Impact of CYGNSS-derived winds on tropical cyclone forecasts in a global and regional model

Michael J. Mueller, Bachir Annane, S. Mark Leidner, Lidia Cucurull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


An observing system experiment was conducted to assess the impact of wind products derived from the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) on tropical cyclone track, maximum 10-m wind speed Vmax, and minimum sea level pressure forecasts. The experiment used a global data assimilation and forecast system, and the impact of both CYGNSS-derived scalar and vector wind retrievals was investigated. The CYGNSS-derived vector wind products were generated by optimally combining the scalar winds and a gridded a priori vector field. Additional tests investigated the impact of CYGNSS data on a regional model through the impact of lateral boundary and initial conditions from the global model during the developmental phase of Hurricane Michael (2018). In the global model, statistically significant track forecast improvements of 20-40 km were found in the first 60 h. The Vmax forecasts showed some significant degradations of ∼2 kt at a few lead times, especially in the first 24 h. At most lead times, impacts were not statistically significant. Degradations in Vmax for Hurricane Michael in the global model were largely attributable to a failure of the CYGNSSderived scalar wind test to produce rapid intensification in the forecast initialized at 0000 UTC 7 October. The storm in this test was notably less organized and symmetrical than in the control and CYGNSS-derived vector wind test. The regional model used initial and lateral boundary conditions from the global control and CYGNSS scalar wind tests. The regional forecasts showed large improvements in track, Vmax, and minimum sea level pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3433-3447
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Atmosphere
  • Data assimilation
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • Satellite observations
  • Tropical cyclones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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