Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

Application of solar quiet (Sq) current in determining mantle conductivity-depth structure in Malaysia

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: Available online 31 January 2018

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

Author(s): Zamri Zainal Abidin, M.H. Jusoh, M. Abbas, A. Yoshikawa

Abstract

The mantle electrical conductivity-depth structure of Malaysia was determined for the first time using solar quiet day ionospheric current (Sq) variations. Spherical harmonic analysis (SHA) was employed to separate the external and internal field contribution to the Sq variations. A transfer function was applied in estimating the conductivity-depth profile for the paired of external and internal coefficients of the SHA. We observed a downward increase in electrical conductivity with initial magnitude of 0.0065 S/m at a depth of ∼ 56 km which gradually rose to 0.0106 and 0.0140 S/m at 118 and 180 km. Subsequently, the conductivity profile rose to about 0.0228 S/m at 380 km (near the base of the upper mantle) and reached 0.0260 S/m at 435 km, after which a sharp steep increase was observed at 450 km with conductivity profile of 0.0278 S/m. Consequently, the conductivity profile increases significantly to about 0.1367 S/m at a depth of 973 km and reached its peak value 0.1975 S/m at the depth of 1097 km in the lower mantle with no indication of leveling off. An evidence of discontinuity was observed near 390–460 km and 675–746 km. A slight increase in conductivity values at depth between 150 and 300 km corresponds to the region of unusual global low velocity zone with high electrical conductivity. The conductivity profile showed a less steep increase above 450 km below which a steep increase was observed. The present profile showed the deepest penetration depth which may be attributed to the influence of equatorial electrojet current (EEJ) that is actively supported by the conductive properties of the Earth's interior within the study region.

Polar cap patches observed by the EISCAT Svalbard Radar: A statistical study of its dependence on the solar wind and IMF conditions

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: Available online 16 January 2018

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

Author(s): Yuyan Jin, Zanyang Xing, Qinghe Zhang, Yong Wang, Yuzhang Ma

Abstract

Polar cap patches are common irregularities in the polar ionosphere, where their formation and evolution can directly affect satellite navigations and communications as well as over-the-horizon radar observations, etc. However, affected by the various dynamic processes during the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, there is no fully accepted formation mechanism of polar cap patches. In this paper, a statistical analysis of 345 patches at the dayside sectors during 09:00–15:00 magnetic local time (MLT), observed by EISCAT Svalbard Radar (ESR) 42 m antenna from 2010 to 2013, has been performed. The dependence of their occurrence on solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) conditions as well as their MLT distribution has been statistically investigated. The results show that the polar cap patches are preferentially formed during southward IMF conditions. In particular, the MLT dependence of the patches presents a clear IMF By-related prenoon-postnoon asymmetry, suggesting the patch formation is clearly modulated by the IMF By polarity. Moreover, our statistical results indicate that the patches should not be caused by the variations of the solar wind dynamic pressure or the solar wind velocity. All the results indicate that the pulsed dayside magnetic reconnection is possibly a significant formation mechanism of polar cap patches.

Understanding the global dynamics of the equatorial ionosphere in Africa for space weather capabilities: A science case for AfrequaMARN

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: Available online 6 January 2018

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

Author(s): Hammed A. Lawal, Mark Lester, Stanley W.H. Cowley, S.E. Milan, T.K. Yeoman, Gabby Provan, Suzie Imber, A.Babatunde Rabiu

