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Atmosphere, Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2017)

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Cover Story Heatwaves with synoptic background presenting a cyclonic curvature has become more common over the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Synoptic Conditions Generating Heat Waves and Warm Spells in Romania
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 50; doi:10.3390/atmos8030050
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Heat waves and warm spells are extreme meteorological events that generate a significant number of casualties in temperate regions, as well as outside of temperate regions. For the purpose of this paper, heat waves and warm spells were identified based on daily maximum
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Heat waves and warm spells are extreme meteorological events that generate a significant number of casualties in temperate regions, as well as outside of temperate regions. For the purpose of this paper, heat waves and warm spells were identified based on daily maximum temperatures recorded at 27 weather stations located in Romania over a 55-year period (1961–2015). The intensity threshold was the 90th percentile, and the length of an event was of minimum three consecutive days. We analyzed 111 heat wave and warm spell events totaling 423 days. The classification of synoptic conditions was based on daily reanalysis at three geopotential levels and on the online version of a backward trajectories model. The main findings are that there are two major types of genetic conditions. These were identified as: (i) radiative heat waves and warm spells (type A) generated by warming the air mass due to high amounts of radiation which was found dominant in warm season; and (ii) advective heat waves and warm spells (type B) generated mainly by warm air mass advection which prevails in winter and transition seasons. These major types consist of two and three sub-types, respectively. The results could become a useful tool for weather forecasters in order to better predict the occurrence of heat waves and warm spells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Generation and Propagation of Atmospheric Internal Waves Caused by Volcanic Eruptions
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 60; doi:10.3390/atmos8030060
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
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Abstract
Observations from the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean have shown that volcanic eruptions (particularly explosive ones) can generate internal waves in the atmosphere that can be observed by microbarographs at ground level. It is possible that observations of such waves may give
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Observations from the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean have shown that volcanic eruptions (particularly explosive ones) can generate internal waves in the atmosphere that can be observed by microbarographs at ground level. It is possible that observations of such waves may give early information about volcanic eruptions when other methods are unavailable (because of bad weather, nocturnal eruptions, and poor visibility or remoteness), if it is possible to interpret them. This paper describes a dynamical model of the forcing of internal waves in which the eruption is modelled as a turbulent plume, forced by a source of buoyancy at ground level that specifies the total height and relevant properties of the eruption. Specifically, the rising plume entrains environmental air from ground level to 70% of its maximum height zM, and above 0.7zM the rising fluid spreads radially. During the eruption, this flow forces horizontal motion in the surrounding fluid that generates internal waves, which may be computed by assuming that this is due to a linear dynamical process. Properties of the resulting waves are described for a variety of parameters that include the strength and height of the eruption, the effect of the tropopause, generation in the stratosphere for large eruptions, and the differing effects of the duration of the eruption. Implications for characterising eruptions from observations of these properties are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Gravity Waves)
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Open AccessArticle Atmospheric Volatile Organic Compounds in a Typical Urban Area of Beijing: Pollution Characterization, Health Risk Assessment and Source Apportionment
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 61; doi:10.3390/atmos8030061
Received: 6 January 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
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Abstract
Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) measurement was carried out using gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) technique (Airmo VOCs online analyzer) in a typical urban area in Beijing from April 2014 to January 2015. Ambient levels, variation characteristics and influential factors contributing to the
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Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) measurement was carried out using gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) technique (Airmo VOCs online analyzer) in a typical urban area in Beijing from April 2014 to January 2015. Ambient levels, variation characteristics and influential factors contributing to the formation of near-ground-ozone and secondary organic aerosols as well as health risk assessment of VOCs were analyzed. Based on these analyses, the important VOC species that should be given more attention for pollution control were identified and the source apportionment of VOCs was made. Suggestions for VOCs pollution control countermeasures were put forward. The annual average concentration of 84 VOCs was 119 μg·m−3 and the hourly mean concentration was 9.11–567 μg·m−3. Ambient level of VOCs in Beijing has been alleviated in recent years, but is still severe compared to some other cities. VOCs with the largest proportion were alkanes in spring and halogenated hydrocarbons in summer, autumn and winter. The variation of 84 VOCs concentrations was consistent with that of the ambient air quality index, indicating that VOCs had a strong influence on ambient air quality. Influenced by the concentration and activity of VOCs, the largest contribution to ozone formation potential and secondary organic aerosol formation potential came from alkenes and aromatic hydrocarbons, respectively. Five VOCs species such as benzene pose carcinogenic risk to exposed populations. Contrary to some previous studies, benzene was found to have potential cancer risk in some urban areas in China. The main sources of VOCs in the study area were vehicle exhaust, solvent usage, and industrial processes. In order to improve air quality in Beijing and reduce the infection rate of air pollutant related diseases, it is necessary to strengthen the control the emission of VOCs from those three sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle Temporal Variability of Summer Temperature Extremes in Poland
