Presentation on theme: "Improving Observations of Coastal Storms"— Presentation transcript:
1 Improving Observations of Coastal Storms Allen White, NOAA/ESRLBoulder, COWith key contributions from Mike Dettinger (Scripps) andDan Gottas, Seth Gutman, Paul Neiman, Marty Ralph,Tim Schneider, and Gary Wick (ESRL)
2 Purpose and OutlinePurpose: To describe recent advances in observational research that have been developed to improve the detection and monitoring of key atmospheric phenomena associated with winter storms impacting California.OutlinePart I: A new water vapor flux tool for monitoring atmospheric rivers over landPart II: CA DWR EFREP Program – Providing an HMT legacy for CaliforniaPart III: UAS and the Pacific Testbed
3 Part IA new water vapor flux tool for monitoring atmospheric rivers over land
4 Global reanalysis IVT (kg s-1 m-1): 16-Feb-04 Heavy cool-season rain & flood events along the U.S. West Coast are orographically driven and occur most often when narrow warm-sector corridors of strong water-vapor transport (i.e., atmospheric rivers – ARs) intersect the coastal mountains (e.g., Ralph et al in GRL; Neiman et al in JHM).SSM/I satellite image of integratedwater vapor (IWV) at 18UTC 16-Feb-04: AR landfall in N CA~250 mm rain in 2 daysStream gauge rankings for 17-Feb-04 show regional extent ofhigh streamflow covering roughly500 km of coastAll flood events on the RussianRiver (in N CA) in last 10 yearstied to land-falling ARsGlobal reanalysis IVT (kg s-1 m-1): 16-Feb-04IVT (kg s-1 m-1)atmosphericriver
5 forcing, based on published research using wind profilers, Flood-prone Russian River Basin northwest of San Francisco: 2000/01, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06Analyses for when the following observing systems were simultaneously operating – (a) Bodega Bay (BBY): GPS-IWV unit, 915-MHz wind profiler, rain gauge (b) Cazadero (CZD): rain gaugeTotal rainfall: CZD = 4217 mm,BBY = 2016 mm9548 hourly data pointsUpslope flow:orthogonal tothe axis of thecoastal mtns30 kmNeiman et al. (2008), Water ManagementNeiman et al. (2002), MWRDeveloped real-time monitoring of vapor transports to assess the orographicforcing, based on published research using wind profilers,as well as GPS receivers that measure IWV
6 i.e., orthogonal to the axis of the coastal mtns Component of the flow in the orographic controlling layer directed from 230°,i.e., orthogonal to the axis of the coastal mtnsAll data points
9 Atmospheric river quadrant: Strongest IWV fluxes Rain >10 mm/h:>12.5 m/s; >2 cmAtmospheric river quadrant:Strongest IWV fluxes(i.e., U1km x IWV)* yieldheaviest rains*Nearly 2/3 of tropospheric water vapor is in the lowest 2 km MSL.Hence, to first order, the IWV flux provides a close estimateof the low-level water-vapor transport into the coastal mountains.
10 Prototype WV flux tool tested at 3 couplets during NOAA’s HMT-2008 Bodega Bay (BBY; 12 m MSL)Piedras Blancas (PPB; 11 m MSL)Goleta (GLA; 3 m MSL)Prototype WV flux tool tested at 3 couplets during NOAA’s HMT-2008LBBY/CZDPPB/TPKGLA/SMC0030Z 5-Jan-08: Intense western U.S. stormCoast (profiler, GPS, rain gauge):Cazadero (CZD; 475 m MSL)Three Peaks (TPK; 1021 m MSL)San Marcos Pass (SMC; 701 m MSL)Mountains (rain gauge):North:Central:South:Coupletland-fallingatmospheric river
11 The top of three panels of the forecast tool displays hourly wind profiles and snow levelsModel: Advanced Research WRF (ARW), 48-h durationGrid configuration: 3 km horizontal, 30 vertical levelsForecasted winds: 24 hObserved winds: 24 hAltitudein kmObserved bright-band snow level (White et al. 2002)WindspeedscaleForecastedmelting levelAltitudein kftControlling layer where upslope flow is calculatedCurrent time
12 The middle panel displays the upslope component of the flow and the IWVObserved upslope flowForecasted upslope flowForecasted IWVObserved IWVIWVscaleUpslopescaleThe thin horizontal lines define thresholds for IWV and upslope flow (2 cm and 12.5 m s-1; respectively) that were shown to produce heavy rain (Neiman et al. 2008)Upslope direction defined
13 coastal and mountain hourly rainfall The IWV and upslope flow from the middle panel are combined to produce a bulk IWV flux, which is displayed in the bottom panel along with thecoastal and mountain hourly rainfallForecasted rainfall (T posts):Red = coastal siteGreen = mountain siteObserved rainfall (bars):Red = coastal siteGreen = mountain siteForecasted IWV fluxObserved IWV fluxThe thin blue horizontal line gives the IWV flux threshold (25 cm x m s-1) determined by multiplying the IWV and upslope flow thresholds defined in the middle panel
14 Northern couplet: BBY & CZD Orogr. forcingpredicted wellin this portionof the AR...next slide focuseson bottom panel...but not theQPF, esp. inAR conditions.
