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Mohar Chattopadhyay, Will McCarty, and Isaac Moradi

Abstract

Microwave temperature sounders provide key observations in data assimilation, both in the current and historical global observing systems, as they provide the largest amount of horizontal and vertical temperature information due to their insensitivity to clouds. In the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2), microwave sounder radiances from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) are assimilated beginning with NOAA-15 and continuing through the current period. The time series of observation minus background statistics for AMSU-A channels sensitive to upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere show variabilities due to changes in AMSU-A constellation in the early AMSU-A period. Noted discrepancies are seen at the onset and exit of AMSU-A observations on the NOAA-15, NOAA-16, NOAA-17, and NASA EOS Aqua satellites. This effort characterizes the sensitivity, both in terms of the observations and the MERRA-2 analysis. Furthermore, it explores the use of reprocessed and inter-calibrated datasets to evaluate whether these homogenized observations can reduce the disparity due to change in instrumental biases against the model background. The results indicate that the AMSU-A radiances used in MERRA-2 are the fundamental cause of this inter-platform sensitivity which can be mitigated by using reprocessed data. The results explore the importance of the reprocessing of the AMSU-A radiances as well as their inter-calibration.

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Mohar Chattopadhyay, Will McCarty, and Isaac Moradi

Abstract

Microwave temperature sounders provide key observations in data assimilation, both in the current and historical global observing systems, as they provide the largest amount of horizontal and vertical temperature information due to their insensitivity to clouds. In the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2), microwave sounder radiances from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) are assimilated beginning with NOAA-15 and continuing through the current period. The time series of observation minus background statistics for AMSU-A channels sensitive to the upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere show variabilities due to changes in the AMSU-A constellation in the early AMSU-A period. Noted discrepancies are seen at the onset and exit of AMSU-A observations on the NOAA-15, NOAA-16, NOAA-17, and NASA EOS Aqua satellites. This effort characterizes the sensitivity, both in terms of the observations and the MERRA-2 data. Furthermore, it explores the use of reprocessed and intercalibrated datasets to evaluate whether these homogenized observations can reduce the disparity due to change in instrumental biases against the model background. The results indicate that the AMSU-A radiances used in MERRA-2 are the fundamental cause of this interplatform sensitivity, which can be mitigated by using reprocessed data. The results explore the importance of the reprocessing of the AMSU-A radiances as well as their intercalibration.

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Will McCarty, David Carvalho, Isaac Moradi, and Nikki C. Privé

Abstract

A set of observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) was performed to investigate the utility of a constellation of passive infrared spectrometers, strategically designed with the aim of deriving the three-dimensional retrievals of the horizontal wind via atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) from instruments with the spectral resolution of an infrared sounder. The instrument and constellation designs were performed in the context of the Midwave Infrared Sounding of Temperature and humidity in a Constellation for Winds (MISTiC Winds). The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office OSSE system, which includes a full suite of operational meteorological observations, served as the control. To illustrate the potential impact of this observing strategy, two experiments were performed by adding the new simulated observations to the control. First, perfect (error free) simulated AMVs and radiances were assimilated. Second, the data were made imperfect by adding realistic modeled errors to the AMVs and radiances that were assimilated. The experimentation showed beneficial impacts on both the mass and wind fields, as based on analysis verification, forecast verification, and the assessment of the observations using the forecast sensitivity to observation impact (FSOI) metric. In all variables and metrics, the impacts of the imperfect observations were smaller than those of the perfect observations, although much of the positive benefit was retained. The FSOI metric illustrated two key points. First, the largest impacts were seen in the middle troposphere AMVs, which is a targeted capability of the constellation strategy. Second, the addition of modeled errors showed that the assimilation system was unable to fully exploit the 4.3-μm carbon dioxide absorption radiances.

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Will McCarty, David Carvalho, Isaac Moradi, and Nikki C. Privé

Abstract

A set of Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) was performed to investigate the utility of a constellation of passive infrared spectrometers, strategically designed with the aim of deriving the three-dimensional retrievals of the horizontal wind via atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) from instruments with the spectral resolution of an infrared sounder. The instrument and constellation designs were performed in the context of the Midwave Infrared Sounding of Temperature and humidity in a Constellation for Winds, or MISTiC Winds. The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office OSSE system, which includes a full suite of operational meteorological observations, served as the control. To illustrate the potential impact of this observing strategy, two experiments were performed by adding the new simulated observations to the control. First, perfect (error-free) simulated AMVs and radiances were assimilated. Second, the data were made imperfect by adding realistic modeled errors to the AMVs and radiances that were assimilated.

