Hiester, H. R., Morey, S. L., Dukhovskoy, D. S., Chassignet, E. P., Kourafalou, V. H., & Hu, C. (2016). A topological approach for quantitative comparisons of ocean model fields to satellite ocean color data.
Methods in Oceanography, 17, 232–250.
Weihs, R. (2016).
Surface and Atmospheric Boundary Layer Responses to Diurnal Variations of Sea Surface Temperature in an NWP Model. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Morey, S., Koch, M., Liu, Y., & Lee, S. - K. (2017). Florida's oceans and marine habitats in a changing climate. In E. P. Chassignet, J. W. Jones, V. Misra, & J. Obeysekera (Eds.),
Florida's climate: Changes, variations, & impacts (pp. 391–425). Gainesville, FL: Florida Climate Institute.
Engelman, M. B. (2008).
A Validation of the FSU/COAPS Climate Model. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: This study examines the predictability of the Florida State University/Center for Oceanic and Atmospheric Prediction Studies (FSU/COAPS) climate model, and is motivated by the model's potential use in crop modeling. The study also compares real-time ensemble runs (created using persisted SST anomalies) to hindcast ensemble runs (created using weekly updated SST) to asses the effect of SST anomalies on forecast error. Wintertime (DJF, 2 month lead time) surface temperature and precipitation forecasts over the southeastern United States (Georgia, Alabama, and Florida) are evaluated because of the documented links between tropical Pacific SST anomalies and climate in the southeastern United States during the winter season. The global spectral model (GSM) runs at a T63 resolution and then is dynamically downscaled to a 20 x 20 km grid over the southeastern United States using the FSU regional spectral model (RSM). Seasonal, monthly, and daily events from the October 2004 and 2005 model runs are assessed. Seasonal (DJF) plots of real-time forecasts indicate the model is capable of predicting wintertime maximum and minimum temperatures over the southeastern United States. The October 2004 and 2005 real-time model runs both produce temperature forecasts with anomaly errors below 3°C, correlations close to one, and standard deviations similar to observations. Real-time precipitation forecasts are inconsistent. Error in the percent of normal precipitation vary from greater than 100% in the 2004/2005 forecasts to less than 35% error in the 2005/2006 forecasts. Comparing hindcast runs to real-time runs reveals some skill is lost in precipitation forecasts when using a method of SST anomaly persistence if the SST anomalies in the equatorial Pacific change early in the forecast period, as they did for the October 2004 model runs. Further analysis involving monthly and daily model data as well as Brier scores (BS), relative operating characteristics (ROC), and equitable threat scores (ETS), are also examined to confirm these results.
Scott, J. P. (2011).
An Intercomparison of Numerically Modeled Flux Data and Satellite-Derived Flux Data for Warm Seclusions. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Moroni, D. F. (2008).
Global and Regional Diagnostic Comparison of Air-Sea Flux Parameterizations during Episodic Events. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: Twenty turbulent flux parameterizations are compared globally and regionally with a focus on the differences associated with episodic events. The regional focus is primarily upon the Gulf Stream and Drake Passage, as these two regions contain vastly different physical characteristics related to storm and frontal passages, varieties of sea-states, and atmospheric stability conditions. These turbulent flux parameterizations are comprised of six stress-related parameterizations [i.e., Large and Pond (1981), Large et al. (1994), Smith (1988), HEXOS (Smith et al. 1992, 1996), Taylor and Yelland (2001), and Bourassa (2006)] which are paired with a choice of three atmospheric stability parameterizations ['Neutral' assumption, Businger-Dyer (Businger 1966, Dyer 1967, Businger et al. 1971, and Dyer 1974) relations, and Beljaars-Holtslag (1991) with Benoit (1977)]. Two remaining turbulent flux algorithms are COARE version 3 (Fairall et al. 2003) and Kara et al. (2005), where Kara et al. is a polynomial curve fit approximation to COARE; these have their own separate stability considerations. The following data sets were used as a common input for parameterization: Coordinated Ocean Reference Experiment version 1.0, Reynolds daily SST, and NOAA WaveWatch III. The overlapping time period for these data sets is an eight year period (1997 through 2004). Four turbulent flux diagnostics (latent heat flux, sensible heat flux, stress, curl of the stress) are computed using the above parameterizations and analyzed by way of probability distribution functions (PDFs) and RMS analyses. The differences in modeled flux consistency are shown to vary by region and season. Modeled flux consistency is determined both qualitatively (using PDF diagrams) and quantitatively (using RMS differences), where the best consistencies are found during near-neutral atmospheric stratification. Drake Passage shows the least sensitivity (in terms of the change in the tails of PDFs) to seasonal change. Specific flux diagnostics show varying degrees of consistency between stability parameterizations. For example, the Gulf Stream's latent heat flux estimates are the most inconsistent (compared to any other flux diagnostic) during episodic and non-neutral conditions. In all stability conditions, stress and the curl of stress are the most consistent modeled flux diagnostics. Sea-state is also a very important source of modeled flux inconsistencies during episodic events for both regions.
