Seminars - Melbourne
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CAWCR SEMINARS 2015
|Wednesday 26th August
||University of Melbourne
|Tuesday 25th August
||2014-15 Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Review
||Victoria University, NZ
|Wednesday 05th August
||Emerging Methods for Weather Prediction and Observation
|Wednesday 22nd July
||Numerical Weather Prediction: Past, Preseant and a (personal) look into Future directions
|Wednesday 08th July
||Assimilation of radar and disdrometer data for the retrieval of rain drop size distributions
|Wednesday 01st July
||Tool for assessing wind dispersal of biosecurity threats
||Rieks van Klinken and Peter Durr
|Wednesday 24th June
||Challenges in Boreal Summer Intraseasonal Variability Simulation: Role of Moist Convective Processes
|Thursday 18th June
||Scientific data services at NCI
|Thursday 28th May
||On the role of Qualitative Evaluation in designing a nowcasting service based on a HiRes NWP
||Hazards, Warnings and Forecasts Division (BoM)
|Wednesday 27th May
||Verification of Forecast Guidance from the Forecast Demonstration Project
|Tuesday 26th May
||Antarctic sea ice seems to do its own thing
||High Impact Weather (BoM)
|Monday 25th May
||Real-time and reprocessed sea surface temperature (SST) observations: The Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSST) and the CEOS SST Virtual Constellation (SST-VC)
||Dr Gary Corlett
||University of Leicester
|Thursday 21th May
||New IMOS-GHRSST Sea Surface Temperature Products suitable for near-coastal applications
||Helen Beggs and Christopher Griffin
||Bureau of Meteorology
||Wednesday 13th May
||Update on stratospheric ozone depletion: an environmental success story
||David Karoly, Robyn Schofield and Julie Arblaster
||University of Melbourne and BoM
||Friday 8th May
||"That system, known as Argo, is one of the scientific triumphs of the age,"
|Wednessday 6th May
||Verification of soil moisture from multiple models over Australia for fire danger rating application
|Wednesday 29th April
||The Dynamics of Australian Monsoon Bursts
||Prof. Michael Reeder
|Friday 24th April
||Parameterizing gravity waves in models
||Australian Antarctic Division
|Thursday 9th April
||Effects of topography on tropical cyclone tracks
||Professor Johnny Chan
||City University of Hong Kong
|Wednesday 25th March
||Update on Met Office’s recent model developments and system implementation
||UK Met Office
|Wednesday 25th March
||Recent developments in the UM Technical Infrastructure Programme
||UK Met Office
|Wednesday 18th March
||Internal tools for accessing Bureau Australian climate data for research - present and future
|Thursday 12th March
||Dynamics of the Tornado Vortex
||University of Miami
|Wednesday 11th March
||Biases and limitations in the estimation of tropical cyclone intensity
||University of Miami
|Thursday 05th March
||Hadley Centre Extremes Datasets: HadISD and HadEX2
||Robert Dunn and Kate Willett
||Met Office Hadley Centre (UK)
|Friday 27th February
||Seasonal forecasting, and climate analyses, of thunderstorms and associated impacts
|Wednesday 11th February
||The role of coastal associated rainfall in the tropics
|Wednesday 4th February
||New Climate Change Projections for Australia -- Overview and Key Messages
||Bertrand Timbal and Aurel Moise
|Thursday 22nd January
||Heavy rainfall over Pakistan and northwest India: Influence of modulation of the large-scale circulation over the Indo-Pacific region
||Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
The venue is the seminar room (Floor 9, east side) at 700 Collins Street, Docklands
Seminars are run typically with duration
of 30 to 45 minutes + questions. Dates and times are shown. If you are a vistor to the Bureau, you need to register at reception in the foyer.
For further details contact the
Wednesday 26th August, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
University of Melbourne
Tuesday 25th August, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
2014-15 Southwest Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season Review
Victoria University, NZ
As defined by Diamond et al. (2012), for the purpose of studying tropical cyclones (TC), the southwest Pacific extends from the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia at longitude 135°E to 120°W in French Polynesia, and from 0° to 40°S latitude; and the temporal extent of the season is from 1-November to 30-April. The 30-year (1981-2010) average number of all (named) storms in the basin is 12.4 (10.4) in the basin is each season for November to April (Diamond et al. 2012). The annual outlook for number of storms issued by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere called for a total of 9 named storms with the possibility of at least one of these being a category 5 storm as defined the Australian TC intensity scale. Through the first half of March 2015, a total of seven TCs had formed, and these all formed from January-March. The most noteworthy of these storms was TC Pam in March, which attained Category 5 status on both the Australian and Saffir-Simpson TC intensity scales and caused tremendous historic and record damage across the island nation of Vanuatu, but TC Marcia in February was also an Australian Category 5 storm. This presentation will provide an overview of the entire season (through the end of June 2015 and into July 2015 with a brief discussion of the very late season TC Raquel), with a focus on the conditions that led to TC Pam, and will review the characteristics of the overall TC season in relation to the states of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, Southern Annular Mode, and Madden Julian Oscillation that were present across the season.
