International Journal of Atmospheric Sciences The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Fire-Risk Assessment in Northern Greece Using a Modified Fosberg Fire-Weather Index That Includes Forest Coverage Wed, 18 May 2016 08:57:12 +0000 The spatial distribution of the monthly mean values for various climatological parameters in Northern Greece is derived. The corresponding data come from measurements at several meteorological stations located in Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia, and Thrace (CM/EMT) area in the period 1975–1997. The collected data concern high temperature and low relative humidity, as well as local forest coverage, and are utilized for the calculation of a modified Fosberg Fire-Weather Index in order to estimate the fire risk over Northern Greece due to the local weather under critical conditions. As a result, monthly fire-risk maps of the CM/EMT area for the months of May to October are derived for the first time by applying sophisticated analytical geospatial tools and methods. Furthermore, fire events corresponding to the same region and period are added to the derived maps for comparison and for a better evaluation of the method. The resulting correspondence of the predicted fire risk to the local wind-speed behavior and forest abundance demonstrates the need of the necessary precaution measures to limit the future danger levels from fire events. Harry D. Kambezidis and George K. Kalliampakos Copyright © 2016 Harry D. Kambezidis and George K. Kalliampakos. All rights reserved. A Quantitative Assessment of Surface Urban Heat Islands Using Satellite Multitemporal Data over Abeokuta, Nigeria Tue, 03 May 2016 08:22:02 +0000 The fast urban expansion has led to the transformation of the natural landscape into anthropogenic surfaces. The city of Abeokuta, for instance, is located in a region experiencing rapid urbanization, which has produced a remarkable effect on the surface thermal response. This effect significantly influences urban internal microclimatology on a regional scale. In this study, the surface temperatures and land cover types retrieved from Landsat TM and ETM+ images of Abeokuta city for 1984, 2003, and 2014 were analyzed. A quantitative approach was used to assess surface urban heat islands through the relationships among surface temperature and land cover types. Results showed that impervious surface areas were found to be correlated positively with high temperatures. Conversely, vegetated areas and bare surfaces correlated positively with mid temperature zones. This study found that areas with increasing impervious surfaces will accelerate LST rise and consequently lead to increasing effect of surface urban heat islands. These findings pose a major challenge to urban planners. However, the study would help to quantify the impacts of different scenarios (e.g., vegetation loss to accommodate urban growth) on LST and consequently to devise appropriate policy measures. K. A. Ishola, E. C. Okogbue, and O. E. Adeyeri Copyright © 2016 K. A. Ishola et al. All rights reserved. Chemical Characteristics of Rainwater in Sumatera, Indonesia, during 2001–2010 Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:40:57 +0000 The chemical composition of acid deposition shows that ammonium and chloride concentrations as the indicators of forest fires were higher than sulfate and nitrate in Sumatera areas such as Medan, Lampung, Palembang, and Kototabang. Chloride had higher concentration than sodium (Na+ sea originated) with the ratio value of Cl−/Na+ > 1.16 found in Medan and Palembang. Ionic compositions from the lowest to the highest concentration in Kototabang were H+ > Cl− > Na+ > > nss-Ca2+ > K+ > > nss- > Mg2+ > ss- > ss-Ca2+. Acid rain takes place if the acid compounds such as sulfates, nitrates, and chlorides dominate. If the ratio value of /(nss- + ) < 0.5 then it indicates that nss- is higher than . Between 2001 and 2010 it was found that the frequency value of /(nss- + ) < 0.5 was 97% from annual mean of 34 pieces of data in Medan, Kototabang, Lampung, and Palembang. Forest fires influence was more dominant than anthropogenic activities in Kototabang, Palembang and Lampung, except in Medan. It showed that ammonium was higher than content if the ratio value of /( + ) < 0.5 was 62%. For the period 2001–2010 the frequency value of /( + ) < 0.5 was 74% from total 34 annual mean pieces of data in four locations, that is, Medan, Kototabang, Palembang, and Lampung. Tuti Budiwati, Wiwiek Setyawati, and Dyah Aries Tanti Copyright © 2016 Tuti Budiwati et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Kenya Meteorological Service in Weather Early Warning in Kenya Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:35:23 +0000 Early warning in weather forecasting entails provision of timely and effective weather information that allows individuals, organisations, or communities exposed to likely weather hazards to take action that avoids or reduces their exposure to risks. Various sectors have developed different ways to mitigate the effects of climate anomalies. The study reviews the existing monitoring and response structures, and communications flow channels of weather data at different levels, focusing on the role of Kenya Meteorological Service (KMS). The methodology employed was literature review of various documents. The study argues that early warning and weather information communication are essential elements for effective governance of weather risks through a well-developed warning system. At the end, the study recommends strengthening the existing structures with respect to weather monitoring, processing, and dissemination of weather products to end users. Zablon W. Shilenje and Bob A. Ogwang Copyright © 2015 Zablon W. Shilenje and Bob A. Ogwang. All rights reserved. Characteristics of Summer Precipitation around the Western