Abstract

The equatorial region of the Earth's ionosphere is one of the most complex ionospheric regions due to its interactions, instabilities, and several unresolved questions regarding its dynamics, electrodynamics, and physical processes. The equatorial ionosphere overall spans three continents with the longest region being that over the African continent. Satellite observations have demonstrated that very large differences exist in the formation of ionospheric irregularities over the African sector compared with other longitudinal sectors. This may be a consequence of the symmetric shape of the magnetic equator over the continent and the lack of variability in latitude. In this paper, we propose a science campaign to equip the African sector of the magnetic equator with ground-based instruments, specifically magnetometers and radars. The network of radars proposed is similar in style and technique to the high-latitude SuperDARN radar network, while the magnetometers will form an array along the equatorial belt. These two proposed space physics instruments will be used to study this region of the equatorial ionosphere over a long interval of time, at least one solar cycle. The deployment of an array of magnetometers (AfrequaMA) and a radar network (AfrequaRN) in the African sector of the magnetic equator is jointly called the Africa Equatorial Magnetometer Array and Radar Network (AfrequaMARN), which will provide simultaneous observations of both electric and magnetic variations over the African sector. We also examine the possible science questions such a magnetometer array and radar network would be able to address, both individually and in conjunction with other space-based and ground-based instrumentation. The proposed projects will clearly improve our understanding of the dynamics of the equatorial ionosphere and our understanding of its role in balancing the large-scale ionospheric current system, and will contribute to our ability to adequately model ionospheric and plasmaspheric densities. It will also enhance our understanding of global ionospheric processes, which will improve the space weather capabilities of the African and international space science communities.

Editorial Board

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 184

Author(s):

MLP based predictive model for surface ozone concentration over an urban area in the Gangetic West Bengal during pre-monsoon season

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 184

Author(s): Goutami Chattopadhyay, Subrata Kumar Midya, Surajit Chattopadhyay

Abstract

The present paper reports a comparative study among two neurocomputing models in the form of Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) models and non-linear regression for the prediction of surface ozone (O3) during pre-monsoon season over Gangetic West Bengal (GWB), India considering NOx, SO2, PM10 and temperature as predictors. Learning the MLPs through gradient descent (GD) with tanhyperbolic and sigmoid nonlinearities, we found that all the models under consideration have almost the same degrees of prediction efficiency for O3 over GWB during pre-monsoon season with the said predictors. However, the MLP model with tanhyperbolic activation function is found to produce a significantly higher correlation and Willmott's index of agreement between actual and predicted O3 than the other models. Finally, MLP with GD learning characterized by tanhyperbolic nonlinearity is identified to have significant efficiency in surface ozone prediction over the region as mentioned above.

Morphology of the equatorial ionization anomaly in Africa and Middle East due to a sudden stratospheric warming event

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 184

Author(s): O.S. Bolaji, E.O. Oyeyemi, O.E. Jimoh, A. Fujimoto, P.H. Doherty, O.P. Owolabi, J.O. Adeniyi, E.O. Falayi, E. Abe, R.O. Kaka, A. Kotoye

Abstract

Using total electron content (TEC) data deduced from 18 Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers in Africa and Middle East, we investigated the morphology of the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) and its underlying variations before, during and after the 2009 sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event. A southern EIA crest stronger than the northern EIA crest was observed for most of the days before the SSW event, while the EIA troughs were significantly obliterated after these SSW induced phases. In addition to the observed marked depletion of the hemispheric EIA crests during the SSW peak phase, we observed a terdiurnal variation straddling the northern EIA crests. This background terdiurnal signature is suggested to be partly responsible for the transport of more plasma to the northern hemisphere at the expense of southern hemisphere during the SSW peak phase. The consequences are higher pre-noon and post noon crests in the northern hemisphere compared to a single crest in the southern hemisphere. Contrary to previous modeling and experimental reports that the reductions in ionospheric TEC are due to semidiurnal variations resulting from the SSW peak phase, our results show that a terdiurnal variation was responsible for reducing the EEJ strength and TEC at the E-region and F2-region's topside, respectively. At the southern middle latitudes, an underlying diurnal variation was seen to initiate an increment in TEC during the SSW descending phase.

