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Zhao M.,GFDL UCAR | Held I.M.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Lin S.-J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences | Year: 2012

High-resolution global climate models (GCMs) have been increasingly utilized for simulations of the global number and distribution of tropical cyclones (TCs), and how they might change with changing climate. In contrast, there is a lack of published studies on the sensitivity of TC genesis to parameterized processes in these GCMs. The uncertainties in these formulations might be an important source of uncertainty in the future projections of TC statistics. This study investigates the sensitivity of the global number of TCs in present-day simulations using the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory High Resolution Atmospheric Model (GFDL HIRAM) to alterations in physical parameterizations. Two parameters are identified to be important in TC genesis frequency in this model: the horizontal cumulus mixing rate, which controls the entrainment into convective cores within the convection parameterization, and the strength of the damping of the divergent component of the horizontal flow. The simulated global number of TCs exhibits nonintuitive response to incremental changes of both parameters. As the cumulus mixing rate increases, the model produces nonmonotonic response in global TC frequency with an initial sharp increase and then a decrease. However, storm mean intensity rises monotonically with the mixing rate. As the strength of the divergence damping increases, the model produces a continuous increase of global number of TCs and hurricanes with little change in storm mean intensity. Mechanisms for explaining these nonintuitive responses are discussed. Source

Zhang S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Zhao M.,GFDL UCAR | Lin S.-J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Yang X.,GFDL UCAR | And 5 more authors.
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2015

This study examines two sets of high-resolution coupled model forecasts starting from no-tropical cyclone (TC) and correct-TC-statistics initial conditions to understand the role of TC events on climate prediction. While the model with no-TC initial conditions can quickly spin-up TCs within a week, the initial conditions with a corrected TC distribution can produce more accurate forecast of sea surface temperature up to 1.5months and maintain larger ocean heat content up to 6months due to enhanced mixing from continuous interactions between initialized and forecasted TCs and the evolving ocean states. The TC-enhanced tropical ocean mixing strengthens the meridional heat transport in the Southern Hemisphere driven primarily by Southern Ocean surface Ekman fluxes but weakens the Northern Hemisphere poleward transport in this model. This study suggests a future plausible initialization procedure for seamless weather-climate prediction when individual convection-permitting cyclone initialization is incorporated into this TC-statistics-permitting framework. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Source

Zhang S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Zhao M.,GFDL UCAR | Lin S.-J.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Yang X.,GFDL UCAR | Anderson W.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2014

When observations are assimilated into a high-resolution coupled model, a traditional scheme that preferably projects observations to correct large-scale background tends to filter out small-scale cyclones. Here we separately process the large-scale background and the small-scale perturbations with low-resolution observations for reconstructing historical cyclone statistics in a cyclone-permitting model. We show that by maintaining the interactions between small-scale perturbations and successively corrected large-scale background, a model can successfully retrieve the observed cyclone statistics that in return improve estimated ocean states. The improved ocean initial conditions together with the continuous interactions of cyclones and background flows are expected to reduce model forecast errors. Combined with convection-permitting cyclone initialization, the new high-resolution model initialization along with the progressively advanced coupled models should contribute significantly to the ongoing research on seamless weather-climate predictions. ©2014. The Authors. Source

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