Land–Atmosphere Coupling at the Southern Great Plains Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Field Site and Its Role in Anomalous Afternoon Peak Precipitation
Ferguson, Craig R.
Roundy, Joshua K.
American Meteorological Society
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
© Copyright 01/26/2016 American Meteorological Society (AMS).
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The multimodel Global Land–Atmosphere Coupling Experiment (GLACE) identified the semiarid Southern Great Plains (SGP) as a hotspot for land–atmosphere (LA) coupling and, consequently, land-derived temperature and precipitation predictability. The area including and surrounding the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) SGP Climate Research Facility has in particular been well studied in the context of LA coupling. Observation-based studies suggest a coupling signal that is much weaker than modeled, if not elusive. Using North American Regional Reanalysis and North American Land Data Assimilation System data, this study provides a 36-yr (1979–2014) climatology of coupling for ARM-SGP that 1) unifies prior interdisciplinary efforts and 2) isolates the origin of the (weak) coupling signal. Specifically, the climatology of a prominent convective triggering potential–low-level humidity index (CTP–HIlow) coupling classification is linked to corresponding synoptic–mesoscale weather and atmospheric moisture budget analyses. The CTP–HIlow classification defines a dry-advantage regime for which convective triggering is preferentially favored over drier-than-average soils as well as a wet-advantage regime for which convective triggering is preferentially favored over wetter-than-average soils. This study shows that wet-advantage days are a result of horizontal moisture flux convergence over the region, and conversely, dry-advantage days are a result of zonal and vertical moisture flux divergence. In this context, the role of the land is nominal relative to that of atmospheric forcing. Surface flux partitioning, however, can play an important role in modulating diurnal precipitation cycle phase and amplitude and it is shown that soil moisture and sensible heat flux are significantly correlated with both occurrence and intensity of afternoon peak precipitation.
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Song, H. J., Ferguson, C. R., & Roundy, J. K. (2016). Land–atmosphere coupling at the Southern Great Plains Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) field site and its role in anomalous afternoon peak precipitation. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 17(2), 541-556.
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