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Diabatic processes in North Atlantic weather systems: synoptic and mesoscale dynamics

Applicant Wernli Heini
Number 165941
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Atmosphäre und Klima ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Meteorology
Start/End 01.06.2016 - 31.12.2019
Approved amount 674'016.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Meteorology
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy

Keywords (7)

extratropical cyclones; diabatic processes; field experiments; atmospheric dynamics; numerical weather prediction; potential vorticity; atmospheric blocking

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die latente Wärmefreisetzung bei Phasenübergängen von Wasser in Wolken ist ein zentraler Prozess in der Atmosphäre, der Tiefdruckgebiete und blockierende Wetterlagen stark beeinflusst. In diesem Projekt untersuchen wir mit detaillierten Modellstudien und Beobachtungsdaten, welche Wolkenprozesse in diesen Wettersystemen auftreten und welche Rolle das Auftreten von kleinräumiger Konvektion auf die Wechselwirkung zwischen Wolken und Wettersystemen spielt.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

 

Unser übergeordnetes Ziel ist es, zu einem verbesserten Verständnis der Rolle der Wolkenprozesse (z.B. Kondensation von Wasserdampf, Gefrieren von Wolkentröpfchen) auf die Dynamik von Tiefdruckgebieten und blockierenden Wetterlagen beizutragen. Im Detail werden wir (i) Klimatologien von Wolken und Wettersystemen benutzen, um ihr Zusammenspiel besser zu quantifizieren, (ii) detaillierte numerische Modellstudien zur Interaktion der Wettersysteme mit (konvektiven) Wolken durchführen und (iii) Daten von internationalen Flugzeugmesskampagnen auswerten, um die Modellresultate mit Beobachtungen zu vergleichen. Dieser Vergleich wird mögliche Defizite bei der Modellierung der komplexen Prozesse in Wolken und ihren Auswirkungen auf die Entwicklung von Wettersystemen aufzeigen.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

 

