Incorporating the Effects of Moisture into a Dynamical Parameter: Moist Vorticity and Moist Divergence
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Incorporating the Effects of Moisture into a Dynamical Parameter: Moist Vorticity and Moist Divergence

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  • Journal Title:
    Weather and Forecasting
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  • Description:
    Properly including moisture effects into a dynamical parameter can significantly increase the parameter's ability to diagnose heavy rain locations. The relative humidity-based weighting approach used to extend the moist potential vorticity (MPV) to the generalized moist potential vorticity (GMPV) is analyzed and demonstrates such an improvement. Following the same approach, two new diagnostic parameters, moist vorticity (MV) and moist divergence (MD), have been proposed in this study by incorporating moisture effects into the traditional vorticity and divergence. A regional heavy rain event that occurred along the Yangtze River on 1 July 1991 is used as a case study, and 41 daily regional heavy rain events during the notorious flooding year of 1998 in eastern China are used for a systematic evaluation. Results show that after the moisture effects were properly incorporated, the improved ability of all three parameters to capture a heavy rain area is significant (statistically at the 99% confidence level): the GMPV is improved over the MPV by 194%, the MD over the divergence by 60%, and the MV over the vorticity by 34% in terms of the threat score (TS). The average TS is 0.270 for the MD, 0.262 for the MV, and 0.188 for the GMPV. Application of the MV and MD to assess heavy rain potential is not intended to replace a complete, multiscale forecasting methodology; however, the results from this study suggest that the MV and MD could be used to postprocess a model forecast to potentially improve heavy rain location predictions.
  • Source:
    Weather and Forecasting, 30(6), 1411-1428.
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