Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. Ser. II
Online ISSN : 2186-9057
Print ISSN : 0026-1165
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  • Kelvin T. F. CHAN, Johnny C. L. CHAN
    Type: Invited Review Articles
    Article ID: 2018-042
    [Advance publication] Released: April 27, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
     This paper presents a summary of some of the observational and numerical studies on the climatology and possible change mechanisms of the outer-core wind structure of a tropical cyclone (TC), which has been generally referred to as size, a term also to be used in this review although various definitions have been given in the literature. In all the ocean basins where TCs exist, TC size has been found to vary with season, year, decade, latitude and longitude. Such variations are related to those in the synoptic flow patterns in which the TCs are embedded. Several factors have been identified to be responsible for changes in TC size, which include environmental humidity, vortex structure, sea surface temperature and planetary vorticity. Each of these factors can modify the transport of lower tropospheric angular momentum into the TC and hence cause changes in its size. The paper ends with a discussion of outstanding issues in the study of the outer-core wind structure of a TC.
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  • Eigo TOCHIMOTO, Hiroshi NIINO
    Type: Articles
    Article ID: 2018-043
    [Advance publication] Released: April 27, 2018
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     This study used the JRA-55 reanalysis dataset to analyze the structure and environment of extratropical cyclones (ECs) that spawned tornadoes (tornadic ECs: TECs) between 1961 and 2011 in Japan. Composite analysis indicated that the differences between the structure and environment of TECs and those of ECs that did not spawn tornadoes (non-tornadic ECs: NTECs) vary with the seasons. In spring (March–May), TECs are associated with stronger upper-level potential vorticity and colder mid-level temperature than NTECs. The colder air at the mid-level contributes to the increase in convective available potential energy (CAPE) of TECs. TECs in winter (December–February: DJF) and those northward of 40°N in autumn (September–November: SON) are accompanied by larger CAPE than are NTECs. The larger CAPE for TECs in DJF is caused by larger moisture and warmer temperature at low levels, and that for TECs northward of 40°N in SON (NSON) is caused by the colder mid-level temperature associated with an upper-level trough. The distribution of the energy helicity index also shows significant differences between TECs and NTECs for DJF and NSON. On the other hand, the distribution of the 0–1 km storm relative environmental helicity (SREH) shows no significant differences between TECs and NTECs in most seasons except DJF. A comparison of TECs between Japan and the United States (US) shows that SREH and CAPE are noticeably larger in the US. It is suggested that these differences occur because TECs in the US (Japan) develop over land (ocean), which exerts more (less) surface friction and diurnal heating.
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  • Mayumi YOSHIDA, Maki KIKUCHI, Takashi M. NAGAO, Hiroshi MURAKAMI, Tomo ...
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-039
    [Advance publication] Released: April 15, 2018
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     We develop a common retrieval algorithm of aerosol properties such as aerosol optical thickness, single-scattering albedo, and Ångström exponent for various satellite sensors over both land and ocean. The three main features of this algorithm are as follows: (1) automatic selection of the optimum channels for aerosol retrieval by introducing a weight for each channel to the object function, (2) setting common candidate aerosol models over land and ocean, and (3) preparation of lookup tables for every 1 nm in the range from 300 to 2500 nm of wavelength and weighting the radiance using the response function for each sensor. This method was applied to the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) on board the Japan Meteorological Agency’s geostationary satellite Himawari-8, and the results depicted an approximately continuous estimate of aerosol optical thickness over land and ocean. Further, the aerosol optical thickness estimated using our algorithm was generally consistent with the products from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). Additionally, we applied our algorithm to MODIS on board the Aqua satellite and then compared the retrieval results to those that were obtained using AHI. The comparisons of the aerosol optical thickness retrieved from different sensors with different viewing angles on board the geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites suggest an underestimation of aerosol optical thickness at the backscattering direction (or overestimated in other directions). The retrieval of aerosol properties using a common algorithm allows us to identify a weakness in the algorithm, which includes the assumptions in the aerosol model (e.g. sphericity or size distiribution).