Wednesday 05th August, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Emerging Methods for Weather Prediction and Observation
It's an exciting time to be in the weather business, with the tools and technologies available for weather prediction and observation advancing rapidly. The increasing capability of high performance computing is enabling numerical weather prediction (NWP) at higher spatial and vertical resolutions than ever before, providing better predictions of convection and detailed local atmospheric circulations. Ensemble predictions support probabilistic forecasting and risk-based decision making at a variety of space and time scales. In particular, multi-week predictions are starting to bridge the gap between weather and seasonal climate regimes.
This growth in NWP capability calls for new ways to deal with the increasingly large quantity of output. Post-processing techniques are being developed and applied to downscale and remove bias, generate alerts for forecasters, and derive new products such as thunderstorm probability. Operational forecast production systems now make direct use of NWP and NWP-based products, supporting a trend toward greater automation of routine forecasts.
Weather forecasts are starting to feed directly into hazard impact prediction. The explicit use of rainfall forecasts in flood prediction is now being done in the Bureau, and opportunities are emerging to partner with the emergency management, health, infrastructure, resource, and other sectors to provide new targeted products to help meet their needs.
New observations are becoming available to monitor the weather, assimilate into NWP models, and improve our understanding of meteorological processes. Perhaps the most exciting new development here in Australia is the 10-minute 16-channel imagery from the Japanese Himawari-8 geostationary satellite. This is revolutionising our ability to watch weather unfold, and we look forward to many beneficial applications for weather prediction enabled by these data. New types of observations from third party networks, crowd-sourcing, and social media such as Twitter, also offer promise for detecting and characterizing high impact weather and verifying hazard impact forecasts.
The international community is actively developing and promoting advances in weather prediction science and methodology. WMO's World Weather Research Programme has initiated a new 10-year High Impact Weather project that aims to improve community resilience through "improving forecasts for timescales of minutes to two weeks and enhancing their communication and utility in social, economic and environmental applications." Australian participation in this project could help speed the development of new and improved applications and services.
Wednesday 22nd July, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Numerical Weather Prediction: Past, Present and a (personal) look into Future directions
The past decade has seen major improvements in our ability to provide accurate weather forecasts over the 1- to 10-day timescales. These improvements are a result of a number of factors such as major increase in the observation network that provides high resolution (in time and space) information on key atmospheric variables, development of analysis and assimilation methods that allow effective use of these data, improvements to all components of numerical models including increased resolution and development of comprehensive methods to verify and diagnose model output. Despite the notable increase in forecast skill, there are still deficiencies in our ability to accurately predict high-impact weather systems that can have significant impact on society, the economy and the environment; examples of these systems include heavy precipitation, flooding, tropical cyclone landfall, destructive surface winds etc. Improving the skill of high impact weather forecasts is a major scientific and societal challenge.
This presentation will discuss the progress made in numerical weather prediction over the years and provide (personal) thoughts on future directions.
Wednesday 08th July, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Assimilation of radar and disdrometer data for the retrieval of rain drop size distributions
The understanding of the rain microphysics and its spatiotemporal variations is of great importance for various applications (rain parameterization in numerical weather prediction models, reflectivity / rainfall relation in radar meteorology, hydrology, flash floods…). Moreover, the understanding of rain microphysics necessarily has to go through the study of the Drop Size Distribution (DSD) and its variability. We propose here a novel approach for studying the vertical variations of the DSD consisting in coupling collocated observations (disdrometers, Doppler radar spectra) in numerical evolution models via a 4D-VAR data assimilation scheme.
In this talk I will describe the technique in some detail and show results from a case study from the HyMeX (Hydrological cycle in Mediterranean Experiment) campaign. It is a long and quiet cold stratiform rain event (6h duration, rain rate between 2 and 7mm/h, bright band around 1500m). The data set comes from an optical disdrometer and a 24GHz vertical pointing Doppler radar (“micro-rain radar”, Peters et al. 2005). The evolution model used is quite simple, working in a 2D time-height plane and modelling the vertical advection of rain drops (under gravity and vertical air motion). The assimilation algorithm allows for the retrieval of both the DSD vertical profiles and the vertical air motion field.
The current status of this work is to apply this method to extended data sets (Darwin data) allowing for a more thorough validation with independent observations. These additional observations are also being used to improve the evolution model (by taking into account microphysical processes, such as evaporation or coalescence/break-up) and then to extend the method to convective rain.