Ghats and the Myanmar West Coast Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:19:43 +0000 Characteristics of summer (June–August) precipitation over two coastal mountain regions in South Asia (Western Ghats: WG and Myanmar West Coast: MWC) with a focus on topographic impact are analyzed using the 13-year (1998–2010) high spatial resolution (0.05° × 0.05°) version 6 data obtained from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR). A relationship between precipitation patterns and topography was observed in the coastal mountains. In both the WG and MWC, maximum rainfall along a tight line on the upwind side of the coastal mountains is primarily attributed to rain frequency. However, intense precipitation was observed over the offshore regions. Compared with the WG, deeper and large-scale precipitation systems develop over the MWC, producing more intense rainfall. It is suggested that insufficient humidity deters large-scale convection over the WG, and the atmosphere is sufficiently moist over the MWC. Dibas Shrestha, Rashila Deshar, and Kenji Nakamura Copyright © 2015 Dibas Shrestha et al. All rights reserved. Simulation of Severe Local Storm by Mesoscale Model MM5 and Validation Using Data from Different Platforms Sun, 22 Feb 2015 10:15:06 +0000 During premonsoon season (March to May) convective developments in various forms are common phenomena over the Gangetic West Bengal, India. In the present work, simulation of wind squall on three different dates has been attempted with the help of mesoscale model MM5. The combination of various physical schemes in MM5 is taken as that found in a previous work done to simulate severe local storms over the Gangetic West Bengal. In the present study the model successfully simulates wind squall showing pressure rise, wind shift, wind surge, temperature drop, and heavy rainfall, in all cases. Convective cloud development and rainfall simulation by the model has been validated by the corresponding product from Doppler Weather Radar located at Kolkata and TRMM satellite product 3B42 (V6), respectively. It is found that the model is capable of capturing heavy rainfall pattern with up to three-hour time gap existing between simulation and observation of peak rainfall occurrence. In all simulations there is spatial as well as temporal shift from observation. Prosenjit Chatterjee, Utpal Kumar De, and Devendra Pradhan Copyright © 2015 Prosenjit Chatterjee et al. All rights reserved. Recent Changes of Some Observed Climate Extreme Events in Kano Mon, 02 Feb 2015 06:45:08 +0000 Observed rainfall and temperature data for the period 1960–2007 were used to examine recent changes of extreme climate over Kano, located in the Sahelian region of Nigeria. The RClimDex software package was employed to generate nine important climate indices as defined by the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection, Monitoring and Indices (ETCCDMI). For the entire period, the results show a warming trend, an increased number of cool nights, more warm days, and a strong increase in the number of warm spells. The rainfall indices show a slight increase in annual total rainfall, a decrease in the maximum number of consecutive wet days, and a significant increase in the number of extremely wet days. Such changes in climate may result in an increasing demand for domestic energy for cooling and a higher evaporation rate from water bodies and irrigated crop. These findings may give some guidance to politicians and planners in how to best cope with these extreme weather and climate events. Imole Ezekiel Gbode, Akintomide Afolayan Akinsanola, and Vincent Olanrewaju Ajayi Copyright © 2015 Imole Ezekiel Gbode et al. All rights reserved. Drought and Grain Crop Yields over the East European Plain under Influence of Quasibiennial Oscillation of Global Atmospheric Processes Tue, 13 Jan 2015 09:32:18 +0000 Monthly precipitation and the 3-month Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) were used to reveal the patterns of rainfall and severe drought frequency over the East European Plain in the period 1953–2011 in the opposite phases of the quasibiennial oscillation (QBO). Differences of precipitation and severe drought frequency in May and in June in the westward and eastward phases of the QBO phases are explained by circulation variations. The analysis indicates less frequent severe drought events over Ukraine and at the center of the European part of Russia in May in the westward QBO phase due to the intensification of the storm track over the East European Plain. The weather conditions in May and in June in the years of the westward QBO phase were more favorable for the yield. The difference of spring wheat yield in the westward and eastward QBO phase exceeds the same difference of winter wheat yield in the Central Black Earth region and in the south regions. Ukraine and the region to the east of the Sea of Azov are the most vulnerable areas of increased risk of severe drought during the active growing season at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century. Elena Cherenkova, Inna Semenova, Mikhail Bardin, and Alexander N. Zolotokrylin Copyright © 2015 Elena Cherenkova et al. All rights reserved. Analysis of Droughts in the Central Region of South Africa and Their Association with SST Anomalies Thu, 25 Dec 2014 07:09:13 +0000 The objective of this study was to characterise meteorological droughts in the Central Region of South Africa using Standardised Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and to examine if there is a relationship between drought and El Niño events. The SPEI was used to quantify the precipitation deficit over time and space across the catchment for the time-scales that are important for planning and management of water resources. Based on 12-month time-scale, the total number of drought events identified in the