Distinct thermospheric mass density variations following the September 2017 geomagnetic storm from GRACE and Swarm

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 184

Author(s): Liangliang Yuan, Shuanggen Jin, Andres Calabia

Abstract

Geomorphologies and mechanisms of thermospheric mass density variations caused by geomagnetic storms are still challenging due to limited observations and imprecise models. Recently, precise orbit determination (POD) of Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and Swarm satellites is able to estimate thermospheric mass density variations, which may provide data to study thermospheric mass density variations following the storm. In this paper, the thermospheric mass density is estimated from GRACE-A and Swarm-A POD and the distinct thermospheric mass density variations are investigated as function of latitude during the September 2017 geomagnetic storm. Different enhancements in mass density response to the geomagnetic storm are presented for the Northern (GRACE) and the Southern (Swarm) Hemispheres. Swarm observations show symmetric mass density variations between two hemispheres and a slightly stronger enhancement in Southern Hemisphere. GRACE POD and accelerometer observations both show a very strong enhancement in Northern Hemisphere while no corresponding enhancement in Southern Hemisphere. This anomaly may attribute to the effects of vertical winds in high latitude region and plasma drift considering the similar solar zenith angles in both hemispheres.

Fair-weather potential gradient and its coupling with ionospheric potential from three Antarctic stations: Case studies

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 184

Author(s): N.Jeni Victor, Devendraa Siingh, C. Panneerselvam, P. Elango, V.S. Samy

Abstract

Simultaneous measurements of potential gradient (PG) from Antarctica stations, Vostok (78° 27′ S, 106° 52′ E), Dome C (75° 06′ S, 123° 20′ E) and Maitri (70° 45′ S, 11°44′ E) during magnetically disturbed days under fair-weather conditions are discussed. An attempt has been made to study the influence of solar wind-magnetosphere interaction on PG. During magnetic daytime (0600–1800 UT), linear relation between ΔPG and associated ionospheric potential from Dome C and Vostok are observed. The liner response is poor during the magnetic night time (1800-0600 UT). This trend has been addressed by the sun-aligned two-cell plasma convection flow and its differential motion over the stations. It is found that linear relation decreased when negative convection pattern moves towards, overhead and away from the stations under dawnward motion of plasma (IMF By < 0). In addition, the ionospheric potential at dusk sector modulated the PG if the plasma flow remained stable for more than 1 h. The results further showed that the scale size factor between ionospheric potential and PG may influence up to some extent in coupling efficiency. Month-wise Fair-weather PG pattern effectively accounts the ambient PG variation.

Observations of conjugated ring current auroras at subauroral latitudes

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 184

Author(s): Yongliang Zhang, Larry J. Paxton

Abstract

We report three ring current aurora events that are conjugated in the two hemispheres observed by satellite and ground imagers on May 16, 2005, August 26, 2018 and September 5, 2005. The ring current auroras appeared as auroral spots or arcs in the day, dusk or night side. These events confirm that the particle sources are in the equatorial ring current ions and pitch angle diffusion of the ions lead to the ion precipitation in the both hemisphere on the same field lines, thus the auroras are conjugated.

A global atmospheric electricity monitoring network for climate and geophysical research

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: March 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 184

Author(s): K.A. Nicoll, R.G. Harrison, V. Barta, J. Bor, R. Brugge, A. Chillingarian, J. Chum, A.K. Georgoulias, A. Guha, K. Kourtidis, M. Kubicki, E. Mareev, J. Matthews, H. Mkrtchyan, A. Odzimek, J.-P. Raulin, D. Robert, H.G. Silva, J. Tacza, Y. Yair

Abstract

The Global atmospheric Electric Circuit (GEC) is a fundamental coupling network of the climate system connecting electrically disturbed weather regions with fair weather regions across the planet. The GEC sustains the fair weather electric field (or potential gradient, PG) which is present globally and can be measured routinely at the surface using durable instrumentation such as modern electric field mills, which are now widely deployed internationally. In contrast to lightning or magnetic fields, fair weather PG cannot be measured remotely. Despite the existence of many PG datasets (both contemporary and historical), few attempts have been made to coordinate and integrate these fragmented surface measurements within a global framework. Such a synthesis is important in order to fully study major influences on the GEC such as climate variations and space weather effects, as well as more local atmospheric electrical processes such as cloud electrification, lightning initiation, and dust and aerosol charging.

