Abstract

In the context of forecasting societally impactful Great Plains low-level jets (GPLLJs), the potential added-value of satellite soil moisture (SM) data assimilation (DA) is high. GPLLJs are both sensitive to regional soil moisture gradients and frequent drivers of severe weather, including mesoscale convective systems. An untested hypothesis is that SM DA is more effective in forecasts of weakly synoptically forced, or uncoupled GPLLJs, compared to cyclone-induced coupled GPLLJs. Using the NASA-Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (NU-WRF) model, 75 GPLLJs are simulated at 9 km resolution both with- and without NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive SM DA. Differences in modeled SM, surface sensible (SH) and latent heat (LH) fluxes, 2-m temperature (T2), 2-m humidity (Q2), PBL height (PBLH), and 850-hPa wind speed (W850) are quantified for individual jets and jet type event subsets over the South Central Plains, as well as separately for each GPLLJ sector (entrance, core, and exit). At the GPLLJ core, DA-related changes of up to 5.4 kg m-2 in SM can result in T2, Q2, LH, SH, PBLH, and W850 differences of: 0.68 °C, 0.71 g kg-2, 59.9 W m-2, 52.4 W m-2, 240 m, and 4 m s-1, respectively. W850 differences focus along the jet axis and tend to increase from south to north. Jet type differences are most evident at the GPLLJ exit where DA increases and decreases W850 in uncoupled and coupled GPLLJs, respectively. DA marginally reduces negative wind speed bias for all jets but the correction is greater for uncoupled GPLLJs, as hypothesized.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.