Assessing the Forecast Impact of a Geostationary Microwave Sounder Using Regional and Global OSSEs

Derek J. Posselt aJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Longtao Wu aJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Mathias Schreier aJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Jacola Roman aJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Masashi Minamide bUniversity of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

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Bjorn Lambrigtsen aJet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Abstract

Forecast observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) are conducted to assess the potential impact of geostationary microwave (GeoMW) sounder observations on numerical weather prediction forecasts. A regional OSSE is conducted using a tropical cyclone (TC) case that is very similar to Hurricane Harvey (2017), as hurricanes are among the most devastating of weather-related natural disasters, and hurricane intensity continues to pose a significant challenge for numerical weather prediction. A global OSSE is conducted to assess the potential impact of a single GeoMW sounder centered over the continental United States versus two sounders positioned at the current locations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) East and West. It is found that assimilation of GeoMW soundings result in better characterization of the TC environment, especially before and during intensification, which leads to significant improvements in forecasts of TC track and intensity. TC vertical structure (warm core thermal perturbation and horizontal wind distribution) is also substantially improved, as are the surface wind and precipitation extremes. In the global OSSE, assimilation of GeoMW soundings leads to slight improvement globally and significant improvement regionally, with regional impact equal to or greater than nearly all other observation types.

Significance Statement

This work seeks to determine the impact of a new geostationary microwave (GeoMW) sounder on tropical cyclone forecasts in particular, and on weather forecasts in general. It does so by assimilating simulated GeoMW sounder data into two different forecast models: one global and one regional. The data have a small positive impact globally, and a significant positive impact over the region viewed by the GeoMW instrument. In particular, assimilation of GeoMW data has a significant and positive impact on forecasts of tropical cyclone track, strength, and structure.

© 2022 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Derek J. Posselt, Derek.Posselt@jpl.nasa.gov

Abstract

Forecast observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) are conducted to assess the potential impact of geostationary microwave (GeoMW) sounder observations on numerical weather prediction forecasts. A regional OSSE is conducted using a tropical cyclone (TC) case that is very similar to Hurricane Harvey (2017), as hurricanes are among the most devastating of weather-related natural disasters, and hurricane intensity continues to pose a significant challenge for numerical weather prediction. A global OSSE is conducted to assess the potential impact of a single GeoMW sounder centered over the continental United States versus two sounders positioned at the current locations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) East and West. It is found that assimilation of GeoMW soundings result in better characterization of the TC environment, especially before and during intensification, which leads to significant improvements in forecasts of TC track and intensity. TC vertical structure (warm core thermal perturbation and horizontal wind distribution) is also substantially improved, as are the surface wind and precipitation extremes. In the global OSSE, assimilation of GeoMW soundings leads to slight improvement globally and significant improvement regionally, with regional impact equal to or greater than nearly all other observation types.

Significance Statement

This work seeks to determine the impact of a new geostationary microwave (GeoMW) sounder on tropical cyclone forecasts in particular, and on weather forecasts in general. It does so by assimilating simulated GeoMW sounder data into two different forecast models: one global and one regional. The data have a small positive impact globally, and a significant positive impact over the region viewed by the GeoMW instrument. In particular, assimilation of GeoMW data has a significant and positive impact on forecasts of tropical cyclone track, strength, and structure.

© 2022 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Derek J. Posselt, Derek.Posselt@jpl.nasa.gov
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