AIR Symposia 2015

Atmospheric & Interdisciplinary Research Symposia 2015

Time Speaker Title
8:00am Registration and Breakfest
9:00am Dr. Eric Betterton Opening remarks
9:15am Session 1: Rapid Fire Round
9:15am Wenfu Tang A Comparative Analysis on the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Fire Characteristics in the Amazon and Equatorial Southern Africa Using Observations from Space
9:25am Itinderjot Singh Atmospheric River Events in the Salt and Verde river basins: Climatology and Possible Future Changes
9:35am Dean Pryles Flood inundation and run-off modeling in tropical cyclones using the WRF-HYDRO model
9:45am Jack Eyre Developing a high resolution surface air temperature dataset for Greenland
9:55am Session 2: Atmospheric Electricity
9:55am Gina Medici The Intra-Cloud Lightning Fraction in the Continental United States
10:15am Daile Zhang An Analysis of Lightning Flash Characteristics Using the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network and Lightning Mapping Array Observations
10:35am Break
10:50am Session 3: Natural Hazards and Extreme Events
10:50am Ethan Smith Evaluating forecast accuracy of tropical cyclones undergoing rapid size changes in the North Atlantic
11:10am Reid Strickler Forecast accuracy associated with high impact weather events over the western United States downstream of extratropically transitioning tropical cyclones
11:30am Kyle Davis A new statistical model to predict seasonal North Atlantic hurricane activity
11:50am Denise Balukas A Global Investigation of the Impacts of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones on Societies
12:10pm Lunch Break, Santa Rita Room
1:15pm Joint Round Table Session with the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources (HWRS)
2:00pm Session 4: Modeling and Evaluation 1
2:00pm Aishwarya Raman Using chemical ratios to estimate Black Carbon concentrations across Continental United States
2:20pm Furrukh Bashir Seasonal Prediction Of The Monsoon Precipitation In Pakistan Using Multiple Linear Regression
2:40pm Devon Bracher Floods Related to Atmospheric Rivers in the Chehalis River Basin
3:00pm William Lytle Evaluation of the Seasonal Consistency of the Representation of the Land Surface in Several Reanalysis Products
3:20pm Break
3:35pm Session 5: Modeling And Evaluation II
3:35pm Kerrie Geil Quantitative Characterization of Spurious Gibbs Oscillations in 48 CMIP5 Models
3:55pm Susan Stillman Evaluation of 22 precipitation and 20 soil moisture products over a semiarid area in southeastern Arizona
4:15pm Ruby Leung Keynote Speaker, "A Tale of Two Rivers", Rincon Room
1:00pm Plenary talk and poster session table
1:00pm Denise L. Balukas A Global Investigation of the Impacts of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones on Societies
1:00pm Gina Medici The Intra-Cloud Lightning Fraction in the Continental United States
2:00pm Alejandro Martinez Effects of Groundwater Dynamics on Hydrometeorological Conditions over South America

A Comparative Analysis on the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Fire Characteristics in the Amazon and Equatorial Southern Africa Using Observations from Space

Wenfu Tang

Fires in Equatorial Southern Africa (ESA) and the Amazon comprise the two largest contributors to fire emissions of chemically and radiatively-active atmospheric constituents across the globe. Here, we investigate the spatiotemporal trends in fire characteristics between these regions using combustion signatures observed from space. Our main goals are: 1) To identify key relationships between the trends in co-emitted constituents across these regions, and, 2) To explore linkages of the observed trends in fire characteristics with the main drivers of change such as meteorology, fire practice, development patterns, and ecosystem feedbacks. We take advantage of the similarity in latitude and land area between these regions in understanding some of these drivers. Our approach begins with a multi-species analysis of trends in the observed abundance of CO, NO2 , and aerosols over these regions and across the time period 2004 to 2014. We use multi-spectral retrievals of CO from MOPITT, tropospheric column retrievals of NO2 from OMI, and aerosol optical depth retrievals from the MODIS instrument. The long records from these retrievals provides a unique opportunity to study atmospheric composition across the most recent decade. While several studies in the past have reported trends over these regions, most of these studies have focused on a particular constituent. A unique aspect of this work involves understanding covariations in co-emitted constituents to provide a more comprehensive look at fire characteristics and behavior, which are yet to be fully understood. Our initial results show that the annual average of CO for ESA is greater than that of Amazon. This pattern is also seen in NO2. The standard deviation of CO is higher in the Amazon when compared to ESA whereas NO2 shows a similar standard deviation in the Amazon and ESA. We also find changes in the timing patterns of the large fire events across these regions. Since this has important implications to changes in fire behavior (smoldering and flaming phases), we also investigated retrievals of FRP from MODIS and information on land cover change and deforestation. Finally, we will explore other measurements available such as GFED to test the robustness of our findings. We note that this exploratory work provides a unique perspective of fire characteristics that will be useful to improve predictive capability of fire emission and atmospheric models for the Amazon and ESA.


Atmospheric River Events in the Salt and Verde river basins: Climatology and Possible Future Changes

Itinderjot Singh

The Southwestern United States is one of the most water stressed regions of the country. The Salt-Verde river basin in northeastern Arizona provides water to the greater Phoenix area and to two Native American tribes that are dependent upon the basin�s natural resources for their livelihood. Summer monsoonal precipitation re-evaporates and is quickly lost. Due to this, the region is critically dependent on winter precipitation for its water resources. It has been shown that nearly one-fourth of winter precipitation in the area can be attributed to Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) which are narrow channels of water vapor originating in tropical and subtropical areas. ARs bring 25% of the total rainfall and are responsible for 60% of the most intense precipitation events in the region. Hence, it is important to understand the conditions of AR formation as well as the changes in AR events due to the changing climate. The objective of this study is to identify and study future AR events. For this study, AR-identification technique developed by Lavers et al. (2013) was used on the historical ERA-Interim data, and on the historical and future CMIP5 GCM simulations. The purpose was to identify changes in the intensity and frequency of ARs in model simulations for two Representative Concentration Paths (RCPs): a mid-range concentration path (RCP 4.5) and a high concentration path (RCP 8.5) for short and intermediate time span between 1950 and 2005, and a near-future period from 2006 to 2050. In addition, large-scale changes in thermodynamic conditions (temperature and humidity) were also evaluated as they play important part in AR formation. Preliminary results of the study indicate an overall increase in both intensity and frequency of future AR events. This information is valuable and could be used to drive the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and thus study the hydrological impact of AR events in terms of precipitation, streamflow, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, etc.


Flood inundation and run-off modeling in tropical cyclones using the WRF-HYDRO model

Dean Pryles

The Weather Research and Forecasting Model Hydrological modeling extension package (WRF-Hydro) is a model-coupling framework used to improve prediction skill of flooding forecasts using numerical prediction. Improvement of tropical cyclone (TC) flood forecasting is an area that could be very useful to weather forecasters, emergency managers, and ultimately the public. Flooding from TC landfall would be better predicted with WRF-Hydro than WRF alone. WRF-Hydro could be used to project how high water levels would be throughout the TCs lifetime with certain tracks and rain rates, thus predicting the likelihood of structural damage due to flooding. This presentation will discuss a case study conducted on Tropical Storm Lee (2011), which made landfall in Louisiana, causing widespread, destructive flooding throughout the central Gulf Coast. The main purpose of this talk will be to compare runs of WRF with runs of WRF-Hydro, both coupled and uncoupled.