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Special Issue "Cloud and Precipitation"

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A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Katja Friedrich (Website)

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, 4001 Discovery Drive, 311 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0311W, USA
Phone: +1 303 492 2041
Fax: +1 303 492 3524
Interests: studying kinematic and microphysical processes in thunderstorms, orographic precipitation, and winter storms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research related to clouds and precipitation represents one of the most important and scientifically exciting challenges ranging from high-resolution, short-term forecasting and monitoring to global, long-term climate prediction. Clouds and precipitation are important components in the Earth’s energy and water cycle, the Earth’s climate, and climate variability. Monitoring cloud and precipitation evolution in severe weather systems such as hurricanes, thunderstorms, and winter storms has improved public safety. Over the last years, measuring characteristics of cloud and precipitation such as size, height, and depth of clouds, amount and type of precipitation has significantly advanced due to new measuring technologies for in-situ and remote sensing instruments. Global coverage and high-resolution observations have improved our understanding of the formation and evolution of clouds and precipitation systems. It enables us now to better study multi-scale motions, microphysical transformations, and the role of aerosols in cloud and precipitation systems and, therefore, has advanced the accuracy in numerical weather and climate prediction models. Thus, clouds and precipitation are not only fascinating atmospheric phenomena, but the quantitative understanding of the physical processes that lead to their formation, growth, and decay is essential to improve short- and long-term forecasting. Although much has been learned about clouds and precipitation in recent years, many research questions remain unanswered and the ability to predict its location and intensity with the desired accuracy remains elusive.

Manuscripts on all aspects of clouds and precipitation are welcome for this special issue.

Dr. Katja Friedrich
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • severe weather
  • process understanding
  • quantitative precipitation estimation
  • global and regional hydrological cycle
  • remote sensing and in-situ observations
  • role of aerosols
  • numerical weather forecasting
  • regional and global climate modeling

