AbstractThe RapidScat scatterometer was built as a low cost follow-on to the QuikSCAT mission. It flew on the International Space Station (ISS) and provided data from 3 October 2014 to 20 August 2016 and provided surface wind vectors retrieved from surface roughness estimates taken at multiple azimuth angles. These measurements were unique to the historical scatterometer record in that the ISS flies in a low inclination, non-sun-synchronous orbit. Scatterometry-derived wind vectors have been routinely assimilated in both forward processing and reanalysis systems run at the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO). As the RapidScat retrievals were made available in near-real-time, they were assimilated in the forward processing system, and the methods to assimilate and evaluate these retrievals are described. Time series of data statistics are presented first for the near-real-time data assimilated in GMAO forward processing. Second, the full data products provided by the RapidScat team are compared passively to the MERRA-2 reanalysis. Both sets of results show that the root mean squared (RMS) difference of the observations and the GMAO model background fields increased over the course of the data record. Furthermore, the observations and the backgrounds are shown to be biased for both the zonal and meridional wind components. The retrievals are shown to have had a net forecast error reduction via the forecast sensitivity observation impact (FSOI) metric, which is a quantification of 24 hour forecast error reduction, though the impact became neutral as the signal to noise ratio of the instrument decreased over its lifespan.
Monthly Weather Review – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 6, 2017
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