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  • Ryohei MISUMI, Yasushi UJI, Yutaka TOBO, Kazuhiko MIURA, Jun UETAKE, Y ...
    Type: Notes and Correspondence
    Article ID: 2018-040
    [Advance publication] Released: April 13, 2018
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     Continuous observations of cloud droplet size distributions (DSDs) in low-level stratiform clouds have been conducted at a height of 458 m from Tokyo Skytree (a 634-m high broadcasting tower in Tokyo) using a cloud droplet spectrometer. In this report, the characteristics of cloud parameters related to the cloud DSD from June to December 2016 are presented. The mean cloud droplet number concentration (Nc), average diameters, and effective diameters of cloud droplets in non-drizzling clouds were 213 cm-3, 7.3 μm, and 9.5 μm, respectively, which are close to the reported values for continental stratiform clouds. The relationship between the liquid water content (LWC; g m-3), Nc (cm-3) and radar reflectivity (Z; mm6 m-3) was estimated as LWC = 0.17Nc0.50 Z0.45, with a coefficient of determination ( R 2) of 0.93. The observed cloud DSDs were well fitted by a lognormal distribution and the average median diameter of the fitted DSD was 6.6 μm.
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  • Xiaoyong ZHUGE, Xiaolei ZOU
    Type: Articles
    Article ID: 2018-041
    [Advance publication] Released: April 13, 2018
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     Convective initiation (CI) nowcasting often has a low probability of detection (POD) and a high false-alarm ratio (FAR) at sub-tropical regions where the warm-rain processes often occur. Using the high spatial- and temporal-resolution and multi-spectral data from the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) on board Japanese new-generation geostationary satellite Himawari-8, a stand-alone CI nowcasting algorithm is developed in this study. The AHI-based CI algorithm utilizes the reflectance observations from channels 1 (0.47 μm) and 7 (3.9 μm), brightness temperature observations from infrared window channel 13 (10.4 μm), the dual-spectral differences between channels 10 (7.3 μm) and 13, 13 and 15 (12.4 μm), as well as a tri-spectral combination of channels 11, 15 and 13, as CI predictors without relying on any dynamic ancillary data (e.g., cloud type and atmospheric motion vector products). The proposed AHI-based algorithm is applied to CI cases over Fujian province in the Southeastern China. When validated by S-band radar observations, the CI algorithm produced a POD as high as 93.33 %, and a FAR as low as 33.33 % for a CI case day that occurred on 1 August 2015 over Northern Fujian. For over 216 CI events that occurred in a three-month period from July to September 2015, the CI nowcasting lead time has a mean value of ~64 minutes, with a longest lead time over 120 minutes. It is suggested that false-alarm nowcasts that occur in the presence of capping inversion require further investigation and algorithm enhancements.
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  • Pradeep KHATRI, Tadahiro HAYASAKA, Hironobu IWABUCHI, Tamio TAKAMURA, ...
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-036
    [Advance publication] Released: April 09, 2018
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     The present study implements long-term surface observed radiation data (pyranometer observed global flux and sky radiometer observed spectral zenith transmittance data) of multiple SKYNET sites to validate water cloud optical properties (cloud optical depth COD and effective radius Re) observed from space by MODIS onboard TERRA and AQUA satellites and AHI onboard Himawari-8 satellite. Despite some degrees of differences in COD and Re between MODIS and AHI, they both showed common features when validated using surface based global flux data as well as cloud properties retrieved from sky radiometer observed zenith transmittance data. In general, CODs from both satellite sensors are found to overestimated when clouds are optically thin. Among a number of factors (spatial and temporal variations of cloud, sensor and solar zenith angles), the solar zenith angle (SZA) is found to have an impact on COD difference between reflectance based satellite sensor and transmittance based sky radiometer. The Re values from the sky radiometer and satellite sensor are generally poorly correlated. The difference in Re between the sky radiometer and satellite sensor is negatively correlated with COD difference between them, which is likely due to the inherent influence of Re retrieval precision on COD retrieval and vice versa in transmittance based sky radiometer.
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  • Keiya YUMIMOTO, Taichu Y. TANAKA, Mayumi YOSHIDA, Maki KIKUCHI, Takash ...
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-035
    [Advance publication] Released: April 08, 2018