Keywords: Parameterizations, Parameterization, Algorithm, Probability Density, Probability Distribution, Pdf, Drake Passage, Kuroshio, Gulf Stream Ect, Cold Tongue, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Southern Oceans, Atlantic Ocean, Tropics, Sea-State
Brolley, J. M. (2004).
Experimental Forest Fire Threat Forecast. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: Climate shifts due to El Niño (warmer than normal ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean) and La Niña (cooler than normal) are well known and used to predict seasonal temperature and precipitation trends up to a year in advance. These climate shifts are particularly strong in the Southeastern United States. During the winter and spring months, El Niño brings plentiful rainfall and cooler temperatures to Florida. Recent los Niños occurred in 1997-1998, one of the strongest on record, with another mild El Niño in 2002-2003. Conversely, La Niña is associated with warm and dry winter and spring seasons in Florida. Temperature and precipitation affect wildfire activity; interannual drivers of climate, like ENSO, have an influence on wildfire activity. Studies have shown a strong connection between wildfires in Florida and La Niña, with the more than double the average number of acres burned (O'Brien et al 2002; Jones et al. 1999). While this relationship is important and lends a degree of predictability to the relative activity of future wildfire seasons, human activities such as effective suppression, prescribed burns, and ignition can play an equally important role in wildfire risks. This study forecasts wildfire potential rather than actual burn statistics to avoid complications due to human interactions. This wildfire threat potential is based upon the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI). The KBDI is well suited as a seasonal forecast medium. It is based on daily temperature and rainfall measurements and responds to changing climate and weather conditions on time scales of days to months, and this index is high during dry warm weather patterns and low during wet cool patterns. The KBDI has been widely used in forestry in the Southeastern United States since its development in the 1970's, with foresters and firefighters have a good level of familiarity with the index and its applications. The KBDI is calculated daily and used as an index by wildfire managers. This study calculates wildfire potential using a statistical method known as bootstrapping. Many datasets contain approximately a half-century of data, and the limited dataset will introduce biases. Bootstrapping can remedy bias by simulating thousands of years of data, which retain the climatology for the past half-century. Bootstrapping preserves the mean but not the variance. By incorporating this method, this study will improve long-term forest fire risks that will become useful for those living or working near forests and assist in managing forests and wildfires. The Southeast Climate Consortium will also be issuing wildfire risk forecast for Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia based on ENSO phase and the KBDI. Climate information and ENSO predictions are better served by incorporating them with known climate indices that are routinely used in the forestry sector. Wildfire managers and foresters operationally use the KBDI to monitor and predict wildfire activity (O'Brien et al. 2002). Meteorologists at the Florida Division of Forestry have demonstrated the validity of the KBDI as an indicator of potential wildfire activity in Florida (Long 2004). They showed that the value of the KBDI is not as important as the deviation from the monthly average. The wildfire risk forecast is based on the probabilities of KBDI anomalies and will present the probabilities associated with large deviations from the seasonal normal.
Briggs, K. (2006).