Unsere Arbeit wird neue und wichtige Informationen zu den physikalischen und dynamischen Prozessen liefern, die für eine korrekte Vorhersagen des Wettergeschehens in Europa essentiell sind. Die Ergebnisse werden sowohl für die Grundlagenwissenschaft relevant sein, wie auch für die operationelle Wettervorhersage wichtige Hinweise liefern.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 29.03.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Microphysics and dynamics of snowfall associated with a warm conveyor belt over Korea
Gehring Josué, Oertel Annika, Vignon Étienne, Jullien Nicolas, Besic Nikola, Berne Alexis (2020), Microphysics and dynamics of snowfall associated with a warm conveyor belt over Korea, in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 20(12), 7373-7392.
Quantifying the role of individual diabatic processes for the formation of PV anomalies in a North Pacific cyclone
Attinger Roman, Spreitzer Elisa, Boettcher Maxi, Forbes Richard, Wernli Heini, Joos Hanna (2019), Quantifying the role of individual diabatic processes for the formation of PV anomalies in a North Pacific cyclone, in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 145(723), 2454-2476.
Modification of Potential Vorticity near the Tropopause by Nonconservative Processes in the ECMWF Model
Spreitzer Elisa, Attinger Roman, Boettcher Maxi, Forbes Richard, Wernli Heini, Joos Hanna (2019), Modification of Potential Vorticity near the Tropopause by Nonconservative Processes in the ECMWF Model, in Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 76(6), 1709-1726.
Convective activity in an extratropical cyclone and its warm conveyor belt – a case‐study combining observations and a convection‐permitting model simulation
Oertel Annika, Boettcher Maxi, Joos Hanna, Sprenger Michael, Konow Heike, Hagen Martin, Wernli Heini (2019), Convective activity in an extratropical cyclone and its warm conveyor belt – a case‐study combining observations and a convection‐permitting model simulation, in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 145, 1406-1426.
Balloon-borne measurements of temperature, water vapor, ozone and aerosol backscatter on the southern slopes of the Himalayas during StratoClim 2016–2017
Brunamonti Simone, Jorge Teresa, Oelsner Peter, Hanumanthu Sreeharsha, Singh Bhupendra B., Kumar K. Ravi, Sonbawne Sunil, Meier Susanne, Singh Deepak, Wienhold Frank G., Luo Bei Ping, Boettcher Maxi, Poltera Yann, Jauhiainen Hannu, Kayastha Rijan, Karmacharya Jagadishwor, Dirksen Ruud, Naja Manish, Rex Markus, Fadnavis Suvarna, Peter Thomas (2018), Balloon-borne measurements of temperature, water vapor, ozone and aerosol backscatter on the southern slopes of the Himalayas during StratoClim 2016–2017, in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(21), 15937-15957.
The North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment
Schäfler Andreas, Craig George, Wernli Heini, Arbogast Philippe, Doyle James D., McTaggart-Cowan Ron, Methven John, Rivière Gwendal, Ament Felix, Boettcher Maxi, Bramberger Martina, Cazenave Quitterie, Cotton Richard, Crewell Susanne, Delanoë Julien, Dörnbrack Andreas, Ehrlich André, Ewald Florian, Fix Andreas, Grams Christian M., Gray Suzanne L., Grob Hans, Groß Silke, Hagen Martin, et al. (2018), The North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment, in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99(8), 1607-1637.
Why warm conveyor belts matter in NWP
Rodwell Mark, Forbes Richard, Wernli Heini (2018), Why warm conveyor belts matter in NWP, in ECMWF Newsletter, 154, 21-28.
Exceptional airmass transport and dynamical drivers of an extreme wintertime Arctic warm event
Binder Hanin, Boettcher Maxi, Grams Christian M., Joos Hanna, Pfahl Stephan, Wernli Heini (2017), Exceptional airmass transport and dynamical drivers of an extreme wintertime Arctic warm event, in Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 12028-12036.
A trajectory-based classification of ERA-Interim ice clouds in the region of the North Atlantic storm trach
Wernli Heini, Boettcher Maxi, Joos Hanna, Miltenberger Annette K., Spichtinger Peter (2016), A trajectory-based classification of ERA-Interim ice clouds in the region of the North Atlantic storm trach, in Geophysical Research Letters, 43(12), 6657-6664.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
19th Cyclone Workshop Talk given at a conference Modification of the near-tropopause PV structure by diabatic processes 30.09.2019 Seeon, Germany Joos Hanna; Böttcher Maxi;
19th Cyclone Workshop Poster The role of diabatic processes for breakup of the PV streamer and the formation of the NAWDEX-cyclone ‘Sanchez’ 30.09.2019 Seeon, Germany Böttcher Maxi;
19th Cyclone Workshop Talk given at a conference Embedded convection in the warm conveyor belt of a North Atlantic cyclone and its relevance for large-scale dynamics 30.09.2019 Seeon, Germany Oertel Annika;
Open IFS Workshop Talk given at a conference Diabatic processes in extratropical cyclones 17.06.2019 Reading, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Wernli Heini;
DACH Konferenz Poster Eine detaillierte Trajektorien-basierte Untersuchung eines Alpinen Warm Conveyor Belts mit Flugzeug- und Lidar-Messungen 18.03.2019 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Böttcher Maxi; Wernli Heini;