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     The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) launched a next-generation geostationary meteorological satellite (GMS), Himawari-8, on October 7, 2014 and began its operation on July 7, 2015. The Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) onboard Himawari-8 has 16 observational bands that enable the retrieval of full-disk maps of aerosol optical properties (AOPs), including aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and the Ångström exponent (AE) with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. In this study, we combined an aerosol transport model with the Himawari-8 AOT using the data assimilation method, and performed aerosol assimilation and forecasting experiments on smoke from an intensive wildfire that occurred over Siberia between May 15 and 18, 2016. To effectively utilize the high observational frequency of Himawari-8, we assimilated 1-h merged AOTs generated through the combination of six AOT snapshots taken over 10-min intervals, three times per day. The heavy smoke originating from the wildfire was transported eastward behind a low-pressure trough, and covered northern Japan from May 19 to 20. The southern part of the smoke plume then traveled westward, in a clockwise flow associated with high pressure. The forecast without assimilation reproduced the transport of the smoke to northern Japan; however, it underestimated AOT and the extinction coefficient compared with observed values, mainly due to errors in the emission inventory. Data assimilation with the Himawari-8 AOT compensated for the underestimation and successfully forecasted the unique C-shaped distribution of the smoke. In particular, the assimilation of the Himawari-8 AOT during May 18 greatly improved the forecast of the southern part of the smoke flow. Our results indicate that the inheritance of assimilation cycles and the assimilation of more recent observations led to better forecasting in this case of a continental smoke outflow.
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  • Yafei WANG, Xiaoyu XU
    Type: Articles
    Article ID: 2018-032
    [Advance publication] Released: April 07, 2018
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     The proposed study aims to examine the relation between the Tibetan Plateau (TP) thermal condition and El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO). There were significantly positive correlations between the snow water equivalent (SWE) over the TP from November to next April and sea surface temperature (SST) in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific (EEP) in Novmber from 1987 to 2005. SST in EEP in November is most significantly correlated with the TP-SWE in next April, which suggests an accumulative effect of the ENSO on the TP snow cover. Although El Niño conditions could bring anomalous snowfall over the TP by generating a wave train entering the North African-Asian jet, it is questionable if this impact could change the thermal condition over the TP. There was almost no significant negative correlation between the SWE and TP surface temperature (representing the TP thermal condition) in winter. This suggests that the TP thermal condition hardly varies with the anomalous snowfall caused by this ENSO impact, despite some cooling effect of snowfall during the El Niño phase. On the contrary, preceding El Niño conditions tended to be associated with increasing TP surface temperature in May and there were significant positive correlations between SWE in April and TP surface temperature in May and June. ENSO might play a part in affecting TP thermal condition in a way that is quite different from the previous research. A plausible mechanism based on the relation of ENSO-TP thermal condition has been proposed. The mechanism explained the direct and indirect effects of ENSO on the TP thermal condition and role that the seasonal progress can play in this relation. The issues about snow cover aging and the impact of global warming, among others, were also included in the mechanism.
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  • Masahiro KAZUMORI
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-037
    [Advance publication] Released: April 07, 2018
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     This article reports on the impacts of Himawari-8 Clear Sky Radiance (CSR) data assimilation in the global and mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Adoption of the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) on board JMA’s Himawari-8 and -9 satellites has enhanced observational capabilities in terms of spectral, horizontal, and temporal resolution. Improvements brought by the switchover from the Multi-functional Transport Satellite-2 (MTSAT-2) to the new-generation Himawari-8 satellite include an upgrade to the horizontal resolution of CSR data from 64 to 32 km and an increase in the number of available water vapor bands from one to three. CSR products are obtained every hour and distributed to the NWP community. The improved horizontal and spectral resolution of Himawari-8 CSR data provides new information on horizontal water vapor distribution and vertical profiles in data assimilation.

