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R. G. Gallimore
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D. R. Johnson

Abstract

The impact of GWF satellite data on GLA analyses of the thermal structure of two oceanic extratropical cyclones are presented. The two storms developed nearly simultaneously in the western Pacific and Atlantic oceans during January 1979. In addition to describing the satellite data impact on temperature and static-stability distributions within each storm, implications of the impact on available potential energy and on the baroclinic growth of the cyclone are discussed.

In the comparison of CLA analyses with (SAT) and without (NOSAT) the satellite temperature soundings produced by 1,be NOAA/NESS retrieval method, the results show sizable temperature differences between the two analyses for both storms. Characteristic features include the following: 1) warmer SAT temperature within NOSAT thermal through and colder SAT temperatures within NOSAT thermal ridges 2) a difference in sign or magnitude of the temperature impact between the upper troposphere and the lower troposphere, and 3) an evolution of a significant, satellite-data cold bias located within and paralleling the evolution of the low-tropospheric thermal ridge close to the cyclone center. The satellite temperature impact in the low troposphere increases tropospheric static in the central storm area and decreases troposhperic stability in the cold troughs both to the rear and ahead of the cyclone.

Although the net effect of area-averaged satellite temperature impact for the storms is small, the association of warmer temperature with NOSAT thermal trough and colder temperatures with thermal ridges reduces the areal temperature stability variance within the Pacific storm area. The reduction for the Atlantic storm region is less. For the Pacific storm the satellite temperature impact led to a 10% reduction of available potential energy, a significant reduction in vertical phase tilt of the tropospheric temperature structure, and a potentially greater than 10–20% reduction of the baroclinic rate of cyclone-scale waves. The decreased baroclinic amplification is inferred from stabilization of the highest lapse rates and a reduction of the largest vertical thermal-wind shears in the low troposphere of the storm area. Overall the results stress the need to identify characteristics of satellite temperature-sounding impacts on the baroclinic structure of cyclone waves, which potentially degrade numerical weather prediction of cyclogenesis.

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