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 51; doi:10.3390/atmos8030051
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the study is to estimate the trend in summer maximum air temperature extremes in Poland during the period 1951–2015 by demonstrating the changes in the magnitude of temperature anomalies, temperature “surplus”, as well as the area influenced by extreme temperature
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The aim of the study is to estimate the trend in summer maximum air temperature extremes in Poland during the period 1951–2015 by demonstrating the changes in the magnitude of temperature anomalies, temperature “surplus”, as well as the area influenced by extreme temperature occurrence. To express the latter two variables, daily maps of maximum air temperature were created to calculate the total area affected by temperature extremes. To combine the effect of spatial extent and temperature anomaly, an Extremity Index was introduced. The results confirmed an increase in summer maximum air temperature of about 0.4 °C per 10 years, evidenced also in the increase of summer extremeness. Positive anomalies have dominated since the 1990s, with the largest anomalies occurring during the summers of 1992, 1994, 2010 and finally 2015, the most exceptional summer during the analyzed period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics and Formation Mechanisms of Fine Particulate Nitrate in Typical Urban Areas in China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 62; doi:10.3390/atmos8030062
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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Abstract
Nitrate is a very important aerosol component, thus elucidation of its characteristics and formation mechanisms is essential and important for effective reduction of aerosol pollution. In this work, highly time-resolved submicron aerosol (PM1) data measured by Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometers (AMS)
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Nitrate is a very important aerosol component, thus elucidation of its characteristics and formation mechanisms is essential and important for effective reduction of aerosol pollution. In this work, highly time-resolved submicron aerosol (PM1) data measured by Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometers (AMS) in Nanjing, Beijing and Lanzhou during both summer and winter were integrated to investigate the nitrate behaviors in urban China air. Results showed that nitrate occupied 1/8–1/4 of PM1 mass, typically higher than those observed in rural/remote regions. Relative mass fractions of nitrate also varied significantly at different pollution levels. Nitrate mass fractions generally increased with the increase of PM1 loadings during summer, while the contributions during winter increased first and then decreased with the increase of pollution levels. We further propose that there are at least three mechanisms that likely govern the urban nitrate behaviors: Type I—thermodynamics driven, Type II—photochemistry driven, and Type III—planetary boundary layer (PBL) dynamics driven. Analyses of the ammonium-sulfate-nitrate data revealed that ammonium nitrate was able to form before sulfuric acid was fully neutralized in some urban areas. Our findings provide useful insights into the characterization and reduction of fine particulate nitrate pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Evaluating the Hydrological Cycle over Land Using the Newly-Corrected Precipitation Climatology from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC)
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 52; doi:10.3390/atmos8030052
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
The 2015 release of the precipitation climatology from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) for 1951–2000, based on climatological normals of about 75,100 rain gauges, allows for quantification of mean land surface precipitation as part of the global water cycle. In GPCC’s 2011-release,
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The 2015 release of the precipitation climatology from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) for 1951–2000, based on climatological normals of about 75,100 rain gauges, allows for quantification of mean land surface precipitation as part of the global water cycle. In GPCC’s 2011-release, a bulk climatological correction was applied to compensate for gauge undercatch. In this paper we derive an improved correction approach based on the synoptic weather reports for the period 1982–2015. The compared results show that the climatological approach tends to overestimate the correction for Central and Eastern Europe, especially in the northern winter, and in other regions throughout the year. Applying the mean weather-dependent correction to the GPCC’s uncorrected precipitation climatology for 1951–2000 gives a value of 854.7 mm of precipitation per year (excluding Antarctica) or 790 mm for the global land surface. The warming of nearly 1 K relative to pre-industrial temperatures is expected to be accompanied by a 2%–3% increase in global (land and ocean) precipitation. However, a comparison of climatology for 30-year reference periods from 1931–1960 up to 1981–2010 reveals no significant trend for land surface precipitation. This may be caused by the large variability of precipitation, the varying data coverage over time and other issues related to the sampling of rain-gauge networks. The GPCC continues to enlarge and further improve the quality of its database, and will generate precipitation analyses with homogeneous data coverage over time. Another way to reduce the sampling issues is the combination of rain gauge-based analyses with remote sensing (i.e., satellite or radar) datasets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Precipitation with Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Seasonal Changing Effect on Airflow and Pollutant Dispersion Characteristics in Urban Street Canyons