15 ½-day lead time for SoCal Time of max. IWV flux at BBY: 1500 UTC 4-Jan-084 Jan 2008, 1500 UTCTime (UTC)CZD rain: 264mmBBY rain: 36mmAR Propagation: ~12 m s-1.½-day lead time for SoCalMax. IWV flux in AR highly correlated withmax. mountain rainfall at each site4 Jan 2008, 2100 UTCTime of max. IWV flux at PPB: 2100 UTC 4-Jan-08Time (UTC)TPK rain: 320mmPPB rain: 75mm5 Jan 2008, 0300 UTCTime of max. IWV flux at GLA: 0300 UTC 5-Jan-08Time (UTC)SMC rain: 230mmGLA rain: 51mm
16 Summary – Part IOngoing research has led to the creation of a real-time vapor-flux tool to monitor orographic rainfall forcing at multiple coastal sites.By combining observations and forecast model output, users can see how well a forecast model represents land-falling ARs and their resulting impacts on orographic rainfall enhancement.For the case shown, the WRF model reasonably captured parts of the orographic forcing. However, the coastal and mountain rains were predicted poorly (due to microphysics & terrain resolution?), and orographic forcing in the AR lasted longer in the model than observed (not shown).The three monitoring couplets deployed along the CA coast provided valuable lead time to forecasters for conditions leading to extreme rainfall.Given the absence of alternative monitoring capabilities for low-level water vapor flux at the coast, consideration is being given to the operational implementation of the above tool to fill this gap.
17 A Weather & Water Insurance Policy for California Part IICA Department of Water Resources (DWR) Enhanced Flood Response and Emergency Preparedness (EFREP) Program provides a legacy for NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Testbed (HMT) ProgramImage from:Tower Bridge (south-side) Sacramento, California; by Stephan DietrichA Weather & Water Insurance Policy for CaliforniaPhoto by Stephan Dietrich
18 21st Century Observations Requirements/Drivers Flood RisksMajor basin hydrographs are more variable over last ~50 yearsFive highest flows on American River occurred since Folsom dam was builtSimilar results on Feather and San Joaquin RiversEarlier snowmelt combined with heavy spring storms raises flood riskNeed to redefine probable maximum precipitation and include the impacts of rain on snowWater ResourcesUncertainty in storm intensity and annual rainfall will require adaptable water management strategiesShould CA invest in more storage capacity or reoperate current reservoirs using improved weather forecast information? (Forecast-Based Operations)Climate Change25% reduction in snow pack by 2050Earlier snowmelt pushes peak runoff into winter storm period and stresses water supply during dry season
20 Climate change may put some water managers in a real bind! …and this is just one dimension of the problem - also exacerbated are management of ecosystems, delta issues (e.g. salinity), power generation, etc.--> Storage & transferability of water supplies will thus be at a premium.
