe in the period 1976–2015 and determining pressure patterns that cause a persistence of hot days. A hot day was defined as a day on which the daily maximum air temperature was higher than the 95th annual percentile; and a heat wave was recognised as a sequence of at least five days of the abovementioned category. In the discussed multiannual period, this threshold ranged from 23.5 °C in Brest to 38.9 °C in Seville. Within the analysed area, there were from 14 (Bilbao) to 54 (Montélimar) heat waves observed. The longest heat wave took place in 2003 in Nice and lasted 49 days (14 July–31 August). The occurrence of heat waves within the analysed area was related to the ridge of high pressure located over the area of the study, providing strong solar radiation flux due to cloudlessness or a small cloud cover. Positive SLP, z500 hPa and T850 anomalies occurred over the majority of the research area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Open AccessArticle Extreme Sea Ice Loss over the Arctic: An Analysis Based on Anomalous Moisture Transport
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 32; doi:10.3390/atmos8020032
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract
The Arctic system has experienced in recent times an extreme reduction in the extent of its sea ice. The years 2007 and 2012 in particular showed maxima in the loss of sea ice. It has been suggested that such a rapid decrease has
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The Arctic system has experienced in recent times an extreme reduction in the extent of its sea ice. The years 2007 and 2012 in particular showed maxima in the loss of sea ice. It has been suggested that such a rapid decrease has important implications for climate not only over the system itself but also globally. Understanding the causes of this sea ice loss is key to analysing how future changes related to climate change can affect the Arctic system. For this purpose, we applied the Lagrangian FLEXible PARTicle dispersion (FLEXPART) model to study the anomalous transport of moisture for 2006/2007 and 2011/2012 in order to assess the implications for the sea ice. We used the model results to analyse the variation in the sources of moisture for the system (backward analysis), as well as how the moisture supply from these sources differs (forward analysis) during these years. The results indicate an anomalous transport of moisture for both years. However, the pattern differs between events, and the anomalous moisture supply varies both in intensity and spatial distribution for all sources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Temporal Variability of Source-Specific Solvent-Extractable Organic Compounds in Coastal Aerosols over Xiamen, China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 33; doi:10.3390/atmos8020033
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 21 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
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Abstract
This study describes an analysis of ambient aerosols in a southeastern coastal city of China (Xiamen) in order to assess the temporal variability in the concentrations and sources of organic aerosols (OA). Molecular-level measurements based on a series of solvent extractable lipid compounds
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This study describes an analysis of ambient aerosols in a southeastern coastal city of China (Xiamen) in order to assess the temporal variability in the concentrations and sources of organic aerosols (OA). Molecular-level measurements based on a series of solvent extractable lipid compounds reveal inherent heterogeneity in OA, in which the concentration and relative contribution of at least three distinct components (terrestrial plant wax derived, marine/microbial and fossil fuel derived organic matter (OM)) exhibited distinct and systematic temporal variability. Plant wax lipids and associated terrestrial OM are influenced by seasonal variability in plant growth; marine/microbial lipids and associated marine OM are modulated by sea spill and temperature change, whereas fossil fuel derived OM reflects the anthropogenic utilization of fossil fuels originated from petroleum-derived sources and its temporal variation is strongly controlled by meteorological conditions (e.g., the thermal inversion layer), which is analogous to other air organic pollutions. A comparative study among different coastal cities was applied to estimate the supply of different sources of OM to ambient aerosols in different regions, where it was found that biogenic OM in aerosols over Xiamen was much lower than that of other cities; however, petroleum-derived OM exhibited a high level of contribution with a higher concentration of unresolved complex matters (UCM) and higher a ratio between UCM and resolved alkanes (UCM/R). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Weather Radar Quantitative Precipitation Estimation Methodologies in Complex Orography
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 34; doi:10.3390/atmos8020034
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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Abstract
Near surface quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) from weather radar measurements is an important task for feeding hydrological models, limiting the impact of severe rain events at the ground as well as aiding validation studies of satellite-based rain products. To date, several works have
[...] Read more.
