Measurement of the three-dimensional global wind field is the final frontier that must be crossed to significantly improve the initial conditions for numerical weather forecasts. Accurate measurements of the global wind field will also support major advances in the understanding of several key climate change issues. Several studies have suggested that the general circulation of the atmosphere varies considerably on decadal time scales and that some of this variation may be due to greenhouse gas forcing. Large areas of the tropical atmosphere are devoid of measured wind profiles. This suggests the potential for a large improvement in forecast skill for a variety of tropical phenomena, including tropical cyclones, monsoonal circulations, and the African easterly jet, especially given the dominance of the wind field in the mass motion balance relationship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science