Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2569-2586, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Model description paper
13 Aug 2015
The LAGRANTO Lagrangian analysis tool – version 2.0
M. Sprenger and H. Wernli Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Abstract. Lagrangian trajectories are widely used in the atmospheric sciences, for instance to identify flow structures in extratropical cyclones (e.g., warm conveyor belts) and long-range transport pathways of moisture and trace substances. Here a new version of the Lagrangian analysis tool LAGRANTO (Wernli and Davies, 1997) is introduced, which offers considerably enhanced functionalities. Trajectory starting positions can be defined easily and flexibly based on different geometrical and/or meteorological conditions, e.g., equidistantly spaced within a prescribed region and on a stack of pressure (or isentropic) levels. After the computation of the trajectories, a versatile selection of trajectories is offered based on single or combined criteria. These criteria are passed to LAGRANTO with a simple command language (e.g., "GT:PV:2" readily translates into a selection of all trajectories with potential vorticity, PV, greater than 2 PVU; 1 PVU = 10−6 K m2 kg−1 s−1). Full versions of this new version of LAGRANTO are available for global ECMWF and regional COSMO data, and core functionality is provided for the regional WRF and MetUM models and the global 20th Century Reanalysis data set. The paper first presents the intuitive application of LAGRANTO for the identification of a warm conveyor belt in the North Atlantic. A further case study then shows how LAGRANTO can be used to quasi-operationally diagnose stratosphere–troposphere exchange events. Whereas these examples rely on the ECMWF version, the COSMO version and input fields with 7 km horizontal resolution serve to resolve the rather complex flow structure associated with orographic blocking due to the Alps, as shown in a third example. A final example illustrates the tool's application in source–receptor analysis studies. The new distribution of LAGRANTO is publicly available and includes auxiliary tools, e.g., to visualize trajectories. A detailed user guide describes all LAGRANTO capabilities.

Citation: Sprenger, M. and Wernli, H.: The LAGRANTO Lagrangian analysis tool – version 2.0, Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 2569-2586,, 2015.
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