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Diagnosing the Nature of Land-Atmosphere Coupling: A Case Study of Dry/Wet Extremes in the U.S. Southern Great PlainsLand-atmosphere (L-A) interactions play a critical role in determining the diurnal evolution of land surface and planetary boundary layer (PBL) temperature and moisture states and fluxes. In turn, these interactions regulate the strength of the connection between surface moisture and precipitation in a coupled system. To address model deficiencies, recent studies have focused on development of diagnostics to quantify the strength and accuracy of the land-PBL coupling at the process level. In this paper, a diagnosis of the nature and impacts of local land-atmosphere coupling (LoCo) during dry and wet extreme conditions is presented using a combination of models and observations during the summers of 2006 and 2007 in the U.S. southern Great Plains. A range of diagnostics exploring the links and feedbacks between soil moisture and precipitation is applied to the dry/wet regimes exhibited in this region, and in the process, a thorough evaluation of nine different land-PBL scheme couplings is conducted under the umbrella of a high-resolution regional modeling test bed. Results show that the sign and magnitude of errors in land surface energy balance components are sensitive to the choice of land surface model, regime type, and running mode. In addition, LoCo diagnostics show that the sensitivity of L-A coupling is stronger toward the land during dry conditions, while the PBL scheme coupling becomes more important during the wet regime. Results also demonstrate how LoCo diagnostics can be applied to any modeling system (e.g., reanalysis products) in the context of their integrated impacts on the process chain connecting the land surface to the PBL and in support of hydrological anomalies.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Santanello, Joseph A., Jr. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Peters-Lidard, Christa D. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Kennedy, Aaron (North Dakota Univ. Grand Forks, ND, United States)
Kumar, Sujay V. (Science Applications International Corp. McLean, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 16, 2018
Publication Date
June 1, 2012
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Hydrometeorology
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
ISSN: 1525-755X
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
southern plains