     In data assimilation experiments using JMA’s global NWP system, the assimilation of Himawari-8’s three water vapor bands significantly improved the tropospheric humidity field in analysis, especially in the lower troposphere, as compared to assimilation of the single MTSAT-2 water vapor channel. First-guess (FG) departure statistics for microwave humidity sounders indicated an improvement in the water vapor field, especially over Himawari-8 observation areas. Improved forecasting of tropospheric temperature, humidity, and wind fields for Himawari-8 observation areas was also seen.

     In data assimilation experiments using JMA’s mesoscale NWP system, a disastrous heavy precipitation event that took place in Japan’s Kanto-Tohoku region in 2015 was investigated. A single water vapor band of Himawari-8 CSR corresponding to MTSAT-2 was assimilated, resulting in enhanced contrast of the water vapor field between moist and dry areas, as well as a realistic representation of moist air flows from the ocean in analysis. The changes also improved mesoscale model heavy precipitation forecasts.

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  • Arata OKUYAMA, Masaya TAKAHASHI, Kenji DATE, Keita HOSAKA, Hidehiko MU ...
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-033
    [Advance publication] Released: March 30, 2018
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     The new geostationary meteorological satellite of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Himawari-8, entered operation on 7 July 2015. Himawari-8 features the new 16-band Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI), whose spatial resolution and observation frequency are improved over those of its predecessor MTSAT-series satellites. These improvements will bring unprecedented levels of performance in nowcasting services and short-range weather forecasting systems. In view of the essential nature of navigation and radiometric calibration in fully leveraging the imager’s potential, this study reports on the current status of calibration for the AHI. Image navigation is accurate to within 1 km, and band-to-band co-registration has also been validated. Infrared-band calibration is accurate to within 0.2 K with no significant diurnal variation, and is being validated using an approach developed under the GSICS framework. Validation approaches are currently being tested for the visible and near-infrared bands. Two such approaches were compared and found to produce largely consistent results.
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  • Michiko OTSUKA, Hiromu SEKO, Kazuki SHIMOJI, Koji YAMASHITA
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-034
    [Advance publication] Released: March 23, 2018
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     Rapid scan atmospheric motion vectors (RS-AMV) were derived with an algorithm developed by the Meteorological Satellite Center of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) from Himawari-8 rapid scan imagery over the area around Japan. They were computed every 10 min for seven different channels, namely, the visible channel (VIS), near infrared and infrared channels (IR), three water vapor absorption channels (WV), and CO2 absorption channel (CO2), from image triplets with time intervals of 2.5 min for VIS and 5 min for the other six channels. In June 2016, the amount of data was increased by more than 20 times compared to the number of routinely used AMVs. To exploit these high-resolution data in mesoscale data assimilation for the improvement of short-range forecasts, data verification and assimilation experiments were conducted. The RS-AMVs were of sufficiently good quality for assimilation and consistent overall with winds from JMA’s mesoscale analyses, radiosonde, and wind profiler observations. Errors were slightly larger in WV than in VIS and IR channels. Significant negative biases relative to sonde winds were seen at high levels in VIS, IR, and CO2, while slightly positive biases were noticeable in WV at mid- to high levels. Data assimilation experiments with the JMA’s non-hydrostatic model based Variational Data Assimilation System (JNoVA) on a cold vortex event in June 2016 were conducted using RS-AMVs from seven channels. The wind forecasts improved slightly in early forecast hours before 12 hours in northern Japan, over which the vortex passed during the assimilation period. They also showed small improvement at low levels when averaged over the whole forecast period. The results varied slightly depending on the channels used for assimilation, which might be caused by different error characteristics of RS-AMVs in different channels.
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  • Xi CAO, Renguang WU
    Type: Articles : Special Edition on Tropical Cyclones in 2015–2016
    Article ID: 2018-038
    [Advance publication] Released: March 20, 2018
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     The present study compares contributions of different environmental factors to the tropical cyclone (TC) genesis over the western North Pacific (WNP) during 2015 and 2016. A local instantaneous view of conditions for the TC genesis is adopted in the present study, which is distinct from previous view of large-scale temporal averaged conditions. The present study also distinguishes the contributions of three time scale (synoptic, intraseasonal, and interannual) variations of various factors. Common to 2015 and 2016, the positive contribution of lower-level vorticity and upward motion to the TC genesis is mainly from the intraseasonal and synoptic components; the contribution of the barotropic energy conversion to the development of synoptic disturbances is larger from climatological mean winds and intraseasonal wind variations than from interannual wind variations; all three time scale variations of mid-level specific humidity contribute positively to the TC genesis; the barotropic energy conversion from climatological mean winds is due to the terms in relation to the meridional shear and zonal convergence of zonal wind. In comparison, the positive contribution of lower-level vorticity and mid-level specific humidity is larger in 2015 than in 2016 on all the three time scales; the contribution of the barotropic energy conversion in relation to the meridional shear of interannual variations of zonal wind and the zonal convergence of intraseasonal variations of zonal wind are larger in 2015 than in 2016; the vertical wind shear on all the three time scales and the sea surface temperature on the interannual time scale have a larger positive contribution to the TC genesis in 2016 than in 2015.
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  • Augusto José PEREIRA FILHO, Felipe VEMADO, Kazuo SAITO, Hiromu SEKO, J ...
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-030
    [Advance publication] Released: March 09, 2018
