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Impact of GMS-5 and GOES-9 Satellite-Derived Winds on the Prediction of a NORPEX Extratropical Cyclone

Qingnong XiaoDepartment of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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X. ZouDepartment of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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M. PondecaDepartment of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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M. A. ShapiroNOAA/ETL, Boulder, Colorado

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C. VeldenUniversity of Wisconsin–CIMSS, Madison, Wisconsin

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Abstract

The impact of satellite-derived wind observations on the prediction of a mid–Pacific Ocean cyclone during the North Pacific Experiment (NORPEX, 14 Jan–27 Feb 1998) is assessed using a four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) approach in which a nonhydrostatic version of the Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research fifth-generation Mesoscale Model (MM5) serves as a strong constraint. The satellite-derived wind observations are retrieved through an automated tracking algorithm using water vapor visible, and infrared imagery from the operational Geostationary Meteorological Satellite-5 (GMS-5) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-9 (GOES-9) over the North Pacific basin. For the case studied, it is found that the amount of satellite wind data is much greater in the upper troposphere than in the lower troposphere.

The 4DVAR assimilation of the satellite wind observations is carried out on a single domain with 90-km horizontal resolution. Incorporation of satellite wind observations was found to increase the cyclonic zonal wind shear and the cross-front temperature gradient associated with the simulated cyclone. However, the improvement in the intensity of the simulated cyclone measured by the central sea level pressure is marginal using the same assimilation model. Increasing the forecast model resolution by nesting a 30-km resolution domain yields a more significant impact of the satellite-derived wind data on the cyclone intensity prediction. The GMS-5 satellite winds (upstream data) are found to have more influence on the quality of the cyclone development than the GOES-9 satellite winds (downstream data). An adjoint sensitivity study confirms that the most sensitive region is located upstream of the cyclone, and that the cyclone is more sensitive to the lower rather than the upper atmosphere. Therefore, it is anticipated that larger impacts on cyclone prediction in the mid–Pacific Ocean will occur when a greater or equal amount of satellite wind observations are made available for the lower troposphere as are available for the upper levels.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Q. Xiao, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: hsiao@ncar.ucar.edu

Abstract

The impact of satellite-derived wind observations on the prediction of a mid–Pacific Ocean cyclone during the North Pacific Experiment (NORPEX, 14 Jan–27 Feb 1998) is assessed using a four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) approach in which a nonhydrostatic version of the Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research fifth-generation Mesoscale Model (MM5) serves as a strong constraint. The satellite-derived wind observations are retrieved through an automated tracking algorithm using water vapor visible, and infrared imagery from the operational Geostationary Meteorological Satellite-5 (GMS-5) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-9 (GOES-9) over the North Pacific basin. For the case studied, it is found that the amount of satellite wind data is much greater in the upper troposphere than in the lower troposphere.

The 4DVAR assimilation of the satellite wind observations is carried out on a single domain with 90-km horizontal resolution. Incorporation of satellite wind observations was found to increase the cyclonic zonal wind shear and the cross-front temperature gradient associated with the simulated cyclone. However, the improvement in the intensity of the simulated cyclone measured by the central sea level pressure is marginal using the same assimilation model. Increasing the forecast model resolution by nesting a 30-km resolution domain yields a more significant impact of the satellite-derived wind data on the cyclone intensity prediction. The GMS-5 satellite winds (upstream data) are found to have more influence on the quality of the cyclone development than the GOES-9 satellite winds (downstream data). An adjoint sensitivity study confirms that the most sensitive region is located upstream of the cyclone, and that the cyclone is more sensitive to the lower rather than the upper atmosphere. Therefore, it is anticipated that larger impacts on cyclone prediction in the mid–Pacific Ocean will occur when a greater or equal amount of satellite wind observations are made available for the lower troposphere as are available for the upper levels.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Q. Xiao, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: hsiao@ncar.ucar.edu

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