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of B-, Γ- and Log-Normal Distributions in a Three-Moment Parameterization for Drop Sedimentation
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 484-517; doi:10.3390/atmos5030484
Received: 14 April 2014 / Revised: 23 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 July 2014 / Published: 24 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines different distribution functions used in a three-moment parameterization scheme with regard to their influence on the implementation and the results of the parameterization scheme. In parameterizations with moment methods, the prognostic variables are interpreted as statistical moments of a [...] Read more.
This paper examines different distribution functions used in a three-moment parameterization scheme with regard to their influence on the implementation and the results of the parameterization scheme. In parameterizations with moment methods, the prognostic variables are interpreted as statistical moments of a drop size distribution, for which a functional form has to be assumed. In cloud microphysics, parameterizations are frequently based on gamma- and log-normal distributions, while for particle-laden flows in engineering, the beta-distribution is sometimes used. In this study, the three-moment schemes with beta-, gamma- and log-normal distributions are tested in a 1D framework for drop sedimentation, and their results are compared with those of a spectral reference model. The gamma-distribution performs best. The results of the parameterization with the beta- and the log-normal distribution have less similarity to the reference solution, particularly with regard to number density and rain rate. Theoretical considerations reveal that (depending on the type of the distribution function) only selected combinations of moments can be predicted together. Among these is the important combination of “number density, liquid water content, radar reflectivity” for all three distributions. Advection or source/sink terms can only be calculated under certain conditions on the moment values (positivity of the Hankel–Hadamard determinant). These are derived from mathematical theory (“moment problem”) and are more restrictive for three-moment than for two-moment schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)
Open AccessArticle Performance of Using Cascade Forward Back Propagation Neural Networks for Estimating Rain Parameters with Rain Drop Size Distribution
Atmosphere 2014, 5(2), 454-472; doi:10.3390/atmos5020454
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 22 May 2014 / Accepted: 27 May 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (965 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of our study is to estimate the parameters M (water content), R (rain rate) and Z (radar reflectivity) with raindrop size distribution by using the neural network method. Our investigations have been conducted in five African localities: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Boyele [...] Read more.
The aim of our study is to estimate the parameters M (water content), R (rain rate) and Z (radar reflectivity) with raindrop size distribution by using the neural network method. Our investigations have been conducted in five African localities: Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Boyele (Congo-Brazzaville), Debuncha (Cameroon), Dakar (Senegal) and Niamey (Niger). For the first time, we have predicted the values of the various parameters in each locality after using neural models (LANN) which have been developed with locally obtained disdrometer data. We have shown that each LANN can be used under other latitudes to get satisfactory results. Secondly, we have also constructed a model, using as train-data, a combination of data issued from all five localities. With this last model called PANN, we could obtain satisfactory estimates forall localities. Lastly, we have distinguished between stratiform and convective rain while building the neural networks. In fact, using simulation data from stratiform rain situations, we have obtained smaller root mean square errors (RMSE) between neural values and disdrometer values than using data issued from convective situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)
Open AccessArticle Patterns of Precipitation and Convection Occurrence over the Mediterranean Basin Derived from a Decade of Microwave Satellite Observations
Atmosphere 2014, 5(2), 370-398; doi:10.3390/atmos5020370
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 22 April 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (11099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Mediterranean region is characterized by its vulnerability to changes in the water cycle, with the impact of global warming on the water resources being one of the major concerns in social, economical and scientific ambits. Even if precipitation is the best-known [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean region is characterized by its vulnerability to changes in the water cycle, with the impact of global warming on the water resources being one of the major concerns in social, economical and scientific ambits. Even if precipitation is the best-known term of the Mediterranean water budget, large uncertainties remain due to the lack of suitable offshore observational data. In this study, we use the data provided by the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-B (AMSU-B) on board NOAA satellites to detect and analyze precipitating and convective events over the last decade at spatial resolution of 0.2° latitude × 0.2° longitude. AMSU-B observation shows that rain occurrence is widespread over the Mediterranean in wintertime while reduced in the eastern part of the basin in summer. Both precipitation and convection occurrences display a weak diurnal cycle over sea. In addition, convection occurrences, which are essentially located over land during summertime, shift to mostly over the sea during autumn with maxima in the Ionian sub-basin and the Adriatic Sea. Precipitation occurrence is also inferred over the sea from two other widely used climatological datasets, HOAPS (Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis interim (ERA-Interim). There is generally a rather fair agreement between these climatologies for describing the large-scale patterns such as the strong latitudinal gradient of rain and eastward rain signal propagation. Furthermore, the higher spatial resolution of AMSU-B measurements (16 km at nadir) gives access to mesoscale details in the region (e.g., coastal areas). AMSU-B measurements show less rain occurrences than HOAPS during wintertime, thereby suggesting that some of the thresholds used in our method might be too stringent during this season. We also observed that convection occurrences in ERA-Interim are systematically lower than those derived from AMSU-B. These results are potentially valuable to evaluate the rainfall parameterization in weather and climate models and to constrain ocean models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)
Open AccessArticle Analysis and Application of the Relationship between Cumulonimbus (Cb) Cloud Features and Precipitation Based on FY-2C Image
Atmosphere 2014, 5(2), 211-229; doi:10.3390/atmos5020211
Received: 29 December 2013 / Revised: 25 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although cumulonimbus (Cb) clouds are the main source of precipitation in south China, the relationship between Cb cloud characteristics and precipitation remains unclear. Accordingly, the primary objective of this study was to thoroughly analyze the relationship between Cb cloud features and precipitation [...] Read more.
