9.1 Smartphone Pressure Observations: A Revolutionary Advance for Mesoscale Meteorology?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013: 3:30 PM
Multnomah (DoubleTree by Hilton Portland)
Clifford F. Mass, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and L. E. Madaus

A number of new smartphones possess high-quality pressure sensors for altimetry purposes. Typically these sensors have absolute accuracies of roughly .5 hPa, but relative errors of approximately .1 hPA. A Canadian firm called Cumulonimbus, Inc. has developed an app (PressureNet3) that is available for Android phones with such sensors. Currently, over 10,000 pressure observations are available an hour over the U.S. and by the end of the year this total should be ten to hundred times greater.

This talk will review the technology and distribution of smartphone pressure observations and demonstrate their value for mesoscale analysis. Furthermore, the impact of such pressure observations on a high-resolution WRF simulation will be examined, using an EnKF approach for data assimilation.

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