area using SPEI ranged between 13 and 20 during the period of analysis (1952–1999). Considering the effects of event magnitude and duration as severity parameters, the most severe drought event was identified during 1973 followed by 1995 based on 12-month time-scale. Moreover, it was also found that the number of moderate, severe, and extreme drought events identified by SPEI follows increasing trend with decade during the period of analysis. Results of Spearman’s rank correlation test revealed that the trends exhibited by mild (SPEI-3 and SPEI-6), moderate (SPEI-12), severe (SPEI-12), and extreme (SPEI-3) drought categories are statistically significant at 5% significance level. The study also revealed that drought events in the central region of South Africa are preceded by El Niño events in the tropical Pacific (Nino 3.4) with an average lag time of 8 months between the onsets of the two events. It was found that hydrological drought events in the study area lag behind meteorological drought events with an average lag time of 7.4 months. Findings of this study can be used to forecast drought events in the area for the proper planning and management of water resources. Desalegn C. Edossa, Yali E. Woyessa, and Worku A. Welderufael Copyright © 2014 Desalegn C. Edossa et al. All rights reserved. Temporal Variation and Concentration Weighted Trajectory Analysis of Lead in PM10 Aerosols at a Site in Central Delhi, India Mon, 08 Dec 2014 10:30:03 +0000 Ambient levels of lead (Pb) in PM10 were studied at a site in Central Delhi for the period of one year during day and night. The annual mean concentration of lead has been observed as 625 and 1051 ng/m3 during day and night time, respectively. The seasonal averaged concentrations of Pb have followed the order winter > postmonsoon > summer > monsoon. Highest levels of lead have been observed in winter with 31% samples exceeding the CPCB-NAAQS value as 1000 ng/m3. Lead levels during winter have been found to be 5.7 times higher than in monsoon, which might be attributed to prevailing meteorological conditions and more biomass burning. The low levels of Pb during summer might be attributed to its higher dispersion in the atmosphere. A sharp rise of Pb during postmonsoon might be linked to the local nonpoint sources, more biomass burning, and shifting of boundary layer. However, the higher concentrations of lead were observed during night time in all the seasons of the year as compared to those of the day time. To identify the potential source regions of Pb, Concentration Weighted Trajectories (CWT) have been plotted which showed higher influence of local sources during winter and postmonsoon while showing distant sources during summer. Subhash Chandra, Monika J. Kulshrestha, and Ruchi Singh Copyright © 2014 Subhash Chandra et al. All rights reserved. Neural Network Based Retrieval of Atmospheric Temperature Profile Using AMSU-A Observations Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:16:51 +0000 The present study describes artificial neural network (ANN) based approach for the retrieval of atmospheric temperature profiles from AMSU-A microwave temperature sounder. The nonlinear relationship between the temperature profiles and satellite brightness temperatures dictates the use of ANN, which is inherently nonlinear in nature. Since latitudinal variation of temperature is dominant one in the Earth’s atmosphere, separate network configurations have been established for different latitudinal belts, namely, tropics, mid-latitudes, and polar regions. Moreover, as surface emissivity in the microwave region of electromagnetic spectrum significantly influences the radiance (or equivalently the brightness temperature) at the satellite altitude, separate algorithms have been developed for land and ocean for training the networks. Temperature profiles from National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) analysis and brightness temperature observations of AMSU-A onboard NOAA-19 for the year 2010 have been used for training of the networks. Further, the algorithm has been tested on the independent dataset comprising several months of 2012 AMSU-A observations. Finally, an error analysis has been performed by comparing retrieved profiles with collocated temperature profiles from NCEP. Errors in the tropical region are found to be less than those in the mid-latitude and polar regions. Also, in each region the errors over ocean are less than the corresponding ones over land. R. K. Gangwar, A. K. Mathur, B. S. Gohil, and Sujit Basu Copyright © 2014 R. K. Gangwar et al. All rights reserved. A Multisensor Analysis of the Life Cycle of Bow Echo over Indian Region Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:28:10 +0000 This study deals with the life cycle of bow echo events on October 24 and 26-27, 2006, from Doppler weather radar (DWR) observations supported by Radiosonde and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The cell bow echo (CBE) on October 24 evolved from two small isolated cells with radar reflectivity ≥40 dBZ. The vertical structure consists of one single mature cell with 20 dBZ echoes reaching up to 10 km while 40 dBZ echoes extended uniformly from ground to ∼5 km height. The radial velocity shows a high value >−15 m/s towards the radar at the upper height (about 6 to 11 km); the lower height is predominant with velocity away from the radar (about 5 to 15 m/s). The squall line bow echo on October 26 and 27 has its origin over ocean and moved towards the radar site and decayed thereafter. The radar reflectivity pattern for this squall line showed it to be a trailing stratiform type squall line with length of ∼200 km. The echo top height was more than 12 km in height. Strong inflow cases were observed from both radiosonde and radar. Devajyoti Dutta, Diganta Kumar Sarma, and Sanjay Sharma Copyright © 2014 Devajyoti