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Zaizhong Ma, Eric S. Maddy, Banglin Zhang, Tong Zhu, and Sid Ahmed Boukabara

Abstract

As the first of the next-generation geostationary meteorological satellites, Himawari-8 was successfully launched in October 2014 by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and placed over the western Pacific Ocean domain at 140.7°E. It carries the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI), which provides full-disk images of Earth at 16 bands in the visible and infrared domains every 10 min. Efforts are currently ongoing at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)/Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) to assimilate Himawari-8 AHI radiance measurements into the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation analysis system (GSI). All software development within the GSI to allow for assimilation of Himawari-8 AHI radiance has been completed.

This study reports on the assessment of AHI preassimilation data quality by comparing observed clear-sky ocean-only radiances to those simulated using collocated ECMWF analysis, as well as describing procedures implemented for quality control. The impact of the AHI data assimilation on the resulting analyses and forecasts is then assessed using the NCEP Global Forecast System (GFS). A preliminary assessment of the assimilation of AHI data from infrared water vapor channels and atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) on top of the current global observing system shows neutral to marginal positive impact on analysis and forecast skill relative to an assimilation without AHI data. The main positive impact occurs for short- to medium-range forecasts of global upper-tropospheric water vapor. The results demonstrate the feasibility of direct assimilation of AHI radiances and highlight how humidity information can be extracted within the assimilation system.

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Sid-Ahmed Boukabara, Kayo Ide, Narges Shahroudi, Yan Zhou, Tong Zhu, Ruifang Li, Lidia Cucurull, Robert Atlas, Sean P. F. Casey, and Ross N. Hoffman

Abstract

The simulation of observations—a critical Community Global Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) Package (CGOP) component—is validated first by a comparison of error-free simulated observations for the first 24 h at the start of the nature run (NR) to the real observations for those sensors that operated during that period. Sample results of this validation are presented here for existing low-Earth-orbiting (LEO) infrared (IR) and microwave (MW) brightness temperature (BT) observations, for radio occultation (RO) bending angle observations, and for various types of conventional observations. For sensors not operating at the start of the NR, a qualitative validation is obtained by comparing geographic and statistical characteristics of observations over the initial day for such a sensor and an existing similar sensor. The comparisons agree, with no significant unexplained bias, and to within the uncertainties caused by real observation errors, time and space collocation differences, radiative transfer uncertainties, and differences between the NR and reality. To validate channels of a proposed future MW sensor with no equivalent existing spaceborne sensor channel, multiple linear regression is used to relate these channels to existing similar channels. The validation then compares observations simulated from the NR to observations predicted by the regression relationship applied to actual real observations of the existing channels. Overall, the CGOP simulations of error-free observations from conventional and satellite platforms that make up the global observing system are found to be reasonably accurate and suitable as a starting point for creating realistic simulated observations for OSSEs. These findings complete a critical step in the CGOP validation, thereby reducing the caveats required when interpreting the OSSE results.

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Sid-Ahmed Boukabara, Kayo Ide, Yan Zhou, Narges Shahroudi, Ross N. Hoffman, Kevin Garrett, V. Krishna Kumar, Tong Zhu, and Robert Atlas

Abstract

Observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) are used to simulate and assess the impacts of new observing systems planned for the future or the impacts of adopting new techniques for exploiting data or for forecasting. This study focuses on the impacts of satellite data on global numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems. Since OSSEs are based on simulations of nature and observations, reliable results require that the OSSE system be validated. This validation involves cycles of assessment and calibration of the individual system components, as well as the complete system, with the end goal of reproducing the behavior of real-data observing system experiments (OSEs). This study investigates the accuracy of the calibration of an OSSE system—here, the Community Global OSSE Package (CGOP) system—before any explicit tuning has been performed by performing an intercomparison of the OSSE summary assessment metrics (SAMs) with those obtained from parallel real-data OSEs. The main conclusion reached in this study is that, based on the SAMs, the CGOP is able to reproduce aspects of the analysis and forecast performance of parallel OSEs despite the simplifications employed in the OSSEs. This conclusion holds even when the SAMs are stratified by various subsets (the tropics only, temperature only, etc.).

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Sid-Ahmed Boukabara, Isaac Moradi, Robert Atlas, Sean P. F. Casey, Lidia Cucurull, Ross N. Hoffman, Kayo Ide, V. Krishna Kumar, Ruifang Li, Zhenglong Li, Michiko Masutani, Narges Shahroudi, Jack Woollen, and Yan Zhou

Abstract

A modular extensible framework for conducting observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) has been developed with the goals of 1) supporting decision-makers with quantitative assessments of proposed observing systems investments, 2) supporting readiness for new sensors, 3) enhancing collaboration across the community by making the most up-to-date OSSE components accessible, and 4) advancing the theory and practical application of OSSEs. This first implementation, the Community Global OSSE Package (CGOP), is for short- to medium-range global numerical weather prediction applications. The CGOP is based on a new mesoscale global nature run produced by NASA using the 7-km cubed sphere version of the Goddard Earth Observing System, version 5 (GEOS-5), atmospheric general circulation model and the January 2015 operational version of the NOAA global data assimilation (DA) system. CGOP includes procedures to simulate the full suite of observing systems used operationally in the global DA system, including conventional in situ, satellite-based radiance, and radio occultation observations. The methodology of adding a new proposed observation type is documented and illustrated with examples of current interest. The CGOP is designed to evolve, both to improve its realism and to keep pace with the advance of operational systems.

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