The GloCAEM (Global Coordination of Atmospheric Electricity Measurements) project has brought together experts in atmospheric electricity to make the first steps towards an effective global network for atmospheric electricity monitoring, which will provide data in near real time. Data from all sites are available in identically-formatted files, at both 1 s and 1 min temporal resolution, along with meteorological data (wherever available) for ease of interpretation of electrical measurements. This work describes the details of the GloCAEM database and presents what is likely to be the largest single analysis of PG data performed from multiple datasets at geographically distinct locations. Analysis of the diurnal variation in PG from all 17 GloCAEM sites demonstrates that the majority of sites show two daily maxima, characteristic of local influences on the PG, such as the sunrise effect. Data analysis methods to minimise such effects are presented and recommendations provided on the most suitable GloCAEM sites for the study of various scientific phenomena. The use of the dataset for further understanding of the GEC is also demonstrated, in particular for more detailed characterization of day-to-day global circuit variability. Such coordinated effort enables deeper insight into PG phenomenology which goes beyond single-location PG measurements, providing a simple measurement of global thunderstorm variability on a day-to-day timescale. The creation of the GloCAEM database is likely to enable much more effective study of atmospheric electricity variables than has ever been possible before, which will improve our understanding of the role of atmospheric electricity in the complex processes underlying weather and climate.

Editorial Board

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s):

Climatological analysis of the optical properties of aerosols and their direct radiative forcing in the Middle East

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): Maryam Gharibzadeh, Khan Alam, Yousefali Abedini, Abbasali Aliakbari Bidokhti, Amir Masoumi, Humera Bibi, Bahadar Zeb

Abstract

In addition to climate perturbations, various problems such as air pollution, reduction in the visibility and human health hazards were caused by atmospheric aerosols in the Middle East specifically in the last two decades. With the help of the Aerosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET), the measurement of the aerosol optical and radiative properties were carried out over seven sites in the Middle East during 2013. The analysis of the optical properties of aerosols like Single Scattering Albedo (SSA), Angstrom Exponent (AE), Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD), and Asymmetry parameter (ASY) were carried out during the study period. During spring and summer, high values of AOD and low values of AE were found in all sites except CUT-TEPAK (Limassol, Cyprus), which specified the existence of coarse mode particles and dust storms in these seasons. The AE maximum values were found in the summer and fall over CUT-TEPAK and IMS-METU-ERDEMLI(Erdemli, Turkey), whereas in other sites IASBS (Zanjan, Iran), KAUST Campus (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia), Masdar Institute (Masdar, United Arab Emirates), Mezaira (Mezaira, United Arab Emirates) and Solar Village (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) the peak values of AE occurred in the fall and winter. The maximum values of SSA and ASY were observed in the spring and summer over all sites except over CUT-TEPAK and IMS-METU-ERDEMLI. The Santa Barbara DISORT Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (SBDART) model has been used for the calculations of the Aerosol Radiative Forcing (ARF) over the selected sites. We obtained negative value of ARF at the surface, which suggesting its cooling effects because of the loss of radiation back to space due to aerosols. The averaged ARF values at the SuRFace (SRF) of the earth were −43.8 Wm-2, -31 Wm-2, -56.8 Wm-2, -61.7 Wm-2, -52.5 Wm-2, -54.9 Wm-2, and -72.2 Wm-2, over CUT-TEPAK, IASABS, IMS-METU-ERDEMLI, KAUST Campus, Masdar Institute, Mezaira and Solar Village, respectively. While the positive value of atmospheric ARF showed heating of the atmosphere.