Wednesday 01st July, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Tool for assessing wind dispersal of biosecurity threats
Rieks van Klinken and Peter Durr
Long-distance wind dispersal of pests, pathogens, disease vectors, weeds and other organisms poses an ongoing biosecurity threat. CSIRO will be presenting a web-based platform, TAPPAS (Tool for Assessing Pest and Pathogen Aerial Spread), that has been developed in collaboration with BOM to allow those threats to be analysed and visualised. Users can conduct sophisticated analyses through a web-browser. Simulations are conducted on the NCI/CWSL supercomputer using global reanalysis data and the HYSPLIT dispersal modelling system, with synthesis dispersal maps being returned. BOM is an integral partner for this workflow, and for it developed the interfacing gateway between HYSPLIT and TAPPAS, and provision of its ACCESS suite of ACCESS-G data.
The presentation will include the first live demonstration of TAPPAS version 1 which was completed in June 2015 for restricted release to collaborators. We are keen to receive input into future developments and potential applications and collaborations. Planned developments include assessing the probability of successful long distance dispersal by incorporating likelihood of entering the air stream and likelihood of establishing where it is deposited.
Dr Rieks van Klinken (CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship, EcoSciences Precinct, Brisbane) is an ecologist investigating the relationship between organisms and their environment at multiple spatial scales. Current research includes regional and national scale predictions of plant and feral animal invasions and their responses to climate change, land use and other factors, and spatially quantifying the impact of invasive species. He is leading the TAPPAS project, is a group leader within the Biosecurity Flagship (Northern Invasion Biology and Management Group) and leads the Early Warning Program within the Plant Biosecurity CRC.
Dr Peter Durr (CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory) is a veterinary epidemiologist with extensive experience in animal disease surveillance and epidemiology, including for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (“bird flu”) in Indonesia and insect transmitted viral diseases in Africa and Australia. Peter has a long-standing interest in the ecological drivers for disease emergence and persistence, using this to assist in building integrated (web-based) surveillance systems TAPPAS being the most recent example.
Wednesday 24th June, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Challenges in Boreal Summer Intraseasonal Variability Simulation: Role of Moist Convective Processes
The Boreal Summer Intraseasonal Variability (BSISV) exhibits more complex characteristics than its wintertime counterpart, the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). Although the potential predictability of the BSISV is about 25-30 days, the prediction skill of the current global climate models (GCMs) is limited up to 2-3 pentads only. The poor performance of the weather/climate models could be attributed to the inadequate interaction between the large-scale circulation and the small-scale convective processes. In view of the limitations of the current GCMs in simulating the observed BSISV characteristics, an attempt is made to establish the characteristics of the observed cloud processes associated with the BSISV. Such theoretical framework is perhaps necessary for validation and improvement of the current GCMs and for defining the future road-maps to achieve a major breakthrough in BSISV research. Further, the BSISV simulations in an atmospheric GCM (AGCM) and a state-of-the-art coupled GCM (CGCM) are evaluated and their systematic biases are identified in the backdrop of the moist convective processes. Finally, the cloud processes of the CGCM are thoroughly revised to improve the performance of the model in simulating the salient features of the BSISV. The results indicate that the performance of the revised CGCM is considerably improved in simulating realistic BSISV characteristics.
Thursday 18th July, 10:30am - 11:20am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Scientific data services at NCI
Dr. Ben Evans
Dr Ben Evans, Associate Director NCI, will be visiting the Bureau on Thursday 18 June to provide an update and QnA re the management of, and access to the research data collections stored at NCI (including various Bureau's data collections). The presentation will cover the NCI data services, the range of data collections available, and formats etc.
This seminar will be an opportunity to find out more about the NCI approach to data management (including metadata and catalogues), their progress in setting up the framework, and how to access Bureau and other data at NCI.
Thursaday 28th May, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
On the role of Qualitative Evaluation in designing a nowcasting service based on a HiRes NWP
Hazards, Warnings and Forecasts Division (BoM)
A convection-allowing version of ACCESS with 1.5 km resolution, radar assimilation, and a rapid update cycle (RUC), was evaluated during an 11-week experiment named “The Sydney 2014 Forecasting Demonstration Project”. The experiment had around 20 participants (forecasters, managers and scientists), and simulated the operational environment with a focus on severe weather forecasting. RUC output was used in the preparation of daily experimental human forecasts for convection outlooks. These forecasts were compared to similar predictions made without access to the RUC data and the forecasters would comment (on the FDP blog) on the “concerns” they had about how accurate the RUC would capture the state and evolution of the atmosphere. The evaluation of the RUC was oriented towards understanding how to make an effective use of a high resolution model in a nowcasting service. The data were collected through observations of forecaster behavior, individual interviews, and group discussions. The FDP blog was analyzed using the Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) method and a list of “concerns” was built from the daily performance of the model. By grouping these “concerns” on themes, or families of topics, and by identifying how the forecasters addressed these issues, we have identified the “actions” and the “decisions points” during the forecast process. The goal was to explore the major limitations of the RUC if used in nowcasting. Another goal was to illustrate the value of the subjective evaluation in the early development and design of a new technology. This talk will discuss these themes and show how to use them to design a nowcasting service and supporting training that is based on a high resolution convection allowing NWP.
