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Banghua Yan
Fuzhong Weng


The Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-16 satellite is the first conically scanning sounding instrument that provides information on atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles. The SSMIS data were preprocessed by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) using its Unified Preprocessor Package (UPP) and then distributed to the numerical weather prediction centers by the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC). This dataset was assimilated into the Global Forecast System (GFS) using gridpoint statistical interpolation (GSI). The initial assimilation of the SSMIS data into the GFS did not improve the medium-range (5–7 days) forecast skill. The SSMIS bias (O-B) still changes with location and time after the GSI bias-correction scheme is implemented. This bias characteristic is related to residual calibration errors in the correction of the SSMIS antenna emission and warm target contamination. The large O-B standard deviation is probably due to the large instrument noise in the SSMIS UPP data. The large O-B and its standard deviation for several surface sensitive channels are also caused by uncertainty in surface emissivity. In this study, a new scheme is developed to remove regionally dependent bias using a weekly composite O-B. The SSMIS noise is reduced through a Gaussian function filter. A new emissivity database for snow and sea ice is developed for the SSMIS surface sensitive channels. After applying these algorithms, the quality of the SSMIS low-atmospheric sounding (LAS) data is improved; the surface-sensitive channels can be effectively assimilated, and the impacts of SSMIS LAS data on the medium-range forecast in the GFS are positive and similar to those from Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) data.

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