Dutta et al. All rights reserved. Tracking the Ionospheric Response to the Solar Eclipse of November 03, 2013 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The ionospheric dynamics is highly influenced by the solar radiation. During a solar eclipse, the moon occults the solar radiation from reaching the ionosphere, which may drastically affect the variability of the ionosphere. The variability of total electron content (TEC) observed by dual frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers has made it possible to study effects of solar eclipse on the ionosphere. Total eclipse occurred on November 03, 2013, and the maximum amplitude was visible at Owiny in northern Uganda. Ionospheric behavior during this eclipse was analysed by using TEC data archived at Mbarara (MBAR), Malindi (MAL2), Eldoret (MOIU), and Kigali University (NURK) International GPS Satellite (IGS) stations. TEC variations of four consecutive days were used to study instantaneous changes of TEC during the eclipse event. The results generally show TEC decrease at the four stations. However, a maximum perturbation amplitude of ≥20 TECU was observed at MAL2 (18:00–20:00 UT) which is further south of the equator than the other stations. TEC enhancement and depletion were observed during the totality of the eclipse at MOIU, MBAR, NURK, and MAL2 (13:00–15:00 UT). This study found out that the ionospheric TEC over East Africa was modified by wave-like energy and momentum transport and obscuration of the solar disc due to the total solar eclipse. Emirant Bertillas Amabayo, Simon Katrini Anguma, and Edward Jurua Copyright © 2014 Emirant Bertillas Amabayo et al. All rights reserved. Airborne Measurement in the Ash Plume from Mount Sakurajima: Analysis of Gravitational Effects on Dispersion and Fallout Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:49:36 +0000 Volcanic ash concentrations in the plume from Sakurajima volcano in Japan are observed from airplanes equipped with optical particle counters and GPS tracking devices. The volcano emits several puffs a day. The puffs are also recorded by the Sakurajima Volcanological Observatory. High concentrations are observed in the puffs and fallout driven by vertical air current, called streak fallout. Puffs dispersion is analyzed by the classical diffusion-advection method and a new gravitational dispersion method. The fluid mechanic of the gravitational dispersion, streak fallout, and classical diffusion-advection theory is described in three separate appendices together with methods to find the time gravitational dispersion constant and the diffusion coefficient from satellite photos. The diffusion-advection equation may be used to scale volcanic eruptions so the same eruption plumes can be scaled to constant flux and wind conditions or two eruptions can be scaled to each other. The dispersion analyses show that dispersion of volcanic plumes does not follow either theories completely. It is most likely diffusion in the interface of the plume and the ambient air, together with gravitational flattening of the plumes core. This means larger boundary concentration gradients and smaller diffusion coefficients than state of the art methods can predict. Jonas Eliasson, Junichi Yoshitani, Konradin Weber, Nario Yasuda, Masato Iguchi, and Andreas Vogel Copyright © 2014 Jonas Eliasson et al. All rights reserved. Statistical Analysis of Rainfall Trend for Volta Region in Ghana Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:26:02 +0000 Climate change is global in nature, but potential changes are not expected to be globally uniform; rather, there may be dramatic regional differences. Considerable effort should be invested to understand climate change at the regional level. The study was conducted to establish the rainfall trends in Volta Region and also to provide the evidence of climate change by analyzing available rainfall record for 30-year period of 1981 to 2011. Records of monthly and yearly rainfall were obtained from the headquarters of Ghana Meteorological Department, Accra, for analysis. The region was grouped into three zones characteristic of the whole country, namely, coastal zone, middle zone, and northern zone, respectively. Graphs were constructed to illustrate the changing trends within the months and years of the zones. Statistical analysis (i.e., LSD, ANOVA) was performed to assess any significant difference among the three zones and within the months and years under study. Significant differences were observed among the three zones. Northern zone recorded the highest precipitation followed by the middle zone and lastly the coastal zone. However the rainfall trends within the aforementioned zones were oscillatory. The highest annual mean rainfall was 202.6 mm and the lowest was 29.9 mm. Linear regression analysis revealed upward and downward trend in the data in some months and years in the mentioned zones but statistically insignificant. M. Nyatuame, V. Owusu-Gyimah, and F. Ampiaw Copyright © 2014 M. Nyatuame et al. All rights reserved. A Review of Some Recent Studies on Buoyancy Driven Flows in an Urban Environment Thu, 25 Sep 2014 05:47:23 +0000 This paper reviews some recent studies (after 2000) pertaining to buoyancy driven flows in nature and thier use in reducing air pollution levels in a city (city ventilation). Natural convection flows occur due to the heating and cooling of various urban surfaces (e.g., mountain slopes), leading to upslope and downslope flows. Such flows can have a significant effect on city ventilation which has been the subject of study in the recent times due to increased pollution levels in a city. A major portion of the research reviewed here consists of natural convection flows occurring along mountain slopes, with a few studies devoted to flows along building walls. The studies discussed here primarily include field