11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography

Tuesday, 16 October 2001: 8:30 AM
Weather Prediction Improvement Using Advanced Satellite Technology.(Invited Presentation)
Louis Uccellini, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, Camp Springs, MD; and F. Einaudi, J. Purdom, D. Rogers, R. Gelaro, J. Dodge, R. Atlas, and S. Lord
Much progress has been made in the use of satellite data in numerical weather prediction models since the first meteorological satellite was launched in April 1960. Sequential advancements in satellite observational technology, computer capacity and numerical weather prediction models (and associated data assimilation systems) has evolved over the last 40 years that have resulted in operational global model prediction systems that 1) rely heavily on global satellite observations and 2) produce weather forecasts out to two weeks in advance. Increasing skill in the 1 to 7 day forecasts have been related directly to the inclusion of satellite radiances in operational modeling systems in the United States and Europe. Presently, over 85% of the data used in NCEP weather prediction models are derived from geostationary and lower earth orbiting satellite systems. This is the good news. The bad news is that even with the direct insertion of satellite radiances, only 1/7 of the satellite data available to the modeling community is actually used today, with issues such us the land emissivity problem providing a barrier to a more complete utilization of this important data set. Furthermore, the explosion in research satellite instruments and the current plans for operational instruments over the next ten years promises at least 5 orders of magnitude more data for use in the numerical modeling systems. This large influx of data combined with the increasing demand to test and use this data more efficiently and within months of launch of any instrument are posing huge challenges to the research and operational modeling communities. Last but not least, the satellite and research meteorological communities have been slow to recognize the importance of efficient and flexible data assimilation schemes based on a "common model" infrastructure (and related science issues) that are needed to serve as a basis for accelerating the full utilization of all satellite data. All of these issues have been highlighted in a recent NRC document " From Research to Operations in Weather Satellites and Numerical Weather Prediction; Crossing the Valley of Death". In order to address the problems noted above and meet the challenge of bridging the "Valley of Death" NASA and NOAA has completed a White Paper entitled " A NASA and NOAA Plan to Maximize the Utilization of Satellite data to Improve Weather Forecasts". In this paper NASA and NOAA commit themselves to using a common fast forward radiative transfer model and a common global model infrastructure as a basis for the formation of a Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA) to be administered by NASA/GSFC, NOAA/NESDI, NOAA/OAR and NOAA/NWS. The Joint Center is already operating on a 13 point project plan and is poised to enhance the concerted effort of both agencies to advance the assimilation of operational and research satellite data into the operational models run at NCEP. In this presentation, the NASA/NOAA White paper will be reviewed and an update on the status of the JCSDA provided, with an emphasis on the nature of specific ongoing projects that involve satellite observations derived from GOES, NOAA 15 and 16, QUIKSCAT, TRMM and preparations for advance sounders such as AIRS and GIFTS.

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