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 43; doi:10.3390/atmos8030043
Received: 8 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
In this study, the effect of seasonal variation on air flow and pollutant dispersion characteristics was numerically investigated. A three-dimensional urban canopy model with unit aspect ratio (H/D = 1) was used to calculate surface temperature distribution in the street
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In this study, the effect of seasonal variation on air flow and pollutant dispersion characteristics was numerically investigated. A three-dimensional urban canopy model with unit aspect ratio (H/D = 1) was used to calculate surface temperature distribution in the street canyon. Four representative time events (1000 LST, 1300 LST, 1600 LST and 2000 LST) during typical clear summer and winter days were selected to examine the air flow diurnal variation. The results revealed the seasonal variation significantly altered the street canyon microclimate. Compared with the street canyon surface temperature distribution in summer, the winter case showed a more evenly distributed surface temperature. In addition, the summer case showed greater daily temperature fluctuation than that of the winter case. Consequently, distinct pollutant dispersion patterns were observed between summer and winter scenarios, especially for the afternoon (1600 LST) and night (2000 LST) events. Among all studied time events, the pollutant removal performance of the morning (1000 LST) and the night (2000 LST) events were more sensitive to the seasonal variation. Lastly, limited natural ventilation performance was found during the summer morning and the winter night, which induced relatively high pollutant concentration along the pedestrian height level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Urban Ventilation Assessment and Flow Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle Temperature and Heat-Related Mortality Trends in the Sonoran and Mojave Desert Region
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 53; doi:10.3390/atmos8030053
Received: 23 October 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Extreme temperatures and heat wave trends in five cities within the Sonoran Desert region (e.g., Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States and Ciudad Obregon and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora; and Mexicali, Baja California, in Mexico) and one city within the
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Extreme temperatures and heat wave trends in five cities within the Sonoran Desert region (e.g., Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States and Ciudad Obregon and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora; and Mexicali, Baja California, in Mexico) and one city within the Mojave Desert region (e.g., Las Vegas, Nevada) were assessed using field data collected from 1950 to 2014. Instead of being selected by watershed, the cities were selected because they are part of the same arid climatic region. The data were analyzed for maximum temperature increases and the trends were confirmed statistically using Spearman’s nonparametric test. Temperature trends were correlated with the mortality information related with extreme heat events in the region. The results showed a clear trend of increasing maximum temperatures during the months of June, July, and August for five of the six cities and statically confirmed using Spearman’s rho values. Las Vegas was the only city where the temperature increase was not confirmed using Spearman’s test, probably because it is geographically located outside of the Sonoran Desert or because of its proximity to the Hoover Dam. The relationship between mortality and temperature was analyzed for the cities of Mexicali, Mexico and Phoenix. Arizona. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Open AccessArticle Opposite Trends in Light Rain Days over Western and Eastern China from 1960 to 2014
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 54; doi:10.3390/atmos8030054
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
In this work, we examined spatial and temporal trends for light rain days based on daily precipitation measurements, obtained from 1960 to 2014, from 590 meteorological stations in China. For the analyzed time interval, light rain days over eastern China were determined to
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In this work, we examined spatial and temporal trends for light rain days based on daily precipitation measurements, obtained from 1960 to 2014, from 590 meteorological stations in China. For the analyzed time interval, light rain days over eastern China were determined to decrease by 0.23 days·year−1. In western China, they increased by 0.3 days·year−1. To detect underlying causes for changes in light rain days, lower-tropospheric relative humidity was set as a proxy for light rain days. We then calculated the respective impacts of lower-tropospheric temperature and specific humidity on changes in light rain days. A comparison of the contributions of temperature and specific humidity resulted in the identification of the main cause of changes. Our results indicated that increases in lower-tropospheric temperatures reduced light rain days over the entire country, while variations in specific humidity dominated regional differences for light rain day trends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Dominant Driving Forces on Summer Precipitation during Different Periods in Beijing
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 44; doi:10.3390/atmos8030044
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Wavelet analysis methods (CWT, XWT, WTC) were employed to evaluate the impact of dominant climatic driving factors on summer precipitation in the Beijing area based on monthly precipitation data of Beijing ranging from 1880 to 2014. The two climatic driving factors, i.e., the
[...] Read more.