21 Next Generation Observations Four primary “Tiers” envisioned for next generation observations based on concept and technology maturity and feasibility:Tier-I: Well-defined needs, proven technology, low costTier-II: Well-defined needs, proven technology, moderate costTier-III: Needs assessment and technology prototype tests in HMT- West, high costTier-IV: Offshore aircraft reconnaissance, potentially very high cost/very high benefit
22 Ex: Gap-filling radars, Buoy-mounted WPs A tiered approach for nex gen obs to help address CA’s water resource issuesIV:Off-shorerecon.Tier III:Newer technologyEx: Gap-filling radars,Buoy-mounted WPsTier II: Expand on well-definedneeds with proven technologyEx: Wind profilers, CoastalAtmospheric river observatoryTier I: Address well-defined needs withproven technologyEx: Soil moisture sensors at CIMIS sites, GPS receivers of opportunity, snow-level radars
23 Tier 1: Soil moisture monitoring at CIMIS sites Russian River at HealdsburgAdding soil moisture to select California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) and other mountain rain gauge sites will improve stream flow prediction and monitoringUsing existing infrastructure provided by CIMIS network greatly reduces costs associated with installationSoil moistureStreamflowCum. rainfallDate
24 Tier 1: GPS receivers of opportunity SIO (Scripps) proposed network of GPS receivers for geospatial applications (high resolution position mapping)Installing surface temperature and pressure sensors near these receiver sites will allow the network to map out the distribution of vertically integrated precipitable water vapor (IPW)Energy industry (electricity distribution) benefits because GPS receivers are used by Space Weather Center to monitor geomagnetic storms
25 Tier 1: Snow level radars Provides precise snow-level height during precipitation eventsUtilizes proven FMCW technology to lower cost.Uses the patented ESRL automated snow-level detection algorithm (White et al. 2002) proven in CA field trialsLess than 8’ diameter footprintLow-power requiring minimal infrastructureSnow level
26 Map of Tier I Receivers already exist Use existing CIMIS sites Tier 1: Builds on existing networks and adds proven, low cost technologies:GPS-metSoil moistureSnow-level radarsReceivers already existUse existing CIMIS sitesAt major reservoirs
27 Tier 2: Proposed Profiler Network for CA California faces some of the same risks from winter storms that Japan faces with typhoonsNational Profiler Network of JapanTier 2: Proposed Profiler Network for CASea of JapanPacificOceanCA =155,959sq miBest viewed as an animated slide…To place things in context: While CA and Japan are comparable in a number of ways, Japan is ahead of the US in profiler observations.Japan =374,744sq miCA GDP = $1.62 T$45k per capitaGNP = $4.66 Trillion, $38k per capita2005 data, sources:Wikipedia and U.S. Bureauof Economic Analysis
28 Tier 2: Atmospheric River Observatory Atmospheric River (AR) Observatory: Russian River PrototypeObjectives: Monitor key AR and precipitation characteristics.1.2., 3.Observing systems:Wind profiler/RASSS-band radarDisdrometerSurface metGPS-IWVRain gauges4.6.5.
29 Map of Tier I-IITier 1: Builds on existing networks and adds proven inexpensive technologies:GPS-metSoil moistureSnow-level radarsTier 2: Adds networks of proven, moderately expensive technologies:Wind profilersAtmos. River ObservatoriesProviding more info aloft
30 Summary – Part IIA five-year Memorandum of Agreement has been signed by CA DWR and NOAA to bring 21st century observation and modeling (not shown) capabilities to bear on the state’s flood protection and water resource management issues.The program will take advantage of existing state infrastructure to provide statewide networks of soil moisture and GPS integrated water vapor sensors.A new FM-CW S-band radar will provide critical measurements of the snow level during precipitation events to benefit a variety of end users.A west coast winter storms reconnaissance program is sorely missing. The NOAA Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) program may provide a viable platform for these missions.
31 Unmanned Aerial Systems and the Pacific Testbed Part IIIUnmanned Aerial Systems and the Pacific TestbedALTAIR at Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
32 BackgroundIn 2005 NOAA formed an internal Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Steering Committee and Working Group, which has subsequently identified a range of potential NOAA uses for UAS, including monitoring at-sea activities for fisheries and marine sanctuary enforcement purposes. Shown here are proposals for the possible future application of UAS technology in the accomplishment of NOAA’s missions in the Pacific.
