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  • Author or Editor: A. P. Trishchenko x
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L. Garand
J. Feng
S. Heilliette
Y. Rochon
, and
A. P. Trishchenko


There is a well-recognized spatiotemporal meteorological observation gap at latitudes higher than 55°, especially in the region 55°–70°. A possible solution to address this issue is a constellation of four satellites in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO), that is, two satellites for each polar region. An important satellite product to support weather prediction is atmospheric motion wind vectors (AMVs). This study uses observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) to evaluate the benefit to forecasts resulting from the assimilation of HEO AMVs covering one or both polar regions. The OSSE employs the operational global data assimilation system of the Canadian Meteorological Center. HEO AMVs are assimilated north of 50°N and south of 50°S. From 2-month assimilation cycles, the study examines the following three issues: 1) the impact of AMV assimilation in the real system, and how this compares to the impact seen in the simulated system, 2) the added value of HEO AMVs in the Arctic on top of what is currently available, and 3) the relative impact of HEO AMVs in the Arctic and Antarctic in comparison with no AMVs. Although the simulated impact of currently available AMVs is somewhat higher than the real impact, a firm conclusion is that the added value of Arctic HEO AMVs is substantial, improving predictability at days 3–5 by a few hours in terms of 500-hPa geopotential height. The impact of HEO AMVs is relatively stronger in the Southern Hemisphere. Forecast validation of atmospheric profiles against the simulated “true” state and against analyses generated within the assimilation cycles yields very similar results beyond 48 h.

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