Near surface quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) from weather radar measurements is an important task for feeding hydrological models, limiting the impact of severe rain events at the ground as well as aiding validation studies of satellite-based rain products. To date, several works have analyzed the performance of various QPE algorithms using actual and synthetic experiments, possibly trained by measurement of particle size distributions and electromagnetic models. Most of these studies support the use of dual polarization radar variables not only to ensure a good level of data quality but also as a direct input to rain estimation equations. One of the most important limiting factors in radar QPE accuracy is the vertical variability of particle size distribution, which affects all the acquired radar variables as well as estimated rain rates at different levels. This is particularly impactful in mountainous areas, where the sampled altitudes are likely several hundred meters above the surface. In this work, we analyze the impact of the vertical profile variations of rain precipitation on several dual polarization radar QPE algorithms when they are tested in a complex orography scenario. So far, in weather radar studies, more emphasis has been given to the extrapolation strategies that use the signature of the vertical profiles in terms of radar co-polar reflectivity. This may limit the use of the radar vertical profiles when dual polarization QPE algorithms are considered. In that case, all the radar variables used in the rain estimation process should be consistently extrapolated at the surface to try and maintain the correlations among them. To avoid facing such a complexity, especially with a view to operational implementation, we propose looking at the features of the vertical profile of rain (VPR), i.e., after performing the rain estimation. This procedure allows characterization of a single variable (i.e., rain) when dealing with vertical extrapolations. In this work, a definition of complex orography is also given, introducing a radar orography index to objectively quantify the degree of terrain complexity when dealing with radar QPE in heterogeneous environmental scenarios. Three case studies observed by the research C-band polarization agility Doppler radar named Polar 55C, managed by the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC) at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), were used to prove the concept of VPR. Our results indicate that the combined algorithm, which merges together differential phase shift (Kdp), single polarization reflectivity factor (Zhh), and differential reflectivity (Zdr), once accurately processed, in most cases performs better among those tested and those that make use of Zhh alone, Kdp alone, and Zhh, and Zdr. Improvements greater than 25% are found for the total rain accumulations in terms of normalized bias when the VPR extrapolation is applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle A Simple Two-Dimensional Ray-Tracing Visual Tool in the Complex Tropospheric Environment
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 35; doi:10.3390/atmos8020035
Received: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 January 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper introduces a simple two-dimensional ray-tracing visual tool, Ray-VT, for simulating propagations in the tropospheric environment. It is capable of tracing ray paths through range-dependent refractive conditions as well as arbitrary terrain cases. The fundamental computations are based on the piece-wise application
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This paper introduces a simple two-dimensional ray-tracing visual tool, Ray-VT, for simulating propagations in the tropospheric environment. It is capable of tracing ray paths through range-dependent refractive conditions as well as arbitrary terrain cases. The fundamental computations are based on the piece-wise application of Snell’s law including a small angle approximation. The Ray-VT can be used to investigate the effects of ducting propagations and to assess the performances of radar systems. It can also be used as an educational aid for understanding the propagation characteristics in complex environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Lightning and Rainfall Characteristics in Elevated vs. Surface Based Convection in the Midwest that Produce Heavy Rainfall
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 36; doi:10.3390/atmos8020036
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
There are differences in the character of surface-based and elevated convection, and one type may pose a greater threat to life or property. The lightning and rainfall characteristics of eight elevated and eight surface-based thunderstorm cases that occurred between 2007 and 2010 over
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There are differences in the character of surface-based and elevated convection, and one type may pose a greater threat to life or property. The lightning and rainfall characteristics of eight elevated and eight surface-based thunderstorm cases that occurred between 2007 and 2010 over the central Continental United States were tested for statistical differences. Only events that produced heavy rain (>50.8 mm·day−1) were investigated. The nonparametric Mann–Whitney test was used to determine if the characteristics of elevated thunderstorm events were significantly different than the surface based events. Observations taken from these cases include: rainfall–lightning ratios (RLR) within the heavy rain area, the extent of the heavy rainfall area, cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning flashes, CG flashes·h−1, positive CG flashes, positive CG flashes·h−1, percentage of positive CG flashes within the heavy rainfall area, and maximum and mean rainfall amounts within the heavy rain area. Results show that elevated convection cases produced more rainfall, total CG lightning flashes, and positive CG lightning flashes than surface based thunderstorms. More available moisture and storm morphology explain these differences, suggesting elevated convection is a greater lightning and heavy rainfall threat than surface based convection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Trends of Heat Waves and Cold Spells over 1951–2015 in Guangzhou, China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 37; doi:10.3390/atmos8020037
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
The global climate has changed significantly, characterized by the warming of the surface air temperature, which seriously affects public health. We examined the trends of extreme temperatures, heat waves and cold spells in a subtropical city of Guangzhou, China, during 1951–2015. Specifically, the
