Lidar-Measured Winds from Space: A Key Component for Weather and Climate Prediction

Wayman E. Baker
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George D. Emmitt
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Franklin Robertson
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Robert M. Atlas
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John E. Molinari
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David A. Bowdle
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Jan Paegle
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R. Michael Hardesty
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Robert T. Menzies
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T. N. Krishnamurti
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Robert A. Brown
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Madison J. Post
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John R. Anderson
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Andrew C. Lorenc
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James McElroy
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The deployment of a space-based Doppler lidar would provide information that is fundamental to advancing the understanding and prediction of weather and climate.

This paper reviews the concepts of wind measurement by Doppler lidar, highlights the results of some observing system simulation experiments with lidar winds, and discusses the important advances in earth system science anticipated with lidar winds.

Observing system simulation experiments, conducted using two different general circulation models, have shown 1) that there is a significant improvement in the forecast accuracy over the Southern Hemisphere and tropical oceans resulting from the assimilation of simulated satellite wind data, and 2) that wind data are significantly more effective than temperature or moisture data in controlling analysis error. Because accurate wind observations are currently almost entirely unavailable for the vast majority of tropical cyclones worldwide, lidar winds have the potential to substantially improve tropical cyclone forecasts. Similarly, to improve water vapor flux divergence calculations, a direct measure of the ageostrophic wind is needed since the present level of uncertainty cannot be reduced with better temperature and moisture soundings alone.

*National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland.

+Simpson Weather Associates, Charlottesville, Virginia.

#NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama.

@NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

&State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York.

**University of Alabama at Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama.

++University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

##NOAA/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado.

@@NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

&&The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.

***University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

+++Space Science and Engineering Center, Madison, Wisconsin.

###United Kingdom Meteorological Office, Bracknell, United Kingdom.

@@@Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Wayman E. Baker, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746.

The deployment of a space-based Doppler lidar would provide information that is fundamental to advancing the understanding and prediction of weather and climate.

This paper reviews the concepts of wind measurement by Doppler lidar, highlights the results of some observing system simulation experiments with lidar winds, and discusses the important advances in earth system science anticipated with lidar winds.

Observing system simulation experiments, conducted using two different general circulation models, have shown 1) that there is a significant improvement in the forecast accuracy over the Southern Hemisphere and tropical oceans resulting from the assimilation of simulated satellite wind data, and 2) that wind data are significantly more effective than temperature or moisture data in controlling analysis error. Because accurate wind observations are currently almost entirely unavailable for the vast majority of tropical cyclones worldwide, lidar winds have the potential to substantially improve tropical cyclone forecasts. Similarly, to improve water vapor flux divergence calculations, a direct measure of the ageostrophic wind is needed since the present level of uncertainty cannot be reduced with better temperature and moisture soundings alone.

*National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Camp Springs, Maryland.

+Simpson Weather Associates, Charlottesville, Virginia.

#NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama.

@NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

&State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York.

**University of Alabama at Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama.

++University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

##NOAA/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado.

@@NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

&&The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.

***University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

+++Space Science and Engineering Center, Madison, Wisconsin.

###United Kingdom Meteorological Office, Bracknell, United Kingdom.

@@@Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Wayman E. Baker, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, 5200 Auth Road, Camp Springs, MD 20746.
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