DACH Konferenz Talk given at a conference Konvektion in warm conveyor belts: Identifikation, Charakterisierung und Bedeutung für die Dynamik 18.03.2019 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Wernli Heini; Joos Hanna; Oertel Annika; Böttcher Maxi;
ICCARUS Workshop Talk given at a conference Numerical models as a laboratory to investigate the dynamics of extratropical weather systems 18.03.2019 Offenbach, Germany Joos Hanna; Oertel Annika; Attinger Roman; Böttcher Maxi; Wernli Heini;
Seminar KIT Karlsruhe Individual talk Importance of cloud microphysics for extra-tropical dynamics 15.01.2019 Karlsruhe, Germany Joos Hanna;
Waves to Weather Project Meeting Talk given at a conference Importance of microphysics for extratropical dynamics 12.11.2018 Landau, Germany Joos Hanna;
Seminar MISU Stockholm Individual talk On the linkage between cloud physics and extratropical dynamics 04.09.2018 Stockholm, Sweden Wernli Heini; Joos Hanna; Attinger Roman; Böttcher Maxi;
Storm Tracks Workshop Talk given at a conference Warm conveyor belts: a Lagrangian element of storm track dynamics 27.08.2018 Utö, Sweden Wernli Heini;
EGU General Assembly Talk given at a conference Warm conveyor belts and cloud radiative forcing 13.04.2018 Wien, Austria Joos Hanna;
EGU General Assembly Talk given at a conference Lagrangian analysis of the role of cloud processes for the dynamics of extratropical cyclones in the global weather prediction model IFS 11.04.2018 Wien, Austria Wernli Heini; Böttcher Maxi; Joos Hanna;
EGU General Assembly Talk given at a conference Identifying convection embedded in warm conveyor belts from satellite observations and high-resolution simulations 09.04.2018 Wien, Austria Oertel Annika; Wernli Heini; Joos Hanna; Böttcher Maxi;
Seminar University of Bern Individual talk Importance of cloud microphysics for extra-tropical dynamics 21.03.2018 Bern, Switzerland Joos Hanna;
ICCARUS Talk given at a conference Embedded convection in warm conveyor belts: Online trajectories in high-resolution convection-resolving COSMO simulations 27.02.2018 Offenbach, Germany Böttcher Maxi; Wernli Heini; Joos Hanna; Oertel Annika;
The UTLS: Current status and emerging challenges Talk given at a conference A tropospheric perspective on extratropical tropopause dynamics 05.02.2018 Mainz, Germany Wernli Heini;
Seminar EPFL Talk given at a conference On the linkage between cloud physics and extratropical dynamics 11.01.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Wernli Heini;
Seminar University of Leipzig Individual talk Importance of cloud microphysics for extra-tropical dynamics 11.01.2018 Leipzig, Germany Joos Hanna;
18th Cyclone Workshop Talk given at a conference A systematic Lagrangian investigation of the microphysical and radiative processes that modify extratropical cyclones and blocks in IFS simulations 05.10.2017 Sainte Adele, Canada Attinger Roman;
18th Cyclone Workshop Talk given at a conference Case studies of embedded convection in warm conveyor belts based on satellite data during the NAWDEX field campaign 04.10.2017 Sainte Adele, Canada Oertel Annika;
18th Cyclone Workshop Individual talk The linkage of water vapour transport features and extratropical cyclones – with a focus on diabatic Rossby waves 04.10.2017 Sainte Adele, Canada Böttcher Maxi;
Symposium Geophysical Institute 100 Years Talk given at a conference Present state of meteorology in a historical perspective 02.10.2017 Bergen, Norway Wernli Heini;
EMS Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference Impact of different IFS microphysics on a warm conveyor belt and the downstream flow evolution 07.09.2017 Dublin, Ireland Joos Hanna;
EMS Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference Warm conveyor belts and cloud radiative forcing 04.09.2017 Dublin, Ireland Joos Hanna;
PDEF meeting, WWRP WMO Talk given at a conference NAWDEX – selected results from golden cases 03.07.2017 Bern, Switzerland Böttcher Maxi;
Seminar ECMWF, Reading, UK Individual talk The role of Warm Conveyor Belts in the prediction of midlatitude flow 22.05.2017 Reading, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Wernli Heini;
Sonderseminar, KIT, Karlsruhe Individual talk Warm conveyor belts: cloud structure and role for cyclone dynamics and extreme events 10.05.2017 Karlsruhe, Germany Binder Hanin Verena;
Seminar, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich Individual talk Importance of microphysics for extratropical dynamics 20.03.2017 Zürich, Switzerland Joos Hanna;
Seminar, Monash University Individual talk Diabatic processes in extratropical cyclones 14.02.2017 Melbourne, Australia Wernli Heini;
Umweltphysik Seminar, University of Bern Individual talk How latent heating in clouds influences the weather 14.12.2016 Bern, Switzerland Wernli Heini;
Seminar, Icelandic Meteorological Office Individual talk NAWDEX – the North Atlantic waveguide and downstream impact experiment 10.10.2016 Reykjavik, Iceland Wernli Heini;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media ETH-Forscher ergründen extreme Wärmeeinbrüche in der Arktis Tages Anzeiger German-speaking Switzerland 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice ETH News International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Winde bringen der Arktis Tauwetter NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2018