Wednesday 27th May, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Verification of Forecast Guidance from the Forecast Demonstration Project
The Sydney Forecast Demonstration Project ran from September 29 December 5, 2014. A range of novel sources of forecast guidance were run in real time, and provided to FDP forecasters. Here, I will discuss the objective, point based verification of five sources of guidance: ACCESS City, ACCESS RUC, GOCF Development version, GOCF RUC and the GFE. Three forecast variables (2m temperature, screen dew point temperature and wind speed) have been verified and the verification has been split into different verification domains (Coastal, Inland, and Mountain) to allow an investigation of the performance over these domains.
Tuesday 26th May, 12:00pm - 01:00pm, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Antarctic sea ice seems to do its own thing
High Impact Weather (BoM)
This presentation will begin by providing a brief overview of the discussion held at the recent COMNAP (Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs) workshop on Antarctic sea ice, held in Hobart. It was a unique opportunity for scientists, operational managers and program managers to discuss issues related to the challenges that are faced by operating in a changing sea ice environment. I will discuss briefly some of the problems they face, why they are facing these problems and how they currently deal with them.
In the second half I will present some recent research that seems to suggest a link between changes in sea-surface temperatures and sea-ice seasonality.
Monday 25th May, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Real-time and reprocessed sea surface temperature (SST) observations: The Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSST) and the CEOS SST Virtual Constellation (SST-VC)
Dr Gary Corlett
University of Leicester
The provision of daily observations of sea surface temperature (SST) data by the Group for High Resolution SST, GHRSST (see http://www.ghrsst.org
), has grown to a mature, sustainable, and essential service. The group is comprised of SST experts representing many communities including space agencies, meteorological agencies and universities from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The maturity of SST provision is best exemplified by the partnership between GHRSST and the now well-established CEOS SST-VC in which GHRSST acts as the implementation framework for SST-VC activities. By working together with the user community, GHRSST and the SST-VC can maintain a framework for a sustained high-resolution SST measurement system that addresses users needs long into the future.
In addition to daily observations, GHRSST is now focusing efforts on reprocessed data sets in support of seasonal forecasting and climate services. A key challenge in this area is providing realistic context-sensitive uncertainty estimates for every SST at all spatio-temporal scales that ideally demonstrate traceability to national and international standards.
This presentation will summarise GHRSST, the SST-VC and the range of products and services on offer to users. The talk will conclude with an overview of how GHRSST is addressing uncertainty in long-term satellite based climate data records of SST.
Thursday 21th May, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
New IMOS-GHRSST Sea Surface Temperature Products suitable for near-coastal applications
Helen Beggs and Christopher Griffin
Bureau of Meteorology
There is an increasing requirement within the Australian region for accurate sea surface temperatures within a few kilometres of coasts, for high-resolution weather and ocean prediction, environmental monitoring, fisheries and biological research. Although there are a multitude of gridded, gap-free sea surface temperature (SST) “level 4” products available, derived from interpolating remotely sensed observations (http://www.ghrsst.org
), none can resolve surface features of spatial scales less than 10 km, making them unsuitable for many coastal applications. Gridded composite (“level 3”) satellite SST products do not spatially interpolate between observations. However, existing multi-decadal, level 3 SST products of 4 km resolution that resolve > 4 km ocean features up to 4 km from coasts (NOAA Pathfinder AVHRR, CSIRO AVHRR composite and MODIS), do not provide uncertainty estimates for each SST value, making them less useful for ingestion into or quantitative validation of coastal ocean models.
As part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), the Bureau of Meteorology in collaboration with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, produces near real-time, 2 km resolution level 3 SST products in Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSST) format, including error estimates and quality flags for each grid cell. The SST values were derived using direct broadcast, infra-red Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data from NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, and have been reprocessed back to 1992 and validated using in situ SST from drifting and moored buoys, Argo floats and ships. The level 3 products are available in a range of averaging periods from single orbit to 1 month to suit different applications. They form a unique 23-year data set that supplies quality-assured SST values to within 2 km of coasts, covering oceans around Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, New Zealand and much of the south-west Pacific and Antarctica. See http://imos.org.au/sstproducts.html for more information, data access and links to the validation web pages.
The joint presentation by Dr Helen Beggs and Dr Chris Griffin will describe the new 23-year IMOS-GHRSST SST data sets and their research and operational applications. Results of validation against in situ observations, including ship SST from IMOS, will be presented.
