Lidar-measured wind profiles: The missing link in the global observing system

Wayman E. Baker, Robert Atlas, Carla Cardinali, Amy Clement, George D. Emmitt, Bruce M. Gentry, R. Michael Hardesty, Erland Källén, Michael J. Kavaya, Rolf Langland, Zaizhong Ma, Michiko Masutani, Will McCarty, R. Bradley Pierce, Zhaoxia Pu, Lars Peter Riishojgaard, James Ryan, Sara Tucker, Martin Weissmann, James G. Yoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-564
Number of pages22
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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