Thunderstorm generators operating as voltage sources in global electric circuit models

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): Nikolay N. Slyunyaev, Alexey V. Kalinin, Evgeny A. Mareev

Abstract

The description of global electric circuit (GEC) generators in continuous numerical models is analysed and discussed. It is shown that voltage-source generators, sometimes employed in simple lumped-element GEC models, have a consistent generalisation in continuous GEC models: just as current-source generators generalise to source current density distributions, voltage-source generators generalise to distributions of the relative potential on cloud boundaries. The difference between non-ideal and ideal current or voltage sources is investigated for both lumped-element and continuous GEC models. As in modern three-dimensional GEC models the formal generalisation of voltage-source thunderstorms turns out to be difficult to implement, two alternative approaches involving the replacement of voltage-source generators with equivalent current-source generators are developed. One approach is based upon a rough estimation of the source current producing the same contribution to the GEC as the original voltage source; the other approach uses the fact that each voltage-source generator can be shown to be a limiting case of a certain current-source generator with increased conductivity. For the first time voltage-source generators are implemented in a numerical GEC model (using both the direct generalisation and the suggested alternative approaches).

A comparative study on the lightning sferics associated with terrestrial gamma-ray flashes observed in Americas and Asia

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): Gaopeng Lu, Hongbo Zhang, Steven A. Cummer, Yongping Wang, Fanchao Lyu, Michael Briggs, Shaolin Xiong, Alfred Chen

Abstract

We examine the broadband (<1 Hz to 400 kHz) electromagnetic lightning signals associated with Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) detected by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope during 2010/2011. The TGF-associated lightning sferics are mainly recorded at two stations located near National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan and near Duke University in the United States, respectively. The general features exhibited by the TGF-associated lightning sferics are consistent with previous findings that gamma-rays in TGFs are typically produced during a slow process that creates a considerable (but not necessarily) charge moment change within several milliseconds. In some cases, this slow process can be attributed to the upward negative leader during the initial stage of normal intra-cloud (IC) lightning, and it is usually punctuated by one or several fast discharges, the major one of which (i.e. TGF-related discharge) is closely involved in the gamma-ray production. The equivalent peak current of TGF-related discharges could be as high as >+500 kA, and the associated charge transfer is also considerable (typically >+20 C km). The observed complexity of TGF-associated lightning emissions can also be interpreted in the context of the initial development of normal IC lightning flashes, where the upward negative leader drives the millisecond-scale current and may also provide the seed electrons for avalanche multiplication in the upper part of active thunderstorms. Our analyses show that the thunderstorms in the land area of South China produce TGFs that can be readily observed by Fermi/GBM, and the future ground-based coordinated observations in this area would be rather promising to gain more insights into the physical mechanism of TGFs.

Investigations of vertical wind variations at a mountain top in the Himalaya using Doppler Lidar observations and model simulations

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): K.K. Shukla, D.V. Phanikumar, Rob K. Newsom, N. Ojha, K. NiranjanKumar, Narendra Singh, Som Sharma, V.R. Kotamarthi, K.K. Kumar

Abstract

Hight-resolved observations of vertical winds remain nearly non-existing over the Himalayas, despite of anticipated crucial role of vertical motions in transporting pollution across the Himalayan hills. The present study analyze the vertical wind observations from surface to 1 km above ground level over Manora Peak (29.4° N; 79.5° E; 1958 m amsl) in the Himalaya performed using a Doppler Lidar during the Ganges Valley Aerosol Experiment (GVAX). Vertical wind exhibited a pronounced diurnal variability at Manora Peak comprising of upward motions during the daytime (05–10 UT) and downward motions during nighttime typical of a mountain-valley system. Mean vertical wind speeds are observed to be varying from −0.8 to +0.8 ms−1 during the study period with a variance of 0.1–1.5 m2s-2, which is attributed to the thermally driven turbulence. Mean vertical winds are observed to be stronger in the Doppler Lidar profiles above Manora Peak (−0.8 to 0.8 ms−1) as compared to near surface measurements at this station using an ultrasonic anemometer (−0.4 to 0.4 ms−1), and low altitude stations in India. Daytime vertical wind speeds are observed to be higher during pre-monsoon (0.81 ms−1), as compared to post-monsoon (0.24 ms−1) and winter (0.33 ms−1). Average Black Carbon (BC) concentrations are significantly higher during strong upward vertical winds, which indicates efficient transport of polluted air mass from low-altitude regions to the Himalaya. Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model reproduces the observed diurnal pattern in the vertical wind at the observation site however the model underestimates the variability.