Wednesday 13th May, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Update on stratospheric ozone depletion: an environmental success story
David Karoly, Robyn Schofield and Julie Arblaster
UniMelb and BoM
Since the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole in the 1980s, extensive research has shown that manufactured chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), are the cause of ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere. The ozone layer, which sits in the stratosphere approximately 10-30 km above the Earth’s surface, has been depleted by more than 50% over Antarctica compared to 1980 levels and is not projected to recover to those levels until the mid-late 21st Century. Ozone depletion is not only of concern because it protects us from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. In the past decade, research has also established a connection between ozone depletion and climate changes seen in summer in the Southern Hemisphere over the past 30-50 years. This presentation will provide an overview of the latest WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion (http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/ozone_2014/ozone_asst_report.html
), including highlights from the composition, ozone observations, ozone chemistry and climate sections.
Friday 8th May, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
"That system, known as Argo, is one of the scientific triumphs of the age,"
The international global Argo array of nearly 4, 000 profiling floats has changed how large-scale ocean processes are studied transforming 20th Century global-scale oceanography into 21st Century global oceanography. While observations of surface currents have been made by mariners for centuries, systematic observations of ocean properties were not begun until the 19th century. Advances in obtaining ocean temperature and salinity measurements began around the turn of the 19th century with major advances in temperature observations occurring in the 1930s and 1960s primarily driven by operational needs. Satellite altimetry revolutionized oceanography in the 1990s by showing that sea surface height was dominated by variability patterns like El Niño and by slower global trends. To meet the operational and scientific needs for complementary subsurface ocean observations, Argo was established by what may be oceanography’s most effective international collaboration. U.S. Argo partners agreed to build Argo as an international collaboration dedicated to providing publicly available, real-time data for joint scientific and operational use.
Technical improvements to float reliability and lifespan and an internationally coordinated data quality control system led to the program surpassing its goals for float lifespan, data quality, and speed of data delivery. Today ~11,000 profiles are collected every month from a uniformly distributed global array at a cost of ~$170 per profile. The Argo program has achieved coverage of the ice-free ocean, however, its greatest scientific impact is in temperature/salinity profiles in the Southern Hemisphere, where Argo has contributed over an order of magnitude more samples than have ships.
Argo continues to evolve. New floats and a sensor capable of meeting the accuracy, precision and stability requirements for deep ocean observations will extend Argo coverage to 4,000-6,000 m depth while coverage in marginal seas and enhanced sampling in western boundary current regions is planned. Sensors for observing constituents of seawater of importance to understanding biological and chemical processes have been deployed in pilot operations and other sensors are being developed.
Wednesday 06th May, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Verification of soil moisture from multiple models over Australia for fire danger rating application
The fuel availability estimates in McArthur Forest Fire Danger Index used in Australia for issuing fire warnings is based on soil moisture deficit, calculated as either the KeetchByram Drought Index (KBDI) or Mount’s Soil Dryness Index (MSDI). These indices are essentially simplified, empirical water balance models designed to estimate soil moisture depletion in the upper soil levels. These two models over-simplify processes like evapotranspiration and runoff which can lead to large uncertainties in the predicted soil moisture deficit. With the advancement in the science of measurement ― in the form of satellite remote sensing, and in prediction ― in the form of physically based land surface models, soil moisture can now be better analysed and predicted. In this study, we compare the two old, in-use empirical models against the emerging approaches in soil moisture estimation. The land surface model soil moisture dataset used for this study is obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) system. The remote sensing product used is the ASCAT soil wetness index. The results indicate that soil moisture from NWP model produce a better skill than KBDI and MSDI. The average correlations obtained over all sites from two networks are 0.77, 0.62 and 0.74 for NWP, KBDI and MSDI respectively. The results are very encouraging and show the potential of NWP soil moisture analyses systems; despite the coarser resolution and errors in NWP precipitation forecasts.
Wednesday 29th April, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
The Dynamics of Australian Monsoon Bursts
Prof. Michael Reeder
The wet phase of the Australian monsoon is characteriszed by sub-seasonal periods of excessively wet or dry conditions, commonly know as monsoon bursts and breaks. This study is concerned with the synoptic evolution prior to monsoon bursts, which are defined here by abrupt transitions of the area-averaged rainfall over the tropical parts of the Australian continent. There is large variability in the number of monsoon bursts from year-to-year and in the time interval between consecutive monsoon bursts. Reanalysis data are used to construct a lag composite of the sequence of events prior to a monsoon burst. It is found that a burst in the Australian monsoon is preceded by the development of a well-defined extratropical wave packet in the Indian Ocean, which propagates toward the Australian continent in the few days leading up to the onset of heavy rainfall in the tropics. Consistent with previous studies on the monsoon onset, the extratropical disturbances propagate equatorward over the Australian continent. These extratropical systems are accompanied by lower tropospheric fronts, which also propagate into low latitudes. Ahead of these fronts, relatively warm moist air is advected from the surrounding oceans, locally increasing the convective available potential energy and the likelihood of convection. Commonly employed climate indices shows that monsoon bursts are more likely to occur when the active phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation is in the vicinity of Australia. Neither the El-Nino Southern Oscillation nor Southern Annular Mode have a significant impact on the occurrence of monsoon bursts.
