Impact of tropics radiances on tropical cyclone prediction in an osse

Hui W. Christophersen, Brittany A. Dahl, Jason P. Dunion, Robert F. Rogers, Frank D. Marks, Robert Atlas, William J. Blackwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As part of the NASA Earth Venture-Instrument program, the Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission, to be launched in January 2022, will deliver unprecedented rapid-update microwave measurements over the tropics that can be used to observe the evolution of the precipitation and thermodynamic structure of tropical cyclones (TCs) at meso-and synoptic scales. TROPICS consists of six CubeSats, each hosting a passive microwave radiometer that provides radiance observations sensitive to atmospheric temperature, water vapor, precipitation, and precipitation-sized ice particles. In this study, the impact of TROPICS all-sky radiances on TC analyses and forecasts is explored through a regional mesoscale observing system simulation experiment (OSSE). The results indicate that the TROPICS all-sky radiances can have positive impacts on TC track and intensity forecasts, particularly when some hydrometeor state variables and other state variables of the data assimilation system that are relevant to cloudy radiance assimilation are updated. The largest impact on the model analyses is seen in the humidity fields, regardless of whether or not there are radiances assimilated from other satellites. TROPICS radiances demonstrate large impact on TC analyses and forecasts when other satellite radiances are absent. The assimilation of the all-sky TROPICS radiances without default radiances leads to a consistent improvement in the low-and midtropospheric temperature and wind forecasts throughout the 5-day forecasts, but only up to 36-h lead time in the humidity forecasts at all pressure levels. This study illustrates the potential benefits of TROPICS data assimilation for TC forecasts and provides a potentially streamlined pathway for transitioning TROPICS data from research to operations postlaunch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2279-2298
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Data assimilation
  • Ensembles
  • Remote sensing
  • Tropical cyclones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of tropics radiances on tropical cyclone prediction in an osse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this