26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


Near real time global optimum interpolated microwave SSTs: applications to hurricane intensity forecasting

Chelle Gentemann, Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, CA; and M. DeMaria and F. J. Wentz

Knowledge of the sea surface temperature (SST) is important for accurate intensity forecasting. On May 4, 2002, NASA launched the Earth Observing System (EOS) AQUA spacecraft which carries NASDA’s Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer Earth Observing System (AMSR-E), the first polar orbiting microwave radiometer capable of measuring accurate global through-cloud sea surface temperatures (SST). Although microwave SSTs have a lower spatial resolution than the more traditional infrared SSTs, their thru-cloud SST capabilities significantly improve coverage. Global, daily, near real time SSTs at 25 km resolution were calculated using optimum interpolation (OI). The value of the AMSR-E OI SSTs was tested in the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS) model run operationally by the National Hurricane Center. Overall, the weekly 100 km SSTs used operationally by NHC accurately represented ocean temperatures and substitution of the AMSR-E OI SSTs resulted in only slight forecast improvements (1.3% in the North Atlantic and 6.9% in the East Pacific). However, when oceanic features not resolved by the weekly analysis were present (such as cold wakes), the daily AMSR-E OI SSTs increased forecast accuracy considerably (12% to 60% for Hurricane Genevieve). .

Session 14A, Tropical cyclone intensity change III: Statistical-Dynamical Models
Thursday, 6 May 2004, 1:30 PM-3:15 PM, Le Jardin Room

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