AbstractThis study evaluates, for the first time, the impact of airborne Global Positioning System radio occultation (ARO) observations on a hurricane forecast. A case study was conducted of Hurricane Karl during the Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud-systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) field campaign in 2010. The assimilation of ARO data was developed for the three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) analysis system of the Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.2. The impact of ARO data on Karl forecasts was evaluated through data assimilation (DA) experiments of local refractivity and non-local excess phase (EPH), in which the latter accounts for the integrated horizontal sampling along the signal ray path. The tangent point positions (closest point of a RO ray path to the Earth surface) drift horizontally and the drifting distance of ARO data is about two to three times that of spaceborne RO, which was taken into account in these simulations.Results indicate that, in the absence of other satellite observations, the assimilation of ARO EPH resulted in a larger impact on the analysis than local refractivity. In particular, the assimilation of ARO observations at the actual tangent point locations resulted in more accurate forecasts of the rapid intensification of the storm. Among all experiments, the best forecast was obtained by assimilating ARO data with the most accurate geometric representation, i.e., the use of non-local EPH operators with tangent point drift, which reduced the error in the storm’s predicted minimum sea level pressure (SLP) by 43% beyond that of the control experiment.
Monthly Weather Review – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 7, 2017
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