measurements and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. This review shows that for densely populated cities with high pollution levels, natural convection flows (mountain slope or building walls) can significantly aid the dispersion of pollutants. Additional studies in this area using CFD and water channel measurements can explain the physical processes involved in such flows and help improve CFD modelling. Future research should focus on a complete understanding of the mechanisms of buoyancy flows in nature and developing design guidelines for better planning of cities. Bodhisatta Hajra Copyright © 2014 Bodhisatta Hajra. All rights reserved. A Review of Water Isotopes in Atmospheric General Circulation Models: Recent Advances and Future Prospects Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Stable water isotopologues, mainly 1H2O, 1H2HO (HDO), and , are useful tracers for processes in the global hydrological cycle. The incorporation of water isotopes into Atmospheric General Circulation Models (AGCMs) since 1984 has helped scientists gain substantial new insights into our present and past climate. In recent years, there have been several significant advances in water isotopes modeling in AGCMs. This paper reviews and synthesizes key advances accomplished in modeling (1) surface evaporation, (2) condensation, (3) supersaturation, (4) postcondensation processes, (5) vertical distribution of water isotopes, and (6) spatial δ18O-temperature slope and utilizing (1) spectral nudging technique, (2) higher model resolutions, and (3) coupled atmosphere-ocean models. It also reviews model validation through comparisons of model outputs and ground-based and spaceborne measurements. In the end, it identifies knowledge gaps and discusses future prospects of modeling and model validation. Xi Xi Copyright © 2014 Xi Xi. All rights reserved. Modelling Agro-Met Station Observations Using Genetic Algorithm Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:16:13 +0000 The present work discusses the development of a nonlinear data-fitting technique based on genetic algorithm (GA) for the prediction of routine weather parameters using observations from Agro-Met Stations (AMS). The algorithm produces the equations that best describe the temporal evolutions of daily minimum and maximum near-surface (at 2.5-meter height) air temperature and relative humidity and daily averaged wind speed (at 10-meter height) at selected AMS locations. These enable the forecasts of these weather parameters, which could have possible use in crop forecast models. The forecast equations developed in the present study use only the past observations of the above-mentioned parameters. This approach, unlike other prediction methods, provides explicit analytical forecast equation for each parameter. The predictions up to 3 days in advance have been validated using independent datasets, unknown to the training algorithm, with impressive results. The power of the algorithm has also been demonstrated by its superiority over persistence forecast used as a benchmark. Prashant Kumar, Bimal K. Bhattacharya, C. M. Kishtawal, and Sujit Basu Copyright © 2014 Prashant Kumar et al. All rights reserved. Impact of Climate Change on the Characteristics of Indian Summer Monsoon Onset Sun, 14 Sep 2014 10:48:38 +0000 A high resolution regional climate modeling system, known as PRECIS (Providing REgional Climate for Impact Studies), developed by Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, UK, is applied for Indian subcontinent to assess the impact of climate change on the summer monsoon onset characteristics. The present day simulation (1961–1990) with PRECIS is evaluated for the characteristics of onset over Kerala, southernmost part of India, where the monsoon sets in over Indian landmass. The meteorological parameters like precipitation, outgoing long wave radiation (OLR), and low level winds are analysed to study the monsoon onset over Kerala. The model is able to capture the sudden and sharp increase of rainfall associated with the onset. The rapid built-up of convective activity over the southeastern Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal is well represented by the model. PRECIS simulations, under scenarios of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and sulphate aerosols, are analysed to study the likely changes in the onset characteristics in future, towards the end of present century (2071–2100). The analysis does not indicate significant difference in the mean onset dates in A2 and B2 scenarios. However, the variability of onset date is likely to be more towards the end of the 21st century especially in A2 scenario. Savita Patwardhan, Ashwini Kulkarni, and K. Krishna Kumar Copyright © 2014 Savita Patwardhan et al. All rights reserved. A Regional Climate Simulation Study Using WRF-ARW Model over Europe and Evaluation for Extreme Temperature Weather Events Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:15:13 +0000 In this study regional climate simulations of Europe over the 60-year period (1950–2010) made using a 25 km resolution WRF model with NCEP 2.5 degree analysis for initial/boundary conditions are presented for air temperature and extreme events of heat and cold waves. The E-OBS 25 km analysis data sets are used for model validation. Results suggest that WRF could simulate the temperature trends (mean, maximum, minimum, seasonal maximum, and minimum) over most parts of Europe except over Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean, and coastal regions. Model could simulate the slight fall of temperatures from 1950 to 1970 as well as steady rise in temperatures from 1970 to 2010 over Europe. Simulations show occurrence of about 80% of the total heat waves in the period 1970–2010 with maximum number of heat/cold wave episodes over Eastern and Central Europe in good