ENSO Event Reproduction: A Comparison of an EOF vs. A Cyclostationary (CSEOF) Approach. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: In past studies, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events have been linked to devastating weather extremes. Climate modeling of ENSO is often dependent on limited records of the pertinent physical variables, thus longer records of these variables is desirable. Noisy signals, such as monthly sea surface temperature, are good candidates for reproduction by several existing auto-regression techniques. Through auto-regression, influential principal component modes are broken down into a series of time points that are each dependent upon an optimal weighting of the surrounding points. Using these unique numerical relationships, a noisy signal can be reproduced by thus processing the leading modes and adding an artificial record of properly distributed noise. Statistical measures of important ENSO regions suggest that the nature of oceanic and atmospheric anomalous events is cyclic with respect to certain timescales; for example, the monthly timescale. To detect ENSO signals in the presence of a varying background noise field, the detection method should take into account the signal's strong phase-locking with this nested variation. Cyclostationary Emperical Orthogonal Functions (CSEOFs) are built upon the idea of nested cycles, unlike traditional EOFs, which incorporate a design that is better detailed for stationary processes. In this study, both EOF and CSEOF modes of a 50-year Pacific SST record are processed using an auto-regression technique, and several sets of artificial SST records are constructed. Appropriate statistical indices are applied to these artificial time series to ensure an acceptable consistency with the real record, and then artificial data is produced using the artificial time series. In all cases, the cyclostationary approach produces more realistic warm ENSO events with respect to timing, strength, and other traits than does the stationary approach. However, both methods produce only a fair representation of cold events, suggesting that further study is necessary for improvement of La Niña modeling. Shorter records of variables such as sea level height and Pacific wind stress anomalies can hinder the usefulness of auto-regression, owing to time point dependence on surrounding points. Using a regression technique to find an evolutionary consistency (i.e. physically consistent patterns) between one of these variables and a variable with a longer record (such as SST) can eliminate this problem. Once a regression relationship is found between two variables, the variable with the shorter record can be re-written to match the time evolution of the variable with the longer record. Here regression, both EOF and CSEOF, is performed on both sea surface temperature and sea level height (a 20-year record), and sea surface temperature and wind stress (a 39-year record). Once the regression relationships are found, artificial SST time series are incorporated in place of the original time series to produce several artificial 50-year SLH and wind stress data sets. 5 Pacific regions are chosen, and statistics and behavior of the artificial sets within these regions are compared to those of the original data. Once again the cyclostationary approach fares better than the stationary. In particular the EOF assumption of cross correlational symmetry fails to capture the direction-dependence of ENSO evolution, causing inconsistent ENSO behavior. This renders an EOF method insufficient for climate modeling and prediction, and implies that a better aim is to incorporate physical cyclic features via a cyclostationary method.
Hite, M. M. (2006).
Vorticity-Based Detection of Tropical Cyclogenesis. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: Ocean wind vectors from the SeaWinds scatterometer on QuikSCAT and GOES imagery are used to develop an objective technique that can detect and monitor tropical disturbances associated with the early stages of tropical cyclogenesis in the Atlantic basin. The technique is based on identification of surface vorticity and wind speed signatures that exceed certain threshold magnitudes, with vorticity averaged over an appropriate spatial scale. The threshold values applied herein are determined from the precursors of 15 tropical cyclones during the 1999-2004 Atlantic hurricane seasons using research-quality QuikSCAT data. Tropical disturbances are found for these cases within a range of 19 hours to 101 hours before classification as tropical cyclones by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The 15 cases are further subdivided based upon their origination source (i.e., easterly wave, upper-level cut-off low, stagnant frontal zone, etc). Primary focus centers on the cases associated with tropical waves, since these waves account for approximately 63% of all Atlantic tropical cyclones. The detection technique illustrates the ability to track these tropical disturbances from near the coast of Africa. Analysis of the pre-tropical cyclone (TC) tracks for these cases depict stages, related to wind speed and precipitation, in the evolution of an easterly wave to tropical cyclone.
Hughes, P. J. (2014).
The Influence of Small-Scale Sea Surface Temperature Gradients on Surface Vector Winds and Subsequent Impacts on Oceanic Ekman Pumping. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University.