Although cumulonimbus (Cb) clouds are the main source of precipitation in south China, the relationship between Cb cloud characteristics and precipitation remains unclear. Accordingly, the primary objective of this study was to thoroughly analyze the relationship between Cb cloud features and precipitation both at the pixel and cloud patch scale, and then to apply it in precipitation estimation in the Huaihe River Basin using China’s first operational geostationary meteorological satellite, FengYun-2C (FY-2C), and the hourly precipitation data of 286 gauges from 2007. First, 31 Cb parameters (14 parameters of three pixel features and 17 parameters of four cloud patch features) were extracted based on a Cb tracking method using an artificial neural network (ANN) cloud classification as a pre-processing procedure to identify homogeneous Cb patches. Then, the relationship between Cb cloud properties and precipitation was analyzed and applied in a look-up table algorithm to estimate precipitation. The results were as follows: (1) Precipitation increases first and then declines with increasing values for cold cloud and time evolution parameters, and heavy precipitation may occur not only near the convective center, but also on the front of the Cb clouds on the pixel scale. (2) As for the cloud patch scale, precipitation is typically associated with cold cloud and rough cloud surfaces, whereas the coldest and roughest cloud surfaces do not correspond to the strongest rain. Moreover, rainfall has no obvious relationship with the cloud motion features and varies significantly over different life stages. The involvement of mergers and splits of minor Cb patches is crucial for precipitation processes. (3) The correlation coefficients of the estimated rain rate and gauge rain can reach 0.62 in the cross-validation period and 0.51 in the testing period, which indicates the feasibility of the further application of the relationship in precipitation estimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)
Open AccessCommunication Variance of Fluctuating Radar Echoes from Thermal Noise and Randomly Distributed Scatterers
Atmosphere 2014, 5(1), 92-100; doi:10.3390/atmos5010092
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 23 January 2014 / Accepted: 29 January 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
PDF Full-text (344 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In several cases (e.g., thermal noise, weather echoes, …), the incoming signal to a radar receiver can be assumed to be Rayleigh distributed. When estimating the mean power from the inherently fluctuating Rayleigh signals, it is necessary to average either the echo [...] Read more.
In several cases (e.g., thermal noise, weather echoes, …), the incoming signal to a radar receiver can be assumed to be Rayleigh distributed. When estimating the mean power from the inherently fluctuating Rayleigh signals, it is necessary to average either the echo power intensities or the echo logarithmic levels. Until now, it has been accepted that averaging the echo intensities provides smaller variance values, for the same number of independent samples. This has been known for decades as the implicit consequence of two works that were presented in the open literature. The present note deals with the deriving of analytical expressions of the variance of the two typical estimators of mean values of echo power, based on echo intensities and echo logarithmic levels. The derived expressions explicitly show that the variance associated to an average of the echo intensities is lower than that associated to an average of logarithmic levels. Consequently, it is better to average echo intensities rather than logarithms. With the availability of digital IF receivers, which facilitate the averaging of echo power, the result has a practical value. As a practical example, the variance obtained from two sets of noise samples, is compared with that predicted with the analytical expression derived in this note (Section 3): the measurements and theory show good agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)
Open AccessArticle Diurnal Variation of Rainfall Associated with Tropical Depression in South China and its Relationship to Land-Sea Contrast and Topography
Atmosphere 2014, 5(1), 16-44; doi:10.3390/atmos5010016
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 16 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 27 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Convective precipitation associated with tropical depression (TD) is one primary type of post-flooding season rainfall in South China (SC). Observations of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite have shown specific diurnal features of convective rainfall in South China, which is somewhat [...] Read more.
Convective precipitation associated with tropical depression (TD) is one primary type of post-flooding season rainfall in South China (SC). Observations of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite have shown specific diurnal features of convective rainfall in South China, which is somewhat different from that in other seasons or regions of China. Convective precipitation is usually organized into a rainfall band along the southeastern coast of South China in the early morning hours. The rainfall band develops and intensifies quickly in the morning, then moves inland in the afternoon and, finally, diminishes at night. The daily convective rainfall along the coast is much more than that in the inland region, and heavy rainfall is often found along the coast. A long-duration heavy rainfall event associated with tropical depression “Fitow” during the period from 28 August to 6 September 2001, is selected in this study to explore the diurnal feature of convective rainfall and its formation mechanism. Modeling results of the 10-day heavy rainfall event are compared with both rain-gauge observation and satellite-retrieved rainfall. Total precipitation and its spatial distribution, as well as diurnal variations are reasonably simulated and agree well with observations. Further analysis reveals that the development and movement of convective precipitation is mainly related to the land and sea breezes. The anomalous height-latitudinal circulation in the morning-to-noon hours is completely reversed in the afternoon-to-late-evening hours, with the convective rainfall swinging back and forth, following its updraft branch. Sensitivity experiments show that the afternoon convective rainfall in the inland region of SC is caused by the diurnal variation of solar radiation forcing. The mountain range along the coast and the complex topography in the inland region of SC plays a critical role in the enhancement of diurnal convective rainfall everywhere. The formation of a heavy rainfall band along the southeastern coast of SC and the diurnal variation of the rainfall pattern are mainly the results of the land-sea thermal contrast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)

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Open AccessProject Report Basic Concepts for Convection Parameterization in Weather Forecast and Climate Models: COST Action ES0905 Final Report
Atmosphere 2015, 6(1), 88-147; doi:10.3390/atmos6010088
Received: 4 June 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 26 December 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (497 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The research network “Basic Concepts for Convection Parameterization in Weather Forecast and Climate Models” was organized with European funding (COST Action ES0905) for the period of 2010–2014. Its extensive brainstorming suggests how the subgrid-scale parameterization problem in atmospheric modeling, especially for convection, [...] Read more.
The research network “Basic Concepts for Convection Parameterization in Weather Forecast and Climate Models” was organized with European funding (COST Action ES0905) for the period of 2010–2014. Its extensive brainstorming suggests how the subgrid-scale parameterization problem in atmospheric modeling, especially for convection, can be examined and developed from the point of view of a robust theoretical basis. Our main cautions are current emphasis on massive observational data analyses and process studies. The closure and the entrainment–detrainment problems are identified as the two highest priorities for convection parameterization under the mass–flux formulation. The need for a drastic change of the current European research culture as concerns policies and funding in order not to further deplete the visions of the European researchers focusing on those basic issues is emphasized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)

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