Improving RUC-1 Wind Estimates by Incorporating Near-Real-Time Aircraft Reports

Rodney E. Cole MIT/Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Massachusetts

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Steve M. Green NASA AMES, Moffett Field, California

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Matt R. Jardin NASA AMES, Moffett Field, California

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Abstract

A verification study of wind accuracy is presented for wind nowcasts generated by augmenting Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) wind forecasts with near-real-time aircraft reports using the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS) gridded winds algorithm. Aircraft wind reports collected between the end of the RUC data collection interval and the time each RUC forecasts is valid are available for use in augmenting the RUC wind forecast to form a wind nowcast. The 60-km resolution, hourly RUC-1 wind forecasts are used.

ITWS-based nowcast wind errors and RUC forecast wind errors are examined statistically over a 1-yr dataset. The addition of the recent aircraft reports significantly reduces the rms vector error and the 90th percentile vector error. Also reduced is the number of hours of sustained large errors and the correlation among errors. The errors increase with increasing wind speed, in part due to an underestimation of wind speed that increases with increasing wind speed. The errors in the augmented wind fields decrease with increasing numbers of Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System reports. Different types of weather are also seen to influence wind field accuracy.

Corresponding author address: Rodney E. Cole, MIT/Lincoln Laboratory, 244 Wood St., Lexington, MA 02420-9185.

Email: rodc@ll.mit.edu

Abstract

A verification study of wind accuracy is presented for wind nowcasts generated by augmenting Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) wind forecasts with near-real-time aircraft reports using the Integrated Terminal Weather System (ITWS) gridded winds algorithm. Aircraft wind reports collected between the end of the RUC data collection interval and the time each RUC forecasts is valid are available for use in augmenting the RUC wind forecast to form a wind nowcast. The 60-km resolution, hourly RUC-1 wind forecasts are used.

ITWS-based nowcast wind errors and RUC forecast wind errors are examined statistically over a 1-yr dataset. The addition of the recent aircraft reports significantly reduces the rms vector error and the 90th percentile vector error. Also reduced is the number of hours of sustained large errors and the correlation among errors. The errors increase with increasing wind speed, in part due to an underestimation of wind speed that increases with increasing wind speed. The errors in the augmented wind fields decrease with increasing numbers of Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System reports. Different types of weather are also seen to influence wind field accuracy.

Corresponding author address: Rodney E. Cole, MIT/Lincoln Laboratory, 244 Wood St., Lexington, MA 02420-9185.

Email: rodc@ll.mit.edu

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