agreement with observations. Relatively poor correlations and high bias are found for heat/cold wave episodes over the complex topographic areas of Iberia and Mediterranean regions where land surface processes play important role in local climate. The poor simulation of temperatures over the above regions could be due to deficiencies in representation of topography and surface physics which need further sensitivity studies. Hari Prasad Dasari, Rui Salgado, Joao Perdigao, and Venkata Srinivas Challa Copyright © 2014 Hari Prasad Dasari et al. All rights reserved. Atmospheric Volatile Organic Compounds and Ozone Creation Potential in an Urban Center of Southern Nigeria Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:11:52 +0000 The relative contribution of individual volatile organic compounds (VOC) species to photochemical ozone formation depends on their atmospheric concentrations and their oxidation mechanism. In an attempt to evaluate the ozone creation potential of ambient VOCs captured in an urban settlement of Benin City, Nigeria, the VOCs concentrations data collected in field studies at nine measurement sites of different air quality in the city and a background site were analysed. Air samples were collected at human breathing height of 1.5 meters from ground level at each site. Active sampling method using the low volume sampling pump (Acuro, Drager, Lubeck, Germany) was used to drawn the air into the tube; the absorbent was Chromosorb 106. The sampling periods were between May 2010 and June 2011; the period covered both dry and wet seasons. The adsorbed gases were desorbed using solvent extraction method with carbon disulphide as solvent. The extracted solutions were analyzed with gas chromatography and mass spectrometer. The observed concentrations of individual VOCs were determined and maximum incremental reactivity (MIR) coefficient along with rate constants of VOC-OH reactions were applied to assess the ozone formation potential of individual VOC in the ambient atmosphere. Sixteen VOC species were observed at various sites with mixing height in decreasing order: toluene (5.82), mp-xylene (3.58), ethylbenzene (3.46), benzene (2.29), and n-butane (0.84). The ozone formation potential study revealed that, ranking by propyl-equivalent, the alkanes included in this study account for 58% of the total propyl-equivalent concentration. The total ozone creation potential in the atmosphere of the Benin City was calculated to be 281.1 µg/m3. A comparison of total ozone formation potential (OFP) in our study with results obtained from other cities of the world revealed that the total concentration of ozone production in our study is threefold lower than the values reported in China city of Foshan. It is suggested that the sources of this pollutant need to be monitored in the area as a way of curtailing the impact of ozone in this city. Emmanuel Gbenga Olumayede Copyright © 2014 Emmanuel Gbenga Olumayede. All rights reserved. Physical and Chemical Components of Cuba’s Rain: Effects on Air Quality Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:11:59 +0000 The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of the physical and chemical components of rain affecting air quality in Cuba. Samples were obtained from pollution monitoring stations throughout Cuba. Different chemical analyses including elements and ions were conducted. Meteorological data was also included for the analysis. Results show that the pH was slightly basic for most stations, except those of the eastern region which exhibit pH values below 5.6. The major anthropogenic sources of ions are the burning of fossil fuel by power plants, cement factories, and nickel-processing industries and the burning of biomass through poor agricultural practices. The western region exhibited increased concentrations of and during the dry season, most likely due to the long-range transport of pollutants from the northeastern United States as well as local pollutants. Marine aerosols clearly influence Cuba’s rain. Only a small fraction of the potentially acidic ions contributes to the free acidity of Cuba’s rainwater, mainly due to the neutralizing capacity of some ions such as Cl-, Na+, Ca+2, and . The implementation of abatement techniques for SO2 and NOX and some elements emissions from major stationary sources will be an effective measure to improve air quality in Cuba. Margarita Préndez, Rosemary López, and Ernesto Carrillo Copyright © 2014 Margarita Préndez et al. All rights reserved. Retrieval of Layer Averaged Relative Humidity Profiles from MHS Observations over Tropical Region Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:20:27 +0000 The present paper deals with the retrieval of the atmospheric layer averaged relative humidity profiles using data from the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) onboard the MetOp satellite. The retrieval has been innovatively performed by firstly retrieving humidity for pairs of thick overlapping layers (TOLs) used subsequently to derive humidity for associated thin isolated layer (TIL). A water vapour dependent (WVD) algorithm has been developed and applied to infer the humidity of TOLs. Thus, the retrieved profiles have been finally compared with standard algorithm (NORM). These algorithms have been developed based on radiative transfer simulations and study of sensitivities of MHS channels on humidity of various types of layers (TOL, TIL). The algorithm has been tested with MHS data and validated using concurrent radiosonde as well as NCEP reanalysis data indicating profile errors of ~15% and ~19%, respectively. R. K. Gangwar, B. S. Gohil, and A. K. Mathur Copyright © 2014 R. K. Gangwar et al. All rights reserved. Predictive Ability of Improved Neural Network Models to Simulate Pollutant Dispersion Thu, 26 Jun 2014 12:08:06 +0000 This paper describes the ability of