Wavelet analysis methods (CWT, XWT, WTC) were employed to evaluate the impact of dominant climatic driving factors on summer precipitation in the Beijing area based on monthly precipitation data of Beijing ranging from 1880 to 2014. The two climatic driving factors, i.e., the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and the Northern Limit of Western Pacific Subtropical High (NWPSH) were considered in particular. The relationships between summer precipitation and EASM/NWPSH were also examined. The results revealed similar periods in low-frequency oscillation (76–95 years) and mid-range frequency oscillation (32–60 years) for the summer precipitation in the Beijing area and EASM/NWPSH. The summer precipitation correlated positively with the NWPSH and EASM, especially for periods of 43 years and 33 years, respectively. This indicates that summer precipitation during 1880–1960 and during the years after 1960 was significantly affected by NWPSH and EASM, respectively. Based on the periodic change of 33 years for both summer precipitation and EASM, heavy precipitation can be expected to occur again in Beijing at approximately 2026. Understanding the relationships between summer precipitation and climatic factors is of significant importance for precipitation predictions and water resource variations in the Beijing area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Temperature and Elevation Controls on Spatial Variability of Rainfall in Iran
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 45; doi:10.3390/atmos8030045
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
With rainfall changes, hydrological process variability increases. This study predicts the potential effects of temperature and topography characteristics on rainfall spatial variability. Temperature and topography were considered as two effective factors that may influence monthly rainfall. This study uses rainfall and temperature data
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With rainfall changes, hydrological process variability increases. This study predicts the potential effects of temperature and topography characteristics on rainfall spatial variability. Temperature and topography were considered as two effective factors that may influence monthly rainfall. This study uses rainfall and temperature data from 174 synoptic and climatic stations and 39,055 rain, elevation and temperature points extracted by ArcGIS10.3 over the 40 years (1975–2014). In this study, in order to predict the relationship between temperature, topography and rainfall, a combination of statistics including spatial statistics and Geographical information System (GIS) methods were employed. It was found that the distribution and rainfall variability in some parts of Iran was regarded to be based on topography and temperature. The spatial patterns showed that the variability based on spatial autocorrelation in rainfall severity gradually increased from west to east and north to south in Iran. Temperature and topography influence rainfall spatial variability; moreover, these factors have direct, indirect and total effects on rainfall variability in temporal and spatial patterns. These research results will be useful for the regionalization of climate and rainfall formation factors, management of water sources, environmental planning and measuring environmental controls on the climate system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Precipitation with Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle A Case Study of Assimilating Lightning-Proxy Relative Humidity with WRF-3DVAR
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 55; doi:10.3390/atmos8030055
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Lightning network data, considered as a useful supplement to radar observations, are a good indicator of severe convection, and has high temporal and spatial resolution. In Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, lightning data are a new source of data to improve the forecasting
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Lightning network data, considered as a useful supplement to radar observations, are a good indicator of severe convection, and has high temporal and spatial resolution. In Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, lightning data are a new source of data to improve the forecasting of convective systems. In this case study, lightning data assimilation is conducted by converting lightning data to water vapor mixing ratio via a simple smooth continuous function, with input variables of total flash rate and simulated graupel mixing ratio at 9 km gridded resolution. Relative humidity converted from the retrieved water vapor mixing ratio is assimilated into the background field utilizing the three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) method in WRFDA (the Weather Research and Forecasting model Data Assimilation system). The benefits of assimilating lightning data are demonstrated in a series of experiments using data from a strong convection event that affected Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong Province, on 31 July 2007. A nested domain with resolutions of 9 km and 3 km is implemented. For this case, assimilating lightning data shows some improvements in predictions of both reflectivity and neighboring precipitation, and in the temperature, dew-point temperature and relative humidity profile after seven hours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Five Grid Datasets against Radiosonde Data over the Eastern and Downstream Regions of the Tibetan Plateau in Summer