Friday 24th April, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Parameterizing gravity waves in models
Australian Antarctic Division
The extension of model lids upward into the stratosphere and mesosphere has brought with it both advantages and challenges. Among the challenges is a need for more sophisticated parameterizations of small scale waves (AKA 'gravity waves'). In particular, the addition of waves forced by processes other than orography (such as by convection or frontal systems) extends the waves parameter space and opens a wide variety of parameterization options that are difficult to constrain physically.
In this talk, I will discuss the motivation behind making changes to the model lid height in the context of southern hemisphere processes, summarize key aspects of gravity wave parameterization and review the strategies being adopted by modelling groups around the world. Some emphasis will be given to work being done at the National Center for Atmospheric Research on their Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM).
Thursday 09th April, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Effects of topography on tropical cyclone tracks
Professor Johnny Chan
City University of Hong Kong
As a tropical cyclone (TC) moves closer to land with substantial topography, interaction between the TC circulation and the topography can cause changes in the TC track. This talk will summarise our work in the recent few years on the physical processes that cause such changes and the sensitivities of such changes to the initial latitude, size and background flow of the TC.
Wednesday 25th March, 11:00am - 11:45am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Update on Met Office’s recent model developments and system implementation
UK Met Office
The upgrades made to the global modelling system in PS34 (June 2014) and to the Limited Area Models in PS35 (February 2015) comprise the biggest changes made to the Met Office’s Unified Model systems in the last 10 years, including the implementation of the new dynamical core ENDGame.
This seminar will outline these changes and benefits, and present other aspects of Unified Model system development from convective scale to earth system application, model performance, tropical convection, and a future look to the next generation dynamical core and associated software infrastructure. Recent developments towards the next Global Coupled configuration (GC3) that will be the foundation of the future Met Office’s seamless suite of coupled operational systems will be presented.
Finally, as the UM Partnership has entered a mature phase, there is scope to jointly develop some new science capability in key areas identified as joint priorities.
Wednesday 25th March, 10:00am - 10:45am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Recent developments in the UM Technical Infrastructure Programme
UK Met Office
The Partner Technical Infrastructure Programme focuses on delivering capabilities that resolve priority weaknesses of the UM Infrastructure rather than ongoing maintenance. The medium term goal is a more streamlined system that is more flexible, easier to use and easier to adopt for both Research and Production requirements.
This presentation will summarise some of the achievements to-date, planned collaborative work in 2015/16 and identify benefits that when fully realised, will fulfil the Programme vision.
More information about the Technical Infrastructure Programme can be found in Trac pages contained within the Met Office Science Repository Service https://code.metoffice.gov.uk/trac/TI/wiki
Wednesday 18th March, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Internal tools for accessing Bureau Australian climate data for research - present and future
This talk will give researchers an overview of tools available on the Bureau's internal network for accessing climate data and seeks suggestions for features that would be most useful to them in the new Climate Data Explorer.
The Bureau of Meteorology's Climate and Oceans Data and Analysis Section (CODAS) is responsible for publishing the Bureau's climate record. A national team provides data to external clients, servicing over 11,000 emails and a similar number of phone calls per year. The tools used to extract data for external clients are available on the Bureau intranet. This talk will cover those that should be of most relevance for research - The Climate Zone (TCZ) for extracting station observations from the ADAM database; the database of observing stations information SitesDB; Climate Data Online (CDO) for accessing basic daily and monthly climate data; and several other internal tools for accessing marine data, bulk extraction of data from ADAM, and model data extraction.
CODAS also develops new tools for accessing the data both internally and externally. The team is working at making more of the climate record and advanced data types available for direct access through an expanded CDO website. This will include more of the ADAM database, spatial data such as AWAP and specialised data streams like wave and tidal records. It is envisaged that the Climate Data Explorer (CDE) will allow users to select subsets of data fields, visualise data and perform some data analysis, and download data in user-preferred formats. User requirements and technical specifications of the service are currently being developed. The internal research community is seen as important stakeholders in CDE, so feedback on current plans and suggestions for useful features of CDE are being sought.
Thursday 12th March, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Dynamics of the Tornado Vortex
University of Miami (USA)
In the first part of this talk, I will review the basic mechanisms for all tornado-like vortices (tornadoes, waterspouts, and dust devils). Our current understanding of what controls their intensity, structure, and dynamics comes from both laboratory experiments and numerical simulations. In particular, the "thermodynamic speed limit" sets a fairly low upper limit on the maximum mean wind speeds compared to the levels of damage that are found in the most extreme events.
The most extreme wind speeds are associated with asymmetric, coherent structures such as "multiple vortices" that are often visible in photographs and videos. A new analysis of the multiple vortex phenomenon will be presented using much more realistic representations of the tornado-vortex flow than had been used in some earlier studies. The linearized stability analysis successfully predicts the dominant structures in unsteady, three-dimensional simulations. In addition, symmetric modes are identified that may explain symmetric oscillations that have been directly observed in real tornadoes.
