An Observing System Simulation Experiment for the Unmanned Aircraft System Data Impact on Tropical Cyclone Track Forecasts

N. C. Privé * Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Boulder, Colorado

Search for other papers by N. C. Privé in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Yuanfu Xie Global Systems Division, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

Search for other papers by Yuanfu Xie in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Steven Koch NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma

Search for other papers by Steven Koch in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Robert Atlas NOAA/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Miami, Florida

Search for other papers by Robert Atlas in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Sharanya J. Majumdar Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

Search for other papers by Sharanya J. Majumdar in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Ross N. Hoffman ** Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

Search for other papers by Ross N. Hoffman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

High-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems (HALE UAS) are capable of extended flights for atmospheric sampling. A case study was conducted to evaluate the potential impact of dropwindsonde observations from HALE UAS on tropical cyclone track prediction; tropical cyclone intensity was not addressed. This study employs a global observing system simulation experiment (OSSE) developed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL) that is based on the NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Prediction gridpoint statistical interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system and Global Forecast System (GFS) model. Different strategies for dropwindsonde deployment and UAS flight paths were compared. The introduction of UAS-deployed dropwindsondes was found to consistently improve the track forecast skill during the early forecast up to 96 h, with the caveat that the experiments omitted both vortex relocation and dropwindsondes from manned flights in the tropical cyclone region. The more effective UAS dropwindsonde deployment patterns sampled both the environment and the body of the tropical cyclone.

Corresponding author address: N. C. Privé, NASA GSFC, Code 610.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771. E-mail: nikki.prive@nasa.gov

Abstract

High-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems (HALE UAS) are capable of extended flights for atmospheric sampling. A case study was conducted to evaluate the potential impact of dropwindsonde observations from HALE UAS on tropical cyclone track prediction; tropical cyclone intensity was not addressed. This study employs a global observing system simulation experiment (OSSE) developed at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL) that is based on the NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Prediction gridpoint statistical interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system and Global Forecast System (GFS) model. Different strategies for dropwindsonde deployment and UAS flight paths were compared. The introduction of UAS-deployed dropwindsondes was found to consistently improve the track forecast skill during the early forecast up to 96 h, with the caveat that the experiments omitted both vortex relocation and dropwindsondes from manned flights in the tropical cyclone region. The more effective UAS dropwindsonde deployment patterns sampled both the environment and the body of the tropical cyclone.

Corresponding author address: N. C. Privé, NASA GSFC, Code 610.1, Greenbelt, MD 20771. E-mail: nikki.prive@nasa.gov
Save
  • Aberson, S. D., 2008: Large forecast degradations due to synoptic surveillance during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136, 31383150, doi:10.1175/2007MWR2192.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Aberson, S. D., 2010: Ten years of hurricane synoptic surveillance (1997–2006). Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 15361549, doi:10.1175/2009MWR3090.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Andersson, E., and M. Masutani, 2010: Collaboration on Observing System Simulation Experiments (Joint OSSE). ECMWF Newsletter, No. 123, ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom, 1416.

  • Braun, S., and Coauthors, 2013: NASA’s Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) field experiment. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94, 345363, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00232.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Errico, R. M., R. Yang, N. Privé, K.-S. Tai, R. Todling, M. Sienkiewicz, and J. Guo, 2013: Validation of version one of the Observing System Simulation Experiments at the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 139, 11621178, doi:10.1002/qj.2027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harnisch, F., and M. Weissmann, 2010: Sensitivity of typhoon forecasts to different subsets of targeted dropsonde observations. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 26642680, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3309.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kleist, D., D. Parrish, J. Derber, R. Treadon, W.-S. Wu, and S. Lord, 2009: Introduction of the GSI into the NCEP global data assimilation system. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 16911705, doi:10.1175/2009WAF2222201.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Majumdar, S. J., and Coauthors, 2011: Targeted observations for improving numerical weather prediction: An overview. Tech. Rep., THORPEX Publ. 15, World Weather Research Programme, 37 pp.

  • Majumdar, S. J., M. Brennan, and K. Howard, 2013: The impact of dropwindsonde and supplemental rawinsonde observations on track forecasts for Hurricane Irene. Wea. Forecasting, 28, 13851403, doi:10.1175/WAF-D-13-00018.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nehrkorn, T., B. Woods, T. Auligné, and R. N. Hoffman, 2014a: Application of feature calibration and alignment to high-resolution analysis: Examples using observations sensitive to cloud and water vapor. Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 686702, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-13-00164.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Privé, N., Y. Xie, J. Woollen, S. Koch, R. Atlas, and R. Hood, 2013: Evaluation of the Earth Sytems Research Laboratory’s Observing System Simulation Experiment system. Tellus, 65A, 19011, doi:10.3402/tellusa.v65i0.19011.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reale, O., J. Terry, M. Masutani, E. Andersson, L. Riishojgaard, and J. Jusem, 2007: Preliminary evaluation of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) nature run over the tropical Atlantic and African monsoon region. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L22810, doi:10.1029/2007GL031640.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trahan, S., and L. Sparling, 2012: An analysis of NCEP tropical cyclone vitals and potential effects on forecasting models. Wea. Forecasting, 27, 744756, doi:10.1175/WAF-D-11-00063.1.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 401 143 3
PDF Downloads 91 34 0