The experimentation showed beneficial impacts on both the mass and wind fields, as based on analysis verification, forecast verification, and the assessment of the observations using the Forecast Sensitivity to Observation Impact (FSOI) metric. In all variables and metrics, the impacts of the imperfect observations were smaller than those of the perfect observations, though much of the positive benefit was retained. The FSOI metric illustrated two key points. First, the largest impacts were seen in the middle troposphere AMVs, which is a targeted capability of the constellation strategy. Second, the addition of modeled errors showed that the assimilation system was unable to fully exploit the 4.3 μm carbon dioxide absorption radiances.

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Isaac Moradi, K. Franklin Evans, Will McCarty, Marangelly Cordero-Fuentes, Ronald Gelaro, and Robert A. Black

Abstract

A novel Bayesian Monte Carlo integration (BMCI) technique was developed to retrieve geophysical variables from satellite microwave radiometer data in the presence of tropical cyclones. The BMCI technique includes three steps: generating a stochastic database, simulating satellite brightness temperatures using a radiative transfer model, and retrieving geophysical variables such as profiles of temperature, relative humidity, and cloud liquid and ice water content from real observations. The technique also provides uncertainty estimates for each retrieval and can output the error covariance matrix of selected parameters. The measurements from the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) on board Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) were used as input. A new technique was developed to correct the ATMS and GMI observations for the beam-filling effect, which is due to small-scale variability of precipitation and clouds when compared with the instrument footprint and also the nonlinear relation between the brightness temperature and precipitation. In addition, the assimilation of the BMCI retrievals into the NASA GEOS model is discussed for Hurricane Maria. The results show that assimilating the BMCI retrievals can influence the dynamical features of the cyclone, including a stronger warm core, a symmetric eye, and vertically aligned wind columns. Two possible factors that may limit the impact of the BMCI retrievals include 1) the resolution of the model (about 25 km), which was too coarse to show the potential of the BMCI data in improving the representation of tropical storms in the model forecast, and 2) the data assimilation system not being able to consider vertically correlated observation errors.

Open access
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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Sid A. Boukabara, Tong Zhu, Hendrik L. Tolman, Steve Lord, Steven Goodman, Robert Atlas, Mitch Goldberg, Thomas Auligne, Bradley Pierce, Lidia Cucurull, Milija Zupanski, Man Zhang, Isaac Moradi, Jason Otkin, David Santek, Brett Hoover, Zhaoxia Pu, Xiwu Zhan, Christopher Hain, Eugenia Kalnay, Daisuke Hotta, Scott Nolin, Eric Bayler, Avichal Mehra, Sean P. F. Casey, Daniel Lindsey, Louie Grasso, V. Krishna Kumar, Alfred Powell, Jianjun Xu, Thomas Greenwald, Joe Zajic, Jun Li, Jinliong Li, Bin Li, Jicheng Liu, Li Fang, Pei Wang, and Tse-Chun Chen

Abstract

In 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began a cooperative initiative with the academic community to help address a vexing issue that has long been known as a disconnection between the operational and research realms for weather forecasting and data assimilation. The issue is the gap, more exotically referred to as the “valley of death,” between efforts within the broader research community and NOAA’s activities, which are heavily driven by operational constraints. With the stated goals of leveraging research community efforts to benefit NOAA’s mission and offering a path to operations for the latest research activities that support the NOAA mission, satellite data assimilation in particular, this initiative aims to enhance the linkage between NOAA’s operational systems and the research efforts. A critical component is the establishment of an efficient operations-to-research (O2R) environment on the Supercomputer for Satellite Simulations and Data Assimilation Studies (S4). This O2R environment is critical for successful research-to-operations (R2O) transitions because it allows rigorous tracking, implementation, and merging of any changes necessary (to operational software codes, scripts, libraries, etc.) to achieve the scientific enhancement. So far, the S4 O2R environment, with close to 4,700 computing cores (60 TFLOPs) and 1,700-TB disk storage capacity, has been a great success and consequently was recently expanded to significantly increase its computing capacity. The objective of this article is to highlight some of the major achievements and benefits of this O2R approach and some lessons learned, with the ultimate goal of inspiring other O2R/R2O initiatives in other areas and for other applications.

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