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 56; doi:10.3390/atmos8030056
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
In this study, horizontal wind (U and V), air temperature (T), and relative humidity (RH) modelled by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis Interim (ERA-Interim), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Modern Era Retrospective
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In this study, horizontal wind (U and V), air temperature (T), and relative humidity (RH) modelled by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis Interim (ERA-Interim), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2), and the NCEP Final Operational Global Analysis data and the NCEP Final Operational Global Analysis data (NCEP-FNL) products have been compared with observations at 11 radiosonde stations over the eastern and downstream regions of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) from late June until the end of July during 2011 to 2015. The mean bias of all variables for the five gridded datasets (GDs) in the Sichuan Basin (SCB) is larger than that for the TP. The mean values of U, V, and T from each grid dataset are generally consistent with the radiosonde values, whereas considerable bias in the mean RH exists at upper levels. The diurnal variation of the mean bias and root-mean-square (RMS) error in the basin are stronger than those in the TP and the negative/positive peak usually occurs at 06:00 UTC and 18:00 UTC in the basin or at 12:00 UTC in the TP. The inter-annual variations in the basin are significantly stronger, and the maximum values of the variations usually occur at upper levels or near the surface, except for V. The weather conditions have a crucial influence on the performance of the gridded datasets. The mean bias and RMS error of T in the TP on cloudy days are obviously larger than those during sunny conditions. Considerable but unsteady differences occur in the mean bias and RMS error of U and V in different weather conditions. On average, the four variables in the TP are more sensible to the weather conditions. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Recent Enhanced Seasonal Temperature Contrast in Japan from Large Ensemble High-Resolution Climate Simulations
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 57; doi:10.3390/atmos8030057
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract
Since the late 1990s, land surface temperatures over Japan have increased during the summer and autumn, while global mean temperatures have not risen in this duration (i.e., the global warming hiatus). In contrast, winter and spring temperatures in Japan have decreased. To assess
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Since the late 1990s, land surface temperatures over Japan have increased during the summer and autumn, while global mean temperatures have not risen in this duration (i.e., the global warming hiatus). In contrast, winter and spring temperatures in Japan have decreased. To assess the impact of both global warming and global-scale decadal variability on this enhanced seasonal temperature contrast, we analyzed the outputs of 100 ensemble simulations of historical and counterfactual non-warming climate simulations conducted using a high-resolution atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM). Our simulations showed that atmospheric fields impacted by the La Nina-like conditions associated with Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) have predominantly contributed to the seasonal temperature contrast over Japan. Compared with the impact of negative IPO, the influence of global warming on seasonal temperature contrasts in Japan was small. In addition, atmospheric variability has also had a large impact on temperatures in Japan over a decadal timescale. The results of this study suggest a future increase in heatwave risk during the summer and autumn when La Nina-like decadal phenomena and atmospheric perturbations coincide over a background of global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Temperature Extremes and Heat/Cold Waves)
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Open AccessArticle Morphology, Composition, and Mixing State of Individual Aerosol Particles in Northeast China during Wintertime
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 47; doi:10.3390/atmos8030047
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Northeast China is located in a high latitude area of the world and undergoes a cold season that lasts six months each year. Recently, regional haze episodes with high concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) have frequently been occurring in Northeast China