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The global climate has changed significantly, characterized by the warming of the surface air temperature, which seriously affects public health. We examined the trends of extreme temperatures, heat waves and cold spells in a subtropical city of Guangzhou, China, during 1951–2015. Specifically, the relationship between ENSO (El Niño–Southern Oscillation) events and heat waves/cold spells was discussed. The results of linear regression showed the annual mean temperature and extreme warm days increased (0.14 °C/decade and 6.26 days/decade) while extreme cold days decreased significantly (1.77 days/decade). Heat waves were more frequent, longer lasting and had stronger intensity over the past 65 years. In addition, the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves were correlated with annual Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) and Indian Ocean Basin-wide Warming (IOBW), while there were no significant differences in the characteristics of heat waves among an El Niño year, a La Niña year and a Neutral year. In contrast, neither significant trend nor association with ENSO events was observed for cold spells. In conclusion, our study indicated an obvious increasing trend for all aspects of heat waves in Guangzhou, China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Open AccessArticle The Niger River Basin Moisture Sources: A Lagrangian Analysis
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 38; doi:10.3390/atmos8020038
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Niger River basin (NRB) is located in the important climatic region of the African Sahel. In this study we use the Lagrangian tridimensional model FLEXPART v9.0 to identify and characterise the moisture sources for the NRB. This method allows the integration of
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The Niger River basin (NRB) is located in the important climatic region of the African Sahel. In this study we use the Lagrangian tridimensional model FLEXPART v9.0 to identify and characterise the moisture sources for the NRB. This method allows the integration of the budget of evaporation minus precipitation over 10-day backward trajectories, thereby identifying the origins of the air masses residing over the NRB. The analysis was performed for the 35-year period from 1980 to 2014, which allowed us to identify the main semi-annual climatological moisture sources of the NRB, for November–April (NDJFMA) (dry season) and May–October (MJJASO) (wet season), and to quantify the respective moisture uptakes. Throughout the year, the NRB main moisture sources are located on the tropical eastern North Atlantic Ocean near Africa, the tropical eastern South Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Guinea, in the regions surrounding the Sahel and in the Mediterranean Sea. The extents of these sources vary between dry and wet seasons. In NDJFMA two regions appear in the east of the basin, which then join up, forming a larger source to the northeast of the basin in MJJASO, when three other less important moisture sources can be seen in central-equatorial Africa, the tropical western Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. In NDJFMA the majority of the moisture uptake comes from the NRB itself but then, later in MJJASO, when the precipitation increases over the basin the greatest uptake of moisture occurs over the tropical eastern South Atlantic Ocean, northeast Africa and the NRB, which suggests that these are the effective sources of precipitation in the basin in overall terms. The seasonal moisture uptake quantification over the moisture sources of the NRB, reveals that largest fraction of moisture income to the basin from outside its boundaries. Despite providing moisture to the NRB the source located in the tropical eastern North Atlantic Ocean does not contribute that much to precipitation in the basin. A daily (ten-day) backward analysis shows the importance of the moisture uptake within the NRB and from near moisture sources during the first few (backward) days, while the Atlantic Ocean sources and the Mediterranean became more important during the last five (backward) days of the analysis. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Profiling Radar Observations and Numerical Simulations of a Downslope Wind Storm and Rotor on the Lee of the Medicine Bow Mountains in Wyoming
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 39; doi:10.3390/atmos8020039
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
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Abstract
This study describes a downslope wind storm event observed over the Medicine Bow range (Wyoming, USA) on 11 January 2013. The University of Wyoming King Air (UWKA) made four along-wind passes over a five-hour period over the mountain of interest. These passes were
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This study describes a downslope wind storm event observed over the Medicine Bow range (Wyoming, USA) on 11 January 2013. The University of Wyoming King Air (UWKA) made four along-wind passes over a five-hour period over the mountain of interest. These passes were recognized as among the most turbulent ones encountered in many years by crew members. The MacCready turbulence meter aboard the UWKA measured moderate to severe turbulence conditions on each pass in the lee of the mountain range, with eddy dissipation rate values over 0.5 m2/3 s−1. Three rawinsondes were released from an upstream location at different times. This event is simulated using the non-hydrostatic Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model at an inner- domain resolution of 1 km. The model produces a downslope wind storm, notwithstanding some discrepancies between model and rawinsonde data in terms of upstream atmospheric conditions. Airborne Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR) vertical-plane Doppler velocity data from two beams, one pointing to the nadir and one pointing slant forward, are synthesized to obtain a two-dimensional velocity field in the vertical plane below flight level. This synthesis reveals the fine-scale details of an orographic wave breaking event, including strong, persistent downslope acceleration, a strong leeside updraft (up to 10 m·s−1) flanked by counter-rotating vortices, and deep turbulence, extending well above flight level. The analysis of WCR-derived cross-mountain flow in 19 winter storms over the same mountain reveals that cross-mountain flow acceleration and downslope wind formation are difficult to predict from upstream wind and stability profiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Gravity Waves)
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Open AccessArticle Variability of Black Carbon and Ultrafine Particle Concentration on Urban Bike Routes in a Mid-Sized City in the Po Valley (Northern Italy)
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 40; doi:10.3390/atmos8020040
