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The Analysis of Typhoon Structures Using Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit Data and Its Application to Prediction

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  • 1 Central Weather Bureau, Taipei, and Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Jhong-Li, Taiwan
  • | 2 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Jhong-Li, Taiwan
  • | 3 Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York
  • | 4 Central Weather Bureau, Taipei, Taiwan
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Abstract

In this study, the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) data are used to retrieve the temperature and velocity fields of typhoons and assimilate them with the three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) routines for uses in numerical model predictions for typhoons. The authors’ procedure of an end-to-end typhoon prediction using an AMSU-based initial condition is similar to the framework developed by Zhu et al. in 2002 but differs from it by considering a downward integration approach in part of the retrieval process and with the starting point of the integration chosen as a constant 50-hPa field without any structure. The typhoon circulation from this retrieval is thus determined objectively from the AMSU observation alone, without a preimposed typhoon vortex structure, allowing an asymmetric structure even at the inner core of a typhoon. The results show that this procedure is capable of retrieving a reasonable typhoon circulation from the AMSU data. The impact of the AMSU data on the assimilated initial condition for prediction is shown to be especially notable in its modification of the upper-level circulation of the typhoons. With the downward integration, the error accumulates downward such that the current approach provides a relatively more accurate estimate of the upper-level circulation, important for the steering of a typhoon. Consistent with this, it is demonstrated that the inclusion of the AMSU data helps to improve the forecast of typhoon tracks for selected cases of typhoons. This approach is less satisfying in producing an accurate retrieval and prediction of the intensity of typhoons. The reasons for this shortcoming and possible future remedies are discussed.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Ching-Yuang Huang, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Jhong-Li 32045, Taiwan. Email: hcy@atm.ncu.edu.tw

Abstract

In this study, the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) data are used to retrieve the temperature and velocity fields of typhoons and assimilate them with the three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) routines for uses in numerical model predictions for typhoons. The authors’ procedure of an end-to-end typhoon prediction using an AMSU-based initial condition is similar to the framework developed by Zhu et al. in 2002 but differs from it by considering a downward integration approach in part of the retrieval process and with the starting point of the integration chosen as a constant 50-hPa field without any structure. The typhoon circulation from this retrieval is thus determined objectively from the AMSU observation alone, without a preimposed typhoon vortex structure, allowing an asymmetric structure even at the inner core of a typhoon. The results show that this procedure is capable of retrieving a reasonable typhoon circulation from the AMSU data. The impact of the AMSU data on the assimilated initial condition for prediction is shown to be especially notable in its modification of the upper-level circulation of the typhoons. With the downward integration, the error accumulates downward such that the current approach provides a relatively more accurate estimate of the upper-level circulation, important for the steering of a typhoon. Consistent with this, it is demonstrated that the inclusion of the AMSU data helps to improve the forecast of typhoon tracks for selected cases of typhoons. This approach is less satisfying in producing an accurate retrieval and prediction of the intensity of typhoons. The reasons for this shortcoming and possible future remedies are discussed.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Ching-Yuang Huang, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Jhong-Li 32045, Taiwan. Email: hcy@atm.ncu.edu.tw

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