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     The Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study (TOMACS) for extreme-weather-resilient cities is a research and development project (RDP) of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP). TOMACS provided a multiplatform and high spatiotemporal resolution dataset for the present research on three episodes of deep convection in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area (TMA) under its heat island effect and sea breeze circulations. Heavy rainfall episodes of August 26, 2011, and July 23 and August 12, 2013, were simulated with (and without) the tropical town energy budget (T-TEB) model coupled with the advanced regional prediction system (ARPS). The T-TEB/ARPS system used initial and boundary conditions from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) mesoscale analysis data for 24-hour integration runs at 5-km resolution over Japan and at 1-km resolution over TOMACS area. The 1-km resolution hourly rainfall field simulations were verified against the respective automated meteorological data acquisition system (AMeDAS) rain gauge network measurements. Statistics of the Contingency tables were obtained to estimate the critical success index (CSI), probability of detection (POD), and false alarm rate (FAR) as well as the root mean square error (RMSE). The T-TEB/ARPS simulations improved the south and east sea breeze circulations of TMA and its urban heat island effect. The time evolution of CSI scores improved within the advective time scale, whereas dissipation (phase) errors on precipitation RMSE increased with the integration time and were larger than the dispersion (amplitude) errors. The initial and boundary conditions of JMA greatly improved the simulations as compared to the previous ones performed with the outputs of NCEP’s global forecast system as indicated by the TOMACS datasets. Thus, the results represent the temporal and spatial evolutions of the atmospheric conditions leading to the development of a deep convection within TOMACS region. Furthermore, TMA is a good testbed to evaluate the urban surface schemes, such as T-TEB in this study.
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  • Hiroshi G. TAKAHASHI, Julie Mae B. DADO
    Type: Notes and Correspondence
    Article ID: 2018-031
    [Advance publication] Released: March 09, 2018
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     We offer a new perspective on a relationship between sea surface temperature (SST) over the windward region of the Philippines and rainfall in the western Philippines during the Asian summer monsoon season, which has been known as the negative correlation, using observational daily SST, rainfall, and atmospheric circulation datasets. This study focuses on the local SST effect rather than the remote effect. A warmer local SST results in greater rainfall over the western Philippines under similar monsoon westerlies conditions, particularly during moderate and relatively stronger monsoon regimes. This result is obtained after selecting only the moderate or relatively stronger monsoon days, because the positive effect of SST on rainfall is masked by the apparent negative correlation between SST and rainfall. The warmer SSTs being associated with less rainfall correspond to weaker cooling by weaker monsoon westerlies and the cooler SSTs being associated with more rainfall correspond to stronger cooling by stronger monsoon westerlies. The cooler SSTs are the result of stronger monsoon cooling and are not the cause of the greater rainfall, which is the apparent statistical relationship. This also implies that the monsoon westerly is the primary driver of the variation in rainfall in this region. We conclude that the local SST makes a positive contribution toward rainfall, although it does not primarily control rainfall. This conclusion can be applicable to coastal regions where, climatologically, rainfall is controlled by winds from the ocean.
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  • Kohin HIRANO, Masayuki MAKI
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-028
    [Advance publication] Released: February 24, 2018
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     This paper reports the development of a very-short-range nowcast system, VIL Nowcast, which aims to provide precise forecasts of imminent rainfall, and in particular, heavy and localized events. The system is based on the vertically integrated liquid water content (VIL), which is estimated from three-dimensional radar observations as well as the 1-minute-resolution rainfall map obtained from the X-band polarimetric (multi-parameter) RAdar Information Network (XRAIN), to predict rainfall amounts over 10 minutes periods that extend to 10--60 minutes into the future. The spatial resolution of VIL Nowcast was 500 m, and nowcasts were produced at a temporal resolution of 5 minutes. Three precipitation events, of which two were isolated storms and one was a synoptic storm, were used as case studies to verify the model. The performance of VIL Nowcast was evaluated against the XRAIN radar rainfall data and an existing rainfall-rate nowcast system using the same advection scheme. The scope of the evaluation was limited mainly to the first prediction for 10 minutes ahead. It was found that VIL Nowcast showed a small, statistically significant improvement over the entire precipitation event, although its skill decreased at longer lead times and at higher thresholds. The key findings of this study are: (1) VIL Nowcast appears capable of generating skillful forecasts at short lead times, even for very localized heavy rainfall; (2) VIL Nowcast can reduce the time lag in the rainfall-rate nowcast system at initiation and peak precipitation; and (3) this system may improve the accuracy of heavy rainfall alerts provided for public activities and emergency alarms.
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  • Naoko SEINO, Ryoko ODA, Hirofumi SUGAWARA, Toshinori AOYAGI
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-029
    [Advance publication] Released: February 17, 2018
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     During the Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS) intensive observation period (IOP) in 2011-2013 summers, atmospheric environment of several heavy rainfalls was observed by means of radiosonde soundings in the Tokyo metropolitan area. We investigated formation and development processes of an extremely developed thunderstorm (Case 1 on 26 August 2011) and a moderately developed thunderstorm (Case 2 on 18 July 2013) observed in the TOMACS IOP, utilizing the radiosonde sounding data. Compared to Case 2, the mesoscale environment of the severe storm in Case 1 featured a lower level of free convection and a deeper layer of easterly flow. We carried out numerical simulations to investigate the formation processes of the convective systems in the two cases, using the Non-Hydrostatic Model (NHM) of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) incorporating the Square Prism Urban Canopy (SPUC) scheme. Model results fairly represented the spatial distribution and amounts of the rainfall in both cases. In Case 1, the formation of a distinct convergence zone between easterly and southerly flows was the likely trigger of active convective systems around Tokyo. To further examine the urban impact on precipitation, we performed two comparative simulations, one using realistic current urban surface conditions (CRNT experiment) and the other using less urbanized surface conditions (LURB experiment). The CRNT experiment yielded more rainfall than the LURB experiment in the central urban area. It appears that higher temperatures caused by urbanization can lead to increased rainfall in Tokyo by intensifying convergence and ascending motion.
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  • Kazuo SAITO, Masaru KUNII, Kentaro ARAKI
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-027
    [Advance publication] Released: February 11, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