artificial neural network (ANN) models to simulate the pollutant dispersion characteristics in varying urban atmospheres at different regions. ANN models are developed based on twelve meteorological (including rainfall/precipitation) and six traffic parameters/variables that have significant influence on emission/pollutant dispersion. The models are trained to predict concentration of carbon monoxide and particulate matters in urban atmospheres using field meteorological and traffic data. Training, validation, and testing of ANN models are conducted using data from the Dhaka city of Bangladesh. The models are used to simulate concentration of pollutants as well as the effect of rainfall on emission dispersion throughout the year and inversion condition during the night. The predicting ability and robustness of the models are then determined by using data of the coastal cities of Chittagong and Dhaka. ANN models based on both meteorological and traffic variables exhibit the best performance and are capable of resolving patterns of pollutant dispersion to the atmosphere for different cities. Khandaker M. A. Hossain Copyright © 2014 Khandaker M. A. Hossain. All rights reserved. An Advanced Review of the Relationships between Sahel Precipitation and Climate Indices: A Wavelet Approach Mon, 28 Apr 2014 12:21:17 +0000 The interannual and decadal to multidecadal variability of precipitation in western Sahel region was examined using wavelet transform and coherency analysis. The aim was to identify the major climate index that has a robust relationship with Sahel precipitation (drought). The results show that ENSO, North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) all have some relationship with precipitation at different time scales which is in agreement with recent studies. There is an antiphase relationship between Sahel precipitation and ENSO at the 3-4-year band localized around 1982/83 El Niño episode. This indicates a cause and effect relationship between the droughts of 1983 and 1982/83 El Niño. In addition, wavelet transform coherence analysis also revealed a relatively antiphase relationship between AMO and precipitation signifying cause and effect. The wavelet analyses indicate that IOD control on rainfall variability in Sahel is limited to the east (15°E–35°E). Advancing this understanding of variability in rainfall and climate forcing could improve the accuracy of rainfall forecast. Churchill Okonkwo Copyright © 2014 Churchill Okonkwo. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Parameterization Schemes in the WRF Model for Estimation of Mixing Height Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:07:23 +0000 This paper deals with the evaluation of parameterization schemes in the WRF model for estimation of mixing height. Numerical experiments were performed using various combinations of parameterization schemes and the results were compared with the mixing height estimated using the radiosonde observations taken by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) at Mangalore site for selected days of the warm and cold season in the years 2004–2007. The results indicate that there is a large variation in the mixing heights estimated by the model using various combinations of parameterization schemes. It was seen that the physics option consisting of Mellor Yamada Janjic (Eta) as the PBL scheme, Monin Obukhov Janjic (Eta) as the surface layer scheme, and Noah land surface model performs reasonably well in reproducing the observed mixing height at this site for both the seasons as compared to the other combinations tested. This study also showed that the choice of the land surface model can have a significant impact on the simulation of mixing height by a prognostic model. R. Shrivastava, S. K. Dash, R. B. Oza, and D. N. Sharma Copyright © 2014 R. Shrivastava et al. All rights reserved. Simulation of High Impact Rainfall Events Over Southeastern Hilly Region of Bangladesh Using MM5 Model Sun, 29 Dec 2013 17:28:58 +0000 Simulation of high impact rainfall events over southeastern hilly region of Bangladesh has been carried out using Fifth-Generation PSU/NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) conducting two historical rainfall events, namely, 21 June, 2004 and 11 July, 2004. These extraordinary rainfall events were localized over the Rangamati region and recorded 304 mm and 337 mm rainfall on 21 June, 2004 and 11 July, 2004, respectively, over Rangamati within a span of 24 h. The model performance was evaluated by examining the different predicted and derived parameters. It is found that the seasonal monsoon trough has northerly position compared to normal and pass through Bangladesh extending up to northeast India for both cases. The heat low was found to be intense (996 hPa) with strong north-south pressure gradient (12–15 hPa). The analysis of the geopotential height field at 200 hPa shows that the Tibetan high is shifted towards south by 7-8° latitudes with axis along 22–25°N for both cases. The analysis of the wind field shows that the areas of high impact rainfall exhibit strong convergence of low level monsoon circulation (19–58 knots). The strong southwesterlies were found to exist up to 500 hPa level in both cases. The lower troposphere (925–500 hPa) was characterized by the strong vertical wind shear (9–18 ms−1) and high relative vorticity (20–40 × 10−5 s−1). The analysis also shows that the areas of high impact rainfall events and neighbourhoods are characterized by strong low level convergence and upper level divergence. The strong southwesterly flow causes transportation of large amount of moisture from the Bay of Bengal towards Bangladesh, especially over the areas of Rangamati and neighbourhoods. The high percentage of relative humidity extends up to the upper troposphere along a narrow vertical column. Model produced details structure