Wednesday 11th March, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Biases and limitations in the estimation of tropical cyclone intensity
University of Miami (USA)
While the average errors of tropical cyclone track forecasts have been steadily declining over the last two decades, intensity forecasts have only marginally improved. For North Atlantic forecasts, the 24-hour intensity forecast has shown no improvement, with mean errors of peak wind speed forecasts remaining around 10 knots for the last 20 years. Some recent studies have suggested that, given the current "observing system"
of satellites, aircraft reconnaissance, and subjective analysis, the actual peak wind speed cannot be measured to an accuracy greater than about 10 knots. In this study, we use an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) approach to test the limitations of even nearly perfect observing systems to capture the peak wind speed occurring within a tropical storm or hurricane. The data set is provided by a 1-km resolution simulation of an Atlantic hurricane with surface wind speeds saved every 10 seconds. An optimal observing system consisting of a dense field of fixed anemometers is placed in the path of the storm: this provides a perfect measurement of the peak 1-minute wind speed. In reality, reliable surface observations are very rare in tropical cyclones. Therefore suboptimal observing systems consisting of a small number of anemometers are sampled and compared to the truth provided by the optimal observing system. Results show that a single, perfect anemometer experiencing a direct hit by the right side of the eyewall will still underestimate the actual peak intensity by 10-20%. Even an unusually large number of anemometers (e.g., 3-5) experiencing direct hits by the storm will together underestimate the peak wind speeds by 5-10%. However, the peak intensity of just one or two anemometers will provide, on average, a good estimate of the true peak intensity averaged over several hours, which is in fact more consistent with operational definitions of intensity. If the mean bias were known perfectly for each case, it could be used to correct the wind speeds, leaving only mean absolute errors of 3-5%.
Thursday 05th March, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference Room 3, 6th floor, 700 Collins St
Hadley Centre Extremes Datasets: HadISD and HadEX2
Robert Dunn and Kate Willett
Met Office Hadley Centre (UK)
HadISD is an integrated station dataset from the Met Office Hadley Centre. It contains over 6000 stations covering the 1973-2014 period, and is planned to be updated annually. Near-surface temperature, dewpoint and sea-level pressure data, along with cloud cover, wind speed and direction have been quality controlled using an automated suite of tests. These tests address many known issues with observational data from individual surface-stations, and have been combined with buddy checks against neighbouring stations in an objective, reproducible and consistent manner.
I will describe our ongoing development and use of this dataset, touching on our assessment of its homogeneity, plans for HadISD version 2 and our communication plan with users; as well as highlighting a number of scientific applications, ranging from individual extreme events to animal welfare.
A complementary dataset, HadEX2, has been developed in collaboration with CCRC-UNSW. This is a dataset of gridded temperature and precipitation extremes indices from 1901-2010. I will outline an assessment we carried out of the structural and parametric uncertainties of this dataset, which showed that the global trends are on the whole robust to choices in the methods used in creating HadEX2.
I’m a Climate Monitoring scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre and I’d like to give you an overview of my work.
My main job is the development of a global surface humidity monitoring product. This has recently been completed for land only and is now freely available. Development has involved a lengthy process of quality control, conversion across variables, homogenisation, uncertainty estimation and gridding. We’ve recently been able to begin analysis to try and understand how the world is getting warmer and wetter (in terms of water vapour), but drier, relatively. Comparison with global climate models shows considerable disagreement for the recent historical record.
My other job involves trying to improve the world of surface temperature data to meet the needs of 21st Century climate science. The International Surface Temperature Initiative has released its first version databank of monthly land surface temperature data. This is the largest archive of freely available monthly land meteorological data with version control and traceability to source where possible. I lead the ISTI’s benchmarking working group. We are busy trying to synthetically replicate the 32000+ stations so that we can benchmark test our climate data processing methods.
Finally, there is the annual State of the Climate report to be done. I coordinate the global climate chapter. We assess a wide array of Essential Climate Variables each year, in the context of the historical record. The signal of climate change is clear from the deep oceans to the top of the atmosphere.
Wednesday 27th February, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Seasonal forecasting, and climate analyses, of thunderstorms and associated impacts
The potential for seasonal forecasting of thunderstorms has not previously been examined for any region of the world. Convective available potential energy (CAPE), as an indicator of conditions favourable to thunderstorm formation, is found to be significantly related to the El Niñouthern Oscillation (ENSO) on seasonal time scales throughout many regions of the world. This indicates the potential to produce seasonal forecasts of thunderstorms (and perhaps associated impacts such as heavy rainfall, hail, strong winds, tornados, lightning and fires). The relationship between thunderstorm activity (based on satellite lightning data) and ENSO shows strong similarities to the relationship between CAPE and ENSO in terms of its seasonal and spatial variability throughout the world. Maps are presented of anomalous thunderstorm activity for different phases of ENSO (El NiñNeutral and La Niñfor each season of the year. In addition to ENSO, a number of other large-scale modes of atmospheric and oceanic variability are examined in relation to thunderstorm occurrence, with ENSO having the strongest relationship with thunderstorm activity for all cases examined.