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 21 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cyclists might experience increased air pollution exposure, due to the proximity to traffic, and higher intake, due to their active travel mode and higher ventilation. Several local factors, like meteorology, road and traffic features, and bike lanes features, affect cyclists’ exposure to traffic-related
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Cyclists might experience increased air pollution exposure, due to the proximity to traffic, and higher intake, due to their active travel mode and higher ventilation. Several local factors, like meteorology, road and traffic features, and bike lanes features, affect cyclists’ exposure to traffic-related pollutants. This paper investigates the concentration levels and the effect of the features of the bike lanes on cyclists’ exposure to airborne ultrafine particulate matter (UFP) and black carbon (BC) in the mid-sized city of Piacenza, located in the middle of the Po Valley, Northern Italy. Monitoring campaigns were performed by means of portable instruments along different urban bike routes with bike lanes, characterized by different distances from the traffic source (on-road cycle lane, separated cycle lane, green cycle path), during morning (9:00 am–10:00 am) and evening (17:30 pm–18:30 pm) workday rush hours in both cold and warm seasons. The proximity to traffic significantly affected cyclists’ exposure to UFP and BC: exposure concentrations measured for the separated lane and for the green path were 1–2 times and 2–4 times lower than for the on-road lane. Concurrent measurements showed that exposure concentrations to PM10, PM2.5, and PM1 were not influenced by traffic proximity, without any significant variation between on-road cycle lane, separated lane, or green cycle path. Thus, for the location of this study PM mass-based metrics were not able to capture local scale concentration gradients in the urban area as a consequence of the rather high urban and regional background that hides the contribution of local scale sources, such as road traffic. The impact of route choice on cyclists’ exposure to UFPs and BC during commuting trips back and forth from a residential area to the train station has been also estimated through a probabilistic approach through an iterative Monte Carlo technique, based on the measured data. Compared to the best choice, a worst-route choice can result in an increased cumulative exposure up to about 50% for UFPs, without any relevant difference between cold and warm season, and from 20% in the cold season up to 90% in the warm season for equivalent black carbon concentration (EBC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafine Particles: Determination, Behavior and Human Health Effects)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Extreme Saharan Dust Event over Turkey in March 2016
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 41; doi:10.3390/atmos8020041
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
In this study, the influence of an extraordinary Saharan dust episode over Turkey on 23–24 March 2016 and the atmospheric conditions that triggered this event were evaluated in detail. PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 μm) observations from 97 air quality stations,
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In this study, the influence of an extraordinary Saharan dust episode over Turkey on 23–24 March 2016 and the atmospheric conditions that triggered this event were evaluated in detail. PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 μm) observations from 97 air quality stations, METAR (Meteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report) observations at 64 airports, atmospheric soundings, and satellite products were used for the analysis. To determine the surface and upper levels of atmospheric circulation, National Centers of Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Reanalysis data were applied to the extreme dust episodes. On 23 March 2016, high southwesterly winds due to the interaction between surface low- and high-pressure centers over Italy and Levant basin brought thick dust particles from Libya to Turkey. The daily PM10 data from 43 stations exceeded their long-term spring means over Turkey (especially at the northern and western stations). As a consequence of the longitudinal movement of the surface low from Italy to the Balkan Peninsula, and the quasi-stationary conditions of the surface high-pressure center allowed for the penetration of strong south and southwesterly winds to inner parts of the country on the following day. As a consequence, 100%, 90%, 88%, and 87% of the monitoring stations in Marmara (NW Turkey), central Anatolia, western (Aegean) and northern (Black Sea) regions of Turkey, respectively, exhibited above-normal daily PM10 values. In addition, while strong subsidence at the low levels of the atmosphere plays a significant role in having excessive daily PM10 values in Black Sea, dry atmospheric conditions and thick inversion level near the ground surface of Marmara ensured this region to have peak PM10 values ~00 Local Time (LT). Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Integrated Convective Cloud Detection Method Using FY-2 VISSR Data
Atmosphere 2017, 8(2), 42; doi:10.3390/atmos8020042
Received: 26 November 2016 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
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Abstract
The characteristics of convective clouds on infrared brightness temperature (BTIR) and brightness temperature difference (BTD) image were analyzed using successive Infrared and Visible Spin-Scan Radiometer (VISSR) data of FY-2, and an integrated detection method of convective clouds using infrared multi-thresholds in
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The characteristics of convective clouds on infrared brightness temperature (BTIR) and brightness temperature difference (BTD) image were analyzed using successive Infrared and Visible Spin-Scan Radiometer (VISSR) data of FY-2, and an integrated detection method of convective clouds using infrared multi-thresholds in combination with tracking techniques was implemented. In this method, BT and BTD thresholds are used to detect severe convection and uncertain clouds, then the tracking technique including overlap ratio, minimum BT change and cross-correlation coefficient is used to detect convection activities in uncertain clouds. The Application test results show that our integrated detection method can effectively detect convective clouds in different life periods, which show a better performance than any single step in it. The statistical results show that the α-type clouds are mostly large-scale systems, and the β- and γ-type clouds have the highest proportion of general type. However, the proportion of weak convective cloud is higher than that of severe ones in γ-type cloud, and an opposite result is found in the β-type. Full article
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