Department of Environmental Sciences

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Seminar Abstracts
Environmental Sciences Seminar Abstract            

  Synoptic Classification and Related Cloud Structures: A New Approach to Climate Model Evaluation
Thomas Ackerman
University of Washington

We have developed an automated classification technique that combines numerical weather model analysis data and vertically pointing millimeter wavelength cloud radar observations to identify commonly occurring atmospheric patterns or states. The atmospheric states are defined only by large-scale, synoptic variables so that, once defined, these states can be used to composite climate model output. Radar observations of clouds are used to ensure that each state is statistically robust. The classification technique was originally developed using data around the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) Site and has now been extended to the area around the ARM site in Darwin Australia. Here, we describe the technique, discuss the atmospheric state results obtained at the SGP and Darwin, and illustrate the application to climate model evaluation using output from the Multi-scale Modeling Framework, a global atmospheric model that combines a standard resolution global model with embedded cloud resolving models.

Last updated: 04/13/2010