Combined use of satellite observations and Global Hawk unmanned aircraft dropwindsondes for improved tropical cyclone analyses and forecasts

Hui Christophersen, Robert Atlas, Altug Aksoy, Jason Dunion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study demonstrates that Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system dropwindsondes and Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) observations can be complementary in sampling a tropical cyclone (TC). The assimilation of both datasets in a regional ensemble data assimilation system shows that the cumulative impact of both datasets is greater than either one alone because of the presence of mutually independent information content. The experiment that assimilates both datasets has smaller position and intensity errors in the mean analysis than those with individual datasets. The improvements in track and intensity forecasts that result from combining both datasets also indicate synergistic benefits. Overall, superior track and intensity forecasts are evident. This study suggests that polar-orbiting satellite spatial coverage should be considered in operational reconnaissance mission planning in order to achieve further improvements in TC analyses and forecasts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1031
Number of pages11
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Keywords

  • Data assimilation
  • Dropsondes
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • Remote sensing
  • Satellite observations
  • Tropical cyclones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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