      Local heavy rainfall of about 100 mm h-1 occurred in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture on 26 August 2011. This rain was brought by a mesoscale convective system (MCS) that developed near a stationary front that slowly moved southward. In an analysis using geostationary multi-purpose satellite rapid scan images and dense automated weather station networks, development of the MCS occurred after the merging of sea breezes from the east (Kashima-nada) and the south (Tokyo Bay).

     Numerical experiments by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) nonhydrostatic model (NHM) with horizontal resolutions of 10 km and 2 km using mesoscale 4D-VAR analysis of JMA for initial conditions tended to predict the position of intense rainfall areas west of observed positions. In the mesoscale ensemble forecast using perturbations from JMA’s one-week global ensemble prediction system (EPS) forecast, some ensemble members showed enhanced precipitation around Tokyo, but false precipitation areas appeared north of the Kanto and Hokuriku Districts.

     As an attempt to improve the model forecast, we modified the model, reducing the lower limit of subgrid deviation of water vapor condensation to diagnose the cloudiness for radiation. In the modified model simulation, surface temperatures around Tokyo increased by about 1°C and the position of the intense precipitation was improved, but the false precipitation areas in the Hokuriku District were also enhanced in the ensemble member which brought a better forecast than the control run.

     We also conducted ensemble prediction using a singular vector method based on NHM. One of the ensemble members unstabilized the lower atmosphere on the windward side of the Kanto District and suppressed the false precipitation in the Hokuriku District, and observed characteristics of the local heavy rainfall were well reproduced by NHM with a horizontal resolution of 2 km.

     A conceptual model of the initiation of deep convection by the formation of a low-level convergence zone succeeding merging of the two sea breezes from the east and south is proposed based on observations, previous studies, and numerical simulation results. In this event, the northerly ambient wind played an important role on the occurrence of the local heavy rainfall around Tokyo by suppressing the northward intrusion of the sea breeze from the south.