33 Silver Fox in background on launcher and Manta in foreground The Silver Fox is a small and relatively simple Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) that functions primarily as an "expendable over the horizon surveillance tool" that could be launched and/or recovered from ships and/or from land. It carries optical and infrared camera systems and sends real-time images to the command console. It is controlled via line of sight communication and has an effective operating range of 20 plus nautical miles.The Manta UAS is a larger sibling to the Silver Fox. Manta has a larger payload capacity (15 lbs). Current instrumentation packages for Manta include a hyperspectral camera. Mission endurance is 6+ hours. A series of Silver Fox and Manta flights were conducted from February 13 to February 19, 2006 at the Upulo Point Airport near Haw, Hawaii.
35 Definition of UAS UAS = Unmanned Aerial System System is comprised of Subsystems:Airframe (Platform)Avionics and Communication:Ground Control:Launch and recoveryPayload:Sensors:ScientificOperational
37 Sensors (Scientific)Dropsondes (for atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles)Cloud radar (a UAS version is under development)Microwave radiometer (for atmospheric moisture; one flown on Altair)Atmospheric composition/atmospheric chemistry (eg. ozone) sensors
38 Why and where would we use UAS in NOAA? Missions that are:Dirty (e.g., flying over forest fires)Dull (e.g., searching for ocean debris)Dangerous (e.g., flying over the Arctic)Remote (e.g., long-endurance flights)Unique mission requirements:o Smaller and quieter UAS don’t disturb animals as much as a manned aircraft wouldo Stealth provides advantages for surveillance and enforcemento Persistenceo Better data resolutiono Can be quickly deployed and positioned
39 Void between satellites and surface-based sensors Unmanned Aircraft Systems have great potential to fill this void and take observations to complement our existing platformsUASs will not replace planes or satellites. They are another new instrument in the mix to help support Global Earth Observing.
40 NOAA UAS TestbedsSenator Inouye and Steven’s held a hearing last year in the Commerce CommitteeThey said they wanted to develop regional test beds for UASs for Science and IndustryAt the time the Commerce Committee was discussing a $100M a year program
41 NOAA UAS TestbedsThree testbeds are envisioned to be developed to support NOAA UAS experiments. They are nominally located in the Southeast, Alaska and the Pacific.The Southeast Testbed will be principally designed to support hurricane research and to support advanced severe weather prediction.The Alaska Testbed will aid in the study of the Arctic environment and global change research.
42 Pacific UAS TestbedMission objectives encompassing weather, air quality monitoring, marine debris, marine mammal surveys, and fisheries enforcementOperations planned from NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and Barking Sands Pacific Missile Range FacilityTargeting both low and high altitude demonstrations in 2009Initial focus to be on winter storms and atmospheric riversPotential operating locationsLa Conchita Debris FlowHumpback whale photo from Silver Fox UAS
43 Low Altitude Atmospheric Rivers Mission Characterize the moisture flux from the ocean surface underneath an atmospheric riverPartnering with Scripps Institute of OceanographyWill utilize the Manta UASInstrumentation to include motion sensor and flux packageTest flights from Vandenberg AFB in October 2008 with scientific mission in March 20095 Dec 07
44 Global Hawk Pacific Storms Mission Enhanced atmospheric profile observations to improve winter storm forecasts on the west coastPotential to combine observations for California water resources and atmospheric river studiesTesting targeted for Summer 2009, mission goal of Winter 09-10Measurements from dropsondes and, if available, a wind profiling lidar
45 Summary – Part IIIUAS have been used successfully in many military applications, but they are just starting to be used by civilian agencies, including NOAA.NOAA’s UAS program ( will establish three testbeds: Alaska focusing on global change issues, Southeastern U.S. focusing on Atlantic hurricanes, and Pacific focusing on weather, air quality, marine debris, marine mammal surveys, and fisheries enforcement.NOAA’s Pacific UAS Testbed will test and evaluate Global Hawk and Manta UAS platforms to monitor air-sea interaction and water vapor transport in atmospheric rivers imbedded in Pacific storms.Robbie Hood will become the new UAS project manager for NOAA in a couple of weeks. She will take over for Mart Ralph, who has served extremely well in this capacity for the past few years. Robbie will report directly to Sandy MacDonald, the director of ESRL and the Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA Research Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes and co-chair of the NOAA UAS Steering Committee.
46 Thank you!Russian River Flooding – Monte Rio, CA