Lightning is a significant ignition source for a large proportion of the area burnt by fires throughout the world. The strong relationships between thunderstorm activity and large-scale atmospheric modes of variability suggests the possibility of developing a coarse-scale method for indicating the risk of lightning occurrence (i.e. coarse in spatial and temporal scales, suitable for application to global climate models). A range of atmospheric variables associated with thunderstorm occurrence are examined (based on reanalyses) in relation to global lightning stroke data obtained from a network of ground-based sensors. Rainfall data (from TRMM) are used to categorise the lightning as 'dry' or 'wet' based on the amount of rainfall accompanying the lightning. A discussion of the interactions between lightning and fire occurrence is presented.
Wednesday 11th February, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
The role of coastal associated rainfall in the tropics
Areas that are particularly poorly represented in GCMs are the tropical coastal regions. Therefore this study develops and applies an algorithm to objectively identify coast line affected precipitation. Pattern-recognition techniques are applied to the data to determine the occurrence and intensity of coastline-affected rainfall features. The effects of changing parameters in the algorithm are investigated. Having identified precipitation associated with coastlines, its climatological features and diurnal behaviour are studied. We find that a significant percentage of rainfall in tropical and sub-tropical coastal areas results from coastline effects. Furthermore the results suggest that major modes of climate variability, such as the Madden-Julia-Oscillation and the El Niñouthern Oscillation have a strong effect on the existence of coastal precipitation features. We also identify large-scale variables favouring coastal precipitation and find that the large-scale state for detected rainfall differs from from the large-scale state for non-detected rainfall.
Wednesday 4th February, 10:00am - 11:00am, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
New Climate Change Projections for Australia -- Overview and Key Messages
Bertrand Timbal and Aurel Moise
The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology have updated information about observed climate variability in Australia and projected changes over the 21st century. The projections are based on up to 40 of the latest climate model simulations, with confidence ratings for different variables, consistent with methods used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This supersedes information released by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology in 2007. Emphasis has been placed on providing projections data and information for use in planning and risk assessment within the natural resource management (NRM) sector. This research was funded by the Department of the Environment through the Planning for Climate Change Fund and is supported by co-funding from CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. Four IPCC scenarios of greenhouse gas and aerosol emissions have been considered. The lower scenarios assume significant reductions in emissions, and lead to slower rates of climate change. The higher scenarios lead to faster climate change, and a greater range of possibilities for variables such as temperature, rainfall and sea level. This talk will present an overview of the project outcomes and key messages.
Thursday 22nd January, 11:15am - 12:15pm, Conference/Meeting Rooms, 9th floor east, 700 Collins St
Heavy rainfall over Pakistan and northwest India: Influence of modulation of the large-scale circulation over the Indo-Pacific region
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
This study investigates the role of large-scale circulation shifts, induced by
Indo-Pacific Sea Surface Temperature (SST) patterns, during heavy summer
monsoon rainfall of 2010 over Indo-Pak region. The evolution of monsoon
synoptic systems and mid-latitude atmospheric blocking associated with the
heavy precipitation and floods over northwest Pakistan during strong La Nina
event of 2010 has been investigated by several past studies. The anomalous westward
shift of west-Pacific sub-tropical high, suppression of convection over Bay of
Bengal and anomalous northward moisture transport from Arabian Sea inspired us
to diagnose the role of remote and regional SST boundary forcings on the
modulation of large-scale circulation over Indo-Pacific region.
The realistic response of observed SSTs in simulating 2010 Indo-Pak heavy
rainfall anomalies, using a high resolution Atmospheric General Circulation
Model, developed at the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique (LMDZ4; Z stands
for zoom; from France), is intriguing. This realistic simulation response
encouraged us to diagnose the distinct roles of Indian Ocean and Pacific SST
anomalies by conducting additional simulation experiments using ENSO-related
and ENSO-unrelated forcings.
A PDF copy of all the presented seminars can be found at the "Find Seminar Presentation Documents..." link at the top of the page (available to BoM staff only). Seminars for previous years can be found at the "Goto list of BMRC seminars for ..." site at the top of the page. In addition, a list of actual videos from some previous seminars is held in the library and can be found on the
catalogue by entering Series: BMRC,
Format: Video. If you would like to have a talk videotaped please contact the
seminar coordinator. Note: as of 2005, it is standard practice for all seminars to be recorded as wmv movies,
with the permission of the presenter.
If you would like to know more details of coordinating seminars (if, for example,
you are hosting a visitor who will be giving a seminar and the regular seminar coordinator is not available),
have a look at the document, "Instructions for CAWCR Seminar Coordinator"