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  • Kei KAWAI, Kenji KAI, Yoshitaka JIN, Nobuo SUGIMOTO, Dashdondog BATDOR ...
    Type: Articles
    Article ID: 2018-023
    [Advance publication] Released: January 26, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
     The Gobi Desert is one of the major sources of Asian dust, which influences the climate system both directly and indirectly through its long-range transport by the westerlies. In this desert, three ground-based lidars are operated in Dalanzadgad, Sainshand, and Zamyn-Uud, Mongolia. This study firstly combined these lidars into a lidar network and shows the spatial development of a dust layer over the desert and the long-range transport of the dust during 22–23 May 2013 via the lidar network. During this dust event, a cold front accompanying an extratropical cyclone moved southeastward across the desert and sequentially passed through Dalanzadgad, Sainshand, and Zamyn-Uud. In Dalanzadgad, in the central part of the desert, a dust storm occurred owing to the strong wind (6–10 m s -1) associated with the cold front and reached a top height of 1.6 km. Some of the dust floated at a height of 0.9–1.6 km along the cold frontal surface. In Sainshand and Zamyn-Uud, in the eastern part of the desert, the dust layer extended from the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) to the free troposphere in the updraft region of warm air in the cold frontal system. Overall, while the dust layer was moving across the desert with the cold frontal system, it was developing up to the free troposphere. The mechanism of this development can be explained by the combination of two processes as follows: (1) continuous emission of dust from the desert surface to the ABL by the strong wind around the cold front and (2) continuous transport of the dust from the ABL to the free troposphere by the updraft of the warm air in the cold frontal system. This mechanism can contribute to the long-range transport of dust by the westerlies in the free troposphere.
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  • Nurfiena Sagita PUTRI, Hironobu IWABUCHI, Tadahiro HAYASAKA
    Type: Notes and Correspondence : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-020
    [Advance publication] Released: January 23, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
     Two case studies of Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) in Indonesian region were conducted by applying an improved GTG tracking algorithm and ICAS algorithm to Himawari-8 AHI infrared data. The first case over Java Island showed a land-originating MCS in the boreal winter, which coincided with a wet phase of Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) over the Maritime Continent. The second case showed the evolution of MCS under the influence of a strong vertical wind shear during the boreal summer. The cloud top height (CTH) of deep convective part in the first case was larger than that in the second case, while the temporal evolution of CTH was similar between two cases. For the anvil part, the median CTH of the second case was relatively stable at around 13 km, while that of the first case showed a considerable temporal variation ranging from 14 to 16 km. The cloud-particle effective radius (CER) of anvil increased after the period of maximum deep convective CTH in both cases, although the CER was slightly larger in the second case than in the first case. These differences in cloud properties between two cases were attributable to the background wind profiles.
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  • V. CHANDRASEKAR, Haonan CHEN, Brenda PHILIPS
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-015
    [Advance publication] Released: January 12, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
     The Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Urban Demonstration Network consists of a combination of high resolution X-band radar network and a National Weather Service S-band radar system (i.e., KFWS radar). Based primarily on these radars, CASA has developed end-to-end warning system that includes sensors, software architecture, products, data dissemination and visualization, and user decision making. This paper presents a technical summary of the DFW radar network for urban weather disaster detection and mitigation, from the perspective of tracking and warning of hails, tornadoes, and floods. Particularly, an overview of the X-band radar network design tradeoffs is presented. The architecture and associated algorithms for various product systems are described, including the real-time hail detection system, the multiple Doppler vector wind retrieval system, and the high-resolution quantitative precipitation estimation system. Sample products in the presence of high wind, tornado, hail, and flash flood are provided, and the systems’ performance is demonstrated through cross validation with ground observations and weather reports.
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  • Robert CIFELLI, V. CHANDRASEKAR, Haonan CHEN, Lynn E. JOHNSON
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-016
    [Advance publication] Released: January 12, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
     An X-band radar system was deployed in Santa Clara, CA from February through May 2016 to support the National Weather Service in the event of potential flooding during one of the largest El Niños on record and to provide better understanding of rainfall processes occurring in the Bay Area. The system was also used to provide high quality precipitation estimation (quantitative precipitation estimation - QPE) for Santa Clara’s urban hydrologic modeling system. Although the Bay Area has coverage from the NEXRAD operational radar network, the combination of topographic influences and proximity to a maritime environment provide unique QPE challenges in this urban region. The X-band radar provided high quality rainfall estimates that performed better than NEXRAD, demonstrating the added value of the X-band system. High resolution rainfall monitoring systems in urban regions also provide a host of benefits across different sectors of the economy, including flood damage mitigation, water quality, water supply, and transportation.
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  • Takuya KAWABATA, Hans-Stefan BAUER, Thomas SCHWITALLA, Volker WULFMEYE ...
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-017
    [Advance publication] Released: December 27, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
     In the preparation for polarimetric radar data assimilation, it is essential to examine the accuracy of forward operators based on different formulations. For this purpose, four forward operators that focus on warm rain condition are compared with both each other and actual observations with respect to their performance for C-band dual polarimetric radars. These operators mutually consider radar beam broadening and climatological beam bending. The first operator derives polarimetric parameters assuming an exponential raindrop size distribution obtained by the models and is based on fitting functions against scattering amplitudes. The other three converters estimate the mixing ratio of rainwater from the measured polarimetric parameters. The second converter uses both the horizontal reflectivity (ZH) and the differential reflectivity (ZDR), the third uses the specific differential phase (KDP), and the fourth uses both KDP and ZDP, respectively. Comparisons with modeled measurements show that the accuracy of the third converter is superior to the other two. Another evaluation with actual observations shows that the first converter has slightly higher fractions skill scores than the other three. Considering the attenuation effect, the fitting function and the operator only with KDP are found to be the most suitable for data assimilation at C-band.
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  • Tetsuya SANO, Satoru OISHI
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Tokyo Metropolitan Area Convection Study for Extreme Weather Resilient Cities (TOMACS)
    Article ID: 2018-012
    [Advance publication] Released: December 21, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