Numerical simulation of the mean meridional circulation in the middle atmosphere at different phases of stratospheric warmings and mountain wave scenarios

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): Andrey V. Koval, Nikolai M. Gavrilov, Alexander I. Pogoreltsev, Ekaterina A. Drobashevskaya

Abstract

In this study, numerical simulations have been performed to estimate the transformation of the mean meridional circulation in altitude range 0–100 km at different phases of simulated stratospheric warming (SW) events in January–February including and excluding impact of mesoscale orographic gravity waves (OGWs). To obtain an ensemble of 12 pairs of model runs with and without a parameterization of OGW effects, the numerical middle and upper atmosphere model (MUAM) has been used. Obtained results demonstrate weakening of the zonal mean meridional circulation at altitudes up to 100 km during and after simulated SWs compared to the time interval before SWs. At altitudes below 50 km, southward mean meridional winds decrease (up to 15%) before and after simulated SWs. OGW effects may increase the mean northward wind at altitudes above 60 km up to 10–15%. The most significant changes of the meridional circulation in the middle atmosphere are detected at the middle and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere: the southward meridional circulation increases at altitudes above 40 km and decreases below 40 km. Thus, the global-scale mean meridional circulation in the middle atmosphere may significantly depend on different phases of SW events during the northern winter season. It is also quite sensitive to the dynamical and thermal OGW impacts.

Evaluating MODIS and MISR aerosol optical depth retrievals over environmentally distinct sites in Pakistan

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): Gohar Ali, Yansong Bao, Richard Boiyo, Weiyao Tang, Qifeng Lu, Jinzhong Min

Abstract

The Moderate resolution Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MODIS) and Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) sensors provide aerosol observations suitable for a wide range of applications. The recently released MODIS Collection 6.1 (C061) includes several improvements compared to the previous products which are expected to minimize uncertainties in aerosol retrievals. Such collection needs to be validated and compared with previous collections form the same or other sensors before being applied for further scientific research on a regional scale. This study evaluates the performance of MODIS Collections 6 (C006) and 6.1 (C061) based on two algorithms: Dark Target (DT) and Deep Blue (DB) and the merged product (DTB) onboard the Terra (MOD04) and Aqua (MYD04) satellites, and the MISR AOD retrievals against ground-based Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) over two sites (Lahore and Karachi) in Pakistan during 2007–2014. Results elucidated that C061 MODIS AOD exhibited significant improvement as compared to C006, with the 10 km DT (DB) products generally overestimating (underestimating) AOD relative to AERONET AOD. The MOD04 and MYD04-DT and DB (3 and 10 km) showed comparable performance over the two sites, whereas The DTB was dominated by DT (DB) pixels over Lahore (Karachi). The MISR showed better performance over Karachi with high reflecting surface than over Lahore with dense vegetation cover. The annual cycle of AOD retrieved by the two sensors were consistent with AERONET AOD, with maximum AOD observed during summer months attributed to prevailing climatic conditions. On seasonal basis, the MODIS algorithms exhibited improved performance over Lahore except during summer where DT and DTB showed relatively low performance, attributed to modulations induced by local meteorology to the prevailing surface conditions. However, the sensors exhibited distinct performance over Karachi, where MODIS-DT (10 km) showed close correspondence with AERONET during autumn and winter, whereas MODIS-DT (3 km) exhibited the converse. The MISR performed relatively well during spring over the two stations. The study gives greater insights on the performance of MODIS and MISR and forms the basis for further research on the validation of satellite derived aerosol products over Pakistan.