Awards

Title Year
EREA Best Paper Award 2018 für die Publikation Voigt et al. (inkl. M. Boettcher and H. Wernli): ML-CIRRUS - The airborne experiment on natural cirrus and contrail cirrus with the high-altitude long-range research aircraft HALO. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 98, 271–288, verliehen von der "Association of European Research Establishments in Aeronautics" 2018
ECMWF Fellow https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/news/2016/ecmwf-appoints-two-new-fellows https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/news/2016/ecmwf-fellow-aims-deepen-understanding-high-impact-weather 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
154486 Cloud-resolving climate modeling on future supercomputing platforms 01.05.2015 Sinergia
130079 The dynamics of North Atlantic warm conveyor belts and their impact on downstream wave propagation and European weather systems 01.06.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
185049 Understanding the influence of warm conveyor belts in extratropical cyclones on tropopause dynamics: analysis with observations, reanalyses and global climate simulations 01.01.2020 Project funding (Div. I-III)
177996 Lagrangian analysis of ice cloud formation pathways and their isotopic signals in high-resolution COSMO-iso simulations of the African and Asian monsoon 01.07.2018 PIRE
146834 Diabatic processes in North Atlantic weather systems: dynamics and impact on forecast errors 01.06.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Atmospheric research during the last decade emphasized the important role of diabatic processes for extratropical weather systems, including cyclones, blockings and tropopause-level Rossby waves. These processes include surface fluxes mainly over the ocean, latent heating and cooling in and below clouds, and cloud-related radiation mainly in the upper troposphere. It has become generally accepted that quantifying these processes and how they interact with the atmospheric flow is essential for obtaining a more holistic understanding of the dynamics of weather systems and for further improving numerical weather prediction models. Also the climate community recently emphasized the importance of studying the linkage between clouds and dynamics in the extratropical storm track regions and its representation in climate models. In our previous SNF projects and in accompanying group activities, we contributed to this research area by studying the climatology of so-called warm conveyor belts (WCBs, strongly precipitation producing airstream in extratropical cyclones), and their important role in (i) inducing and amplifying upper-level ridges, (ii) generating and maintaining atmospheric blockings, and (iii) contributing to the explosive development of cyclones via the diabatic generation of low-level potential vorticity (PV) anomalies. Unique aircraft measurements of thermodynamic characteristics in WCBs have been obtained through collaboration with partners in Germany. A particular category of extratropical cyclones whose dynamics is essentially tied to in-cloud latent heating, so-called diabatic Rossby waves, have been investigated in terms of their dynamics and global climatology. And on the mesoscale, our research has shown that also below-cloud microphysical processes (e.g., the evaporation of rain) can be important for the formation of PV anomalies and that significant uncertainties exist related to the model representation of the coupling between cloud microphysics and dynamics. In this three-part continuation project we plan to continue and extend this research by addressing novel aspects of the complex interaction of diabatic processes and the evolution of extratropical weather systems. The main objectives are to (i) co-lead the German/Swiss activities during the international aircraft experiment NAWDEX in autumn 2016; (ii) climatologically quantify the occurrence of different cloud types (liquid, mixed-phase, ice), and the associated microphysical and radiative heating rates along the life-cycle of extratropical weather systems (cyclones, blockings), (iii) assess the potential role of embedded convection in WCBs on the formation of mesoscale low-level PV anomalies and on the location and dynamical impact of the WCB outflow, and (iv) continue shaping this research field on an international level also by collaborating with our key partners (ECMWF, University of Reading, DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, LMU Munich, LMD Paris). Complementary state-of-the-art techniques will be applied in order to reach these challenging objectives, including global and regional model simulations, specifically designed diagnostic tools, observational data and, for the first time, online trajectories that allow unprecedented details. This ambitious project will thereby contribute to an improved understanding of the important role of diabatic processes for the structure and evolution of weather systems and their potential societal impact.
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