     To elucidate the formation of a localized rainfall on a basin with heat and aridity under weak synoptic disturbance in summer, the characteristics of atmospheric conditions on the Kofu Basin preceding the appearance of primary precipitating cells were described from 23 localized rainfall events on the Kofu Basin on days of weak synoptic disturbance at the surface from 1 June to 30 September in 2012 to 2014. Furthermore, using the case study conducted on 25 July 2014, the formation of the atmospheric conditions was described from the standpoint of moisture behavior.

     Owing to the thermal contrast between the Kofu Basin with heat and aridity and the outside environment, the south-component wind blowing in the valley connecting it to the coastal region of Suruga Bay and the east-component wind blowing in the valley connecting it to the Kanto Plain entered the Kofu Basin as southwesterly wind and southeasterly wind, respectively, which caused an increase in the water vapor mixing ratio and a slight decrease in temperature at the surface. After that, the amount of precipitable water vapor derived by the global navigation satellite system observation (GNSS-PWV) at Nakamichi in the central region of the Kofu Basin increased abruptly after the moderate increase in GNSS-PWV at all the observation points on the Kofu Basin. Finally, a cloud appeared over the local region between the southwesterly wind and the southeasterly wind; the precipitating cells appeared here at 3.25 to 6.25 km above sea level.

     From the above results, the moisture transport to the Kofu Basin, the moisture concentration in the local region, and the appearance of precipitating cells were discussed as the formation of atmospheric conditions leading to a localized rainfall on a basin with heat and aridity.

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  • Miho SEKIGUCHI, Hironobu IWABUCHI, Takashi M. NAGAO, Teruyuki NAKAJIMA
    Type: Articles : Special issue on Meteorology and Climate Change Studies by Using the Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8
    Article ID: 2018-007
    [Advance publication] Released: December 08, 2017
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

     We developed an atmospheric gas absorption table for the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) based on the correlated k-distribution (CKD) method with the optimization method, which was used to determine quadrature weights and abscissas. We incorporated the table and band information of the AHI into a multi-purpose atmospheric radiative transfer package, Rstar. We updated the package so that users could easily specify the satellite and band number. Use of this update made it possible for the optimized CKD method to carry out calculations rapidly and accurately. Rstar is easy for beginners to use and facilitates comparison of results. Cloud retrieval tests using different numbers of quadrature points showed that cloud retrievals could be significantly affected by the accuracy of the CKD model.

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