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Damian J. Barrett and Luigi J. Renzullo

that antenna error contributes 0.9 K to the overall radiometric accuracy of 1.68 K for the Microwave Imaging Radiometer with Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) onboard the planned Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite ( Barré et al. 2008 ). Similarly, the planned Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) instrument has specification for a brightness temperature relative accuracy of 1.5 K (available online at http://smap.jpl.nasa.gov ). Another factor affecting the microwave brightness temperature

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Dingchen Hou, Kenneth Mitchell, Zoltan Toth, Dag Lohmann, and Helin Wei

scheme for precipitation and an algorithm for downscaling are in development at NCEP. There is also a plan to apply these procedures during model integration to benefit coupled meteorological–hydrological forecasts. A stochastic perturbation scheme will be implemented to the GEFS ensemble system and it will increase the ensemble spread ( Hou et al. 2008 ) to better match the error of the ensemble mean and improve probabilistic forecast. With all these improvements in the atmospheric component, in

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