Rapid intensification of tropical cyclones in the context of the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupling

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): Paul Prikryl, Lidia Nikitina, Vojto Rušin

Abstract

Rapid intensification of tropical storms is examined in the context of solar wind coupling to the magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere system. Tropical cyclone “best tracks” in the southern and northern hemispheres are used in the superposed epoch analysis of time series of solar wind parameters. The results indicate that rapid intensification of tropical storms tends to follow arrivals of high-speed streams from coronal holes or interplanetary coronal mass ejections, which can trigger geomagnetic storms. The ensuing auroral and polar cap activity including ionospheric currents and ionospheric convection generates atmospheric gravity waves that propagate from the high-latitude lower thermosphere both upward and downward. If ducted in the lower atmosphere, they can reach tropical troposphere. Despite significantly reduced wave amplitudes, but subject to amplification upon reflection in the upper troposphere, these gravity waves can trigger/release moist instabilities to initiate convective bursts, with the latent heat release leading to intensification of storms. Convective bursts have been linked to rapid intensification of tropical cyclones. Cases of tropical cyclone intensification closely correlated with the solar wind structure are found to be preceded by atmospheric gravity waves generated by the solar wind magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupling process. The gravity waves are observed in the ionosphere as traveling ionospheric disturbances. Their propagation in the lower atmosphere is examined by ray tracing in a model atmosphere to show that they can reach tropical cyclones. It is suggested that the interaction of aurorally-generated gravity waves with the tropical cyclone vortex and the inner primary eyewall could play a role in the intensification process. Assuming that quasi-periodic convective bursts lead to vortex waves, a two-dimensional barotropic approximation is used to obtain asymptotic solutions representing propagation of vortex waves and their absorption by the mean flow in the critical layer.

High-speed video observations of branching behaviors in downward stepped leaders and upward connecting leaders in negative natural lightning

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): X. Wang, X. Zhao, Y. Hao, H. Cai, G. Liu, M. Liao, L. Qu

Abstract

Branched downward stepped leader (DSL) associated with branched upward connecting leader (UCL) were observed together in one negative natural lightning. Branching behaviors and development scenarios of DSL and UCL have been investigated and compared with high-speed video frame sequence. The optical evidence provides that most of negative leaders exhibit branching tips, with four main branching points produced during propagation. The adjacent faint segments, which are likely the newly created channel sections after two adjacent space leaders have make connection with the leader tip, are simultaneously appeared ahead of negative leader tips; most of them could contribute to the tortuosity of leader channel and only few of them lead to the concurrent branches of channel, with the common root of significantly great luminosity. However, positive leaders normally do not have branched tips, but generating one branching point at early stage of UCL initiation even though the leader channel is rather faint. The two-dimensional (2D) average speeds of five negative branches and the main branch of UCL propagating are quite similar, ranging from 3.56 × 105 m/s to 3.89 × 105 m/s.

Novel W<em>k</em>NN-based technique to improve instantaneous rainfall estimation over the north of Algeria using the multispectral MSG SEVIRI imagery

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:10

Publication date: February 2019

Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 183

Author(s): Noureddine Bensafi, Mourad Lazri, Soltane Ameur

Abstract

For the estimation of rainfall in northern Algeria, a new method is proposed in this study. It based on the k nearest weighted neighbours (WkNN) classification algorithm using the dataset from the radiometer-imager SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager) boarded on the satellite MSG (Meteosat Second Generation) to determine the pixel rainfall rate among the 16 predefined intensity levels observed in the Sétif meteorological radar.

The implementation of the classification consists in using the spectral characteristics of a new sample (pixel) as input variables of the WkNN classifier to predict his class of membership based on the weighted distances separating him from the samples of the set of learning. The results thus obtained are validated with respect to the rainfall intensity classes observed and co-located by ground radar. The results showed a significant improvement for instantaneous estimate of precipitation during the day, with a correlation coefficient r=0.87 and statistical parameters RMSE=2.29mm/h,Bias=0.45mm/h,MAE=0.35mm/h, and we have obtained the results similar overnight.

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