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Northeast China is located in a high latitude area of the world and undergoes a cold season that lasts six months each year. Recently, regional haze episodes with high concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) have frequently been occurring in Northeast China during the heating period, but little information has been available. Aerosol particles were collected in winter at a site in a suburban county town (T1) and a site in a background rural area (T2). Morphology, size, elemental composition, and mixing state of individual aerosol particles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Aerosol particles were mainly composed of organic matter (OM) and S-rich and certain amounts of soot and K-rich. OM represented the most abundant particles, accounting for 60.7% and 53.5% at the T1 and T2 sites, respectively. Abundant spherical OM particles were likely emitted directly from coal-burning stoves. Soot decreased from 16.9% at the T1 site to 4.6% at the T2 site and sulfate particles decrease from 35.9% at the T2 site to 15.7% at the T1 site, suggesting that long-range transport air masses experienced more aging processes and produced more secondary particles. Based on our investigations, we proposed that emissions from coal-burning stoves in most rural areas of the west part of Northeast China can induce regional haze episodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morphology and Internal Mixing of Atmospheric Particles)
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Open AccessArticle Operational Application of Optical Flow Techniques to Radar-Based Rainfall Nowcasting
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 48; doi:10.3390/atmos8030048
Received: 11 November 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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Abstract
Hong Kong Observatory has been operating an in-house developed rainfall nowcasting system called “Short-range Warning of Intense Rainstorms in Localized Systems (SWIRLS)” to support rainstorm warning and rainfall nowcasting services. A crucial step in rainfall nowcasting is the tracking of radar echoes to
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Hong Kong Observatory has been operating an in-house developed rainfall nowcasting system called “Short-range Warning of Intense Rainstorms in Localized Systems (SWIRLS)” to support rainstorm warning and rainfall nowcasting services. A crucial step in rainfall nowcasting is the tracking of radar echoes to generate motion fields for extrapolation of rainfall areas in the following few hours. SWIRLS adopted a correlation-based method in its first operational version in 1999, which was subsequently replaced by optical flow algorithm in 2010 and further enhanced in 2013. The latest optical flow algorithm employs a transformation function to enhance a selected range of reflectivity for feature tracking. It also adopts variational optical flow computation that takes advantage of the Horn–Schunck approach and the Lucas–Kanade method. This paper details the three radar echo tracking algorithms, examines their performances in several significant rainstorm cases and summaries verification results of multi-year performances. The limitations of the current approach are discussed. Developments underway along with future research areas are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Meteorology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Influence of an Increase of the Mediterranean Sea Surface Temperature on Two Nocturnal Offshore Rainbands: A Numerical Experiment
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 58; doi:10.3390/atmos8030058
Received: 15 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 18 March 2017
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Abstract
Using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) – Advanced Research WRF (ARW) mesoscale model (WRF–ARW), we investigate how two nocturnal offshore rainbands occurring in the Mediterranean basin are modified in a warmer sea surface temperature (SST). After sunset, the thermal difference between land
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Using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) – Advanced Research WRF (ARW) mesoscale model (WRF–ARW), we investigate how two nocturnal offshore rainbands occurring in the Mediterranean basin are modified in a warmer sea surface temperature (SST). After sunset, the thermal difference between land and sea air increases. Driven by drainage winds or land breeze, the inland cold air interacts with the relatively warmer and moister air over the sea. Vertical movement of sea air over the boundary between the two air masses may induce cloud and rain bands offshore. When an increase of SST is prescribed in the WRF simulations, a change in the precipitation pattern is simulated. The numerical experiments show an increase both in the extension and location of the rainbands and in the precipitation rate. These changes, induced by the modified SST, are analyzed by estimating and comparing several parameters such as the location of level of free convection (LFC), Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), or the triggering, deceleration and blockage terms of simplified conceptual models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue WRF Simulations at the Mesoscale: From the Microscale to Macroscale)
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Open AccessArticle Inverse Relations of PM2.5 and O3 in Air Compound Pollution between Cold and Hot Seasons over an Urban Area of East China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 59; doi:10.3390/atmos8030059
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
Abstract: By analyzing the data of urban air pollutant measurements from 2013 to 2015 in Nanjing, East China, we found that the correlation coefficients between major atmospheric compound pollutants PM2.5 and O3 were respectively 0.40 in hot season (June, July
