Physical mechanisms underlying selected adaptive sampling techniques for tropical cyclones

Brett T. Hoover, Chris S. Velden, Sharanya J. Majumdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To efficiently and effectively prioritize resources, adaptive observations can be targeted by using some objective criteria to estimate the potential impact an initial condition perturbation (or analysis increment) in a specific region would have on the future forecast. Several objective targeting guidance techniques have been developed, including total-energy singular vectors (TESV), adjoint-derived sensitivity steering vectors (ADSSV), and the ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF), all of which were tested during the 2008 The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) and the Office of Naval Research Tropical Cyclone Structure-2008 (TCS-08) field experiments. An intercomparison between these techniques is performed in order to find underlying physical mechanisms in the respective guidance products, based on four tropical cyclone (TC) cases from the T-PARC/TCS-08 field campaigns. It is found that the TESV energy norm and the ADSSV response function are largely indirect measures of the TC track divergence that can be produced by an initial condition perturbation, explaining the strong correlation between these products. The downstream targets routinely chosen by the ETKF guidance system are often not found in the TESV and ADSSV guidance products, and it is found that downstream perturbations can affect the steering of a TC through the development of a Rossby wave in the subtropics that modulates the strength of the nearby subtropical ridge. It is hypothesized that the ubiquitousness of these downstream targets in the ETKF is largely due to the existence of large uncertainties downstream of the TC that are not taken into consideration by either the TESV or ADSSV techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4008-4027
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical mechanisms underlying selected adaptive sampling techniques for tropical cyclones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this