of the spatial patterns of rainfall over Bangladesh reasonably well though there are some biases in the rainfall pattern. The model suggests that the highly localized high impact rainfall was the result of an interaction of the mesoscale severe convective processes with the large scale active monsoon system. M. N. Ahasan, M. A. M. Chowdhury, and D. A. Quadir Copyright © 2013 M. N. Ahasan et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Temperature, Relative Humidity and Seasonal Variability on Ambient Air Quality in a Coastal Urban Area Tue, 24 Dec 2013 14:43:02 +0000 The concentration of air pollutants in ambient air is governed by the meteorological parameters such as atmospheric wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, and temperature. This study analyses the influence of temperature and relative humidity on ambient SO2, NOx, RSPM, and SPM concentrations at North Chennai, a coastal city in India, during monsoon, post-monsoon, summer, and pre-monsoon seasons for 2010-11 using regression analysis. The results of the study show that both SO2 and NOx were negatively correlated in summer ( for SO2 and for NOx) and moderately and positively correlated ( for SO2 and for NOx) during post-monsoon season with temperature. RSPM and SPM had positive correlation with temperature in all the seasons except post-monsoon one. These findings indicate that the influence of temperature on gaseous pollutant (SO2 & NOx) is much more effective in summer than other seasons, due to higher temperature range, but in case of particulate, the correlation was found contradictory. The very weak to moderate correlations existing between the temperature and ambient pollutant concentration during all seasons indicate the influence of inconstant thermal variation in the coastal region. Statistically significant negative correlations were found between humidity and particulates (RSPM and SPM) in all the four seasons, but level of correlation was found moderate only during monsoon ( and ) in comparison with other three seasons and no significant correlation was found between humidity and SO2, NOx in all the seasons. It is suggested from this study that the influence of humidity is effective on subsiding particulates in the coastal region. Ramasamy Jayamurugan, B. Kumaravel, S. Palanivelraja, and M. P. Chockalingam Copyright © 2013 Ramasamy Jayamurugan et al. All rights reserved. Artificial Neural Network Model in Prediction of Meteorological Parameters during Premonsoon Thunderstorms Mon, 23 Dec 2013 09:14:00 +0000 Forecasting thunderstorm is one of the most difficult tasks in weather prediction, due to their rather small spatial and temporal extension and the inherent nonlinearity of their dynamics and physics. Accurate forecasting of severe thunderstorms is critical for a large range of users in the community. In this paper, experiments are conducted with artificial neural network model to predict severe thunderstorms that occurred over Kolkata during May 3, 11, and 15, 2009, using thunderstorm affected meteorological parameters. The capabilities of six learning algorithms, namely, Step, Momentum, Conjugate Gradient, Quick Propagation, Levenberg-Marquardt, and Delta-Bar-Delta, in predicting thunderstorms and the usefulness for the advanced prediction were studied and their performances were evaluated by a number of statistical measures. The results indicate that Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm well predicted thunderstorm affected surface parameters and 1, 3, and 24 h advanced prediction models are able to predict hourly temperature and relative humidity adequately with sudden fall and rise during thunderstorm hour. This demonstrates its distinct capability and advantages in identifying meteorological time series comprising nonlinear characteristics. The developed model can be useful in decision making for meteorologists and others who work with real-time thunderstorm forecast. A. J. Litta, Sumam Mary Idicula, and U. C. Mohanty Copyright © 2013 A. J. Litta et al. All rights reserved. Lidar Measurements of the Vertical Distribution of Aerosol Optical and Physical Properties over Central Asia Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:41:57 +0000 The vertical structure of aerosol optical and physical properties was measured by Lidar in Eastern Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, from June 2008 to May 2009. Lidar measurements were supplemented with surface-based measurements of PM2.5 and PM10 mass and chemical composition in both size fractions. Dust transported into the region is common, being detected 33% of the time. The maximum frequency occurred in the spring of 2009. Dust transported to Central Asia comes from regional sources, for example, Taklimakan desert and Aral Sea basin, and from long-range transport, for example, deserts of Arabia, Northeast Africa, Iran, and Pakistan. Regional sources are characterized by pollution transport with maximum values of coarse particles within the planetary boundary layer, aerosol optical thickness, extinction coefficient, integral coefficient of aerosol backscatter, and minimum values of the Ångström exponent. Pollution associated with air masses transported over long distances has different characteristics during autumn, winter, and spring. During winter, dust emissions were low resulting in high values of the Ångström exponent (about 0.51) and the fine particle mass fraction (64%). Dust storms were more frequent during spring with an increase in coarse dust particles in comparison to winter. The aerosol vertical profiles can be used to lower uncertainty in estimating radiative forcing. Boris B. Chen, Leonid G. Sverdlik, Sanjar A. Imashev, Paul A. Solomon, Jeffrey Lantz, James J. Schauer, Martin M. Shafer, Maria S. Artamonova, and Gregory R. Carmichael Copyright © 2013 Boris B. Chen et al. All rights reserved.