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Abstract: By analyzing the data of urban air pollutant measurements from 2013 to 2015 in Nanjing, East China, we found that the correlation coefficients between major atmospheric compound pollutants PM2.5 and O3 were respectively 0.40 in hot season (June, July and August) and −0.16 in cold season (December, January and February) with both passing the confidence level of 99%. This provides evidence for the inverse relations of ambient PM2.5 and O3 between cold and hot seasons in an urban area of East China. To understand the interaction of PM2.5 and O3 in air compound pollution, the underlying mechanisms on the inversion relations between cold and hot seasons were investigated from the seasonal variations in atmospheric oxidation and radiative forcing of PM2.5 based on three-year environmental and meteorological data. The analyses showed that the augmentation of atmospheric oxidation could strengthen the production of secondary particles with the contribution up to 26.76% to ambient PM2.5 levels. High O3 concentrations in a strong oxidative air condition during hot season promoted the formation of secondary particles, which could result in a positive correlation between PM2.5 and O3 in hot season. In cold season with weak atmospheric oxidation, the enhanced PM2.5 levels suppressed surface solar radiation, which could weaken O3 production for decreasing ambient O3 level with the low diurnal peaks. Under the high PM2.5 level exceeding 115 μg·m−3, the surface O3 concentration dropped to 12.7 μg·m−3 at noon with a significant inhibitory effect, leading to a negative correlation between PM2.5 and O3 in cold season. This observational study revealed the interaction of PM2.5 and O3 in air compound pollution for understanding the seasonal change of atmospheric environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle On the Interpretation of Gravity Wave Measurements by Ground-Based Lidars
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 49; doi:10.3390/atmos8030049
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 30 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper asks the simple question: How can we interpret vertical time series of middle atmosphere gravity wave measurements by ground-based temperature lidars? Linear wave theory is used to show that the association of identified phase lines with quasi-monochromatic waves should be considered
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This paper asks the simple question: How can we interpret vertical time series of middle atmosphere gravity wave measurements by ground-based temperature lidars? Linear wave theory is used to show that the association of identified phase lines with quasi-monochromatic waves should be considered with great care. The ambient mean wind has a substantial effect on the inclination of the detected phase lines. The lack of knowledge about the wind might lead to a misinterpretation of the vertical propagation direction of the observed gravity waves. In particular, numerical simulations of three archetypal atmospheric mountain wave regimes show a sensitivity of virtual lidar observations on the position relative to the mountain and on the scale of the mountain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Gravity Waves)
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Open AccessLetter On the Action of the Radiation Field Generated by a Traveling-Wave Element and Its Connection to the Time Energy Uncertainty Principle, Elementary Charge and the Fine Structure Constant
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 46; doi:10.3390/atmos8030046
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Recently, we published two papers in this journal. One of the papers dealt with the action of the radiation fields generated by a traveling-wave element and the other dealt with the momentum transferred by the same radiation fields and their connection to the
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Recently, we published two papers in this journal. One of the papers dealt with the action of the radiation fields generated by a traveling-wave element and the other dealt with the momentum transferred by the same radiation fields and their connection to the time energy uncertainty principle. The traveling-wave element is defined as a conductor through which a current pulse propagates with the speed of light in free space from one end of the conductor to the other without attenuation. The goal of this letter is to combine the information provided in these two papers together and make conclusive statements concerning the connection between the energy dissipated by the radiation fields, the time energy uncertainty principle and the elementary charge. As we will show here, the results presented in these two papers, when combined together, show that the time energy uncertainty principle can be applied to the classical radiation emitted by a traveling-wave element and it results in the prediction that the smallest charge associated with the current that can be detected using radiated energy as a vehicle is on the order of the elementary charge. Based on the results, an expression for the fine structure constant is obtained. This is the first time that an order of magnitude estimation of the elementary charge based on electromagnetic radiation fields is obtained. Even though the results obtained in this paper have to be considered as order of magnitude estimations, a strict interpretation of the derived equations shows that the fine structure constant or the elementary charge may change as the size or the age of the universe increases. Full article

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