Use of Satellite Radiometric Imagery Data for Improvement in the Analysis of Divergent Wind in the Tropics

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  • 1 National Meteorological Center, National Weather Service, NOAA, Washington, DC and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

A scheme is proposed to incorporate satellite radiometric imagery data into the specification of initial conditions for the National Meteorological Center (NMC) operational global prediction model in order to improve the analysis of the divergent wind field in the tropics. The basic assumptions are that outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) data can provide 1) the division between convective (upward motion) and clear sky (downward motion) areas, and 2) the height of convection cells. The intensity of ascending motion in the convective areas is estimated based on OLR data. The intensity of descending motion is evaluated from the thermodynamic energy balance between radiative cooling and adiabatic warming, since the local time change of temperature is small in the tropics. Once the vertical motion field is determined, the horizontal divergence field can be calculated from the mass continuity equation. Then, a divergent wind field is determined. The total wind is the sum of the new divergent wind and the rotational part, which is assumed to be unchanged. The proposed scheme is tested using the NMC analysis dataset of 21 January 1985 with satisfactory results.

Abstract

A scheme is proposed to incorporate satellite radiometric imagery data into the specification of initial conditions for the National Meteorological Center (NMC) operational global prediction model in order to improve the analysis of the divergent wind field in the tropics. The basic assumptions are that outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) data can provide 1) the division between convective (upward motion) and clear sky (downward motion) areas, and 2) the height of convection cells. The intensity of ascending motion in the convective areas is estimated based on OLR data. The intensity of descending motion is evaluated from the thermodynamic energy balance between radiative cooling and adiabatic warming, since the local time change of temperature is small in the tropics. Once the vertical motion field is determined, the horizontal divergence field can be calculated from the mass continuity equation. Then, a divergent wind field is determined. The total wind is the sum of the new divergent wind and the rotational part, which is assumed to be unchanged. The proposed scheme is tested using the NMC analysis dataset of 21 January 1985 with satisfactory results.

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