Exploring Gravity Wave Predictability and Dynamics in Deepwave

Friday, 19 December 2014: 2:16 PM
James D Doyle1, David C Fritts2, Ronald B Smith3, Stephen D Eckermann4, Michael J Taylor5, Andreas Dörnbrack6, Michael Uddstrom7, Carolyn A. Reynolds1, Alex Reinecke1 and Qingfang Jiang1, (1)NRL, Monterey, CA, United States, (2)GATS Inc., Boulder, CO, United States, (3)Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States, (4)Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, United States, (5)Utah State Univ, Logan, UT, United States, (6)German Aerospace Center DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, (7)NIWA National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand
The DEEP propagating gravity WAVE program (DEEPWAVE) is a comprehensive, airborne and ground-based measurement and modeling program centered on New Zealand and focused on providing a new understanding of gravity wave dynamics and impacts from the troposphere through the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). This program employed the NSF/NCAR GV (NGV) research aircraft from a base in New Zealand in a 6-week field measurement campaign in June-July 2014. During the field phase, the NGV was equipped with new lidar and airglow instruments, as well as dropwindsondes and a full suite of flight level instruments including the microwave temperature profiler (MTP), providing temperatures and vertical winds spanning altitudes from immediately above the NGV flight altitude (~13 km) to ~100 km. The region near New Zealand was chosen since all the relevant GW sources (e.g., mountains, cyclones, jet streams) occur strongly here, and upper-level winds in austral winter permit gravity waves to propagate to very high altitudes.

The COAMPS adjoint modeling system provided forecast sensitivity in real time during the six-week DEEPWAVE field phase. Five missions were conducted using the NGV to observe regions of high forecast sensitivity, as diagnosed using the COAMPS adjoint model. In this presentation, we provide a summary of the sensitivity characteristics and explore the implications for predictability of low-level winds crucial for gravity wave launching, as well as predictability of gravity wave characteristics in the stratosphere. In general, the sensitive regions were characterized by localized strong dynamics, often involving intense baroclinic systems with deep convection. The results of the adjoint modeling system suggest that gravity wave launching and the characteristics of the gravity waves can be linked to these sensitive regions near frontal zones within baroclinic systems. The predictability links between the tropospheric fronts, cyclones, jet regions, and gravity waves that vertically propagate upward through the stratosphere will be addressed further in the presentation.