26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


Dropsonde observations for typhoon surveillance near the Taiwan region (DOTSTAR): An overview

Chun-Chieh Wu, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; and P. H. Lin, T. C. Yeh, and S. D. Aberson

An overview of a research project, as well as a field experiment -- Dropsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the TAiwan Region (DOTSTAR) will be presented. The project builds upon work pioneered at NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (HRD) to improve tropical cyclone (TC) track forecasts and to advance our understanding of TC dynamics. DOTSTAR is an international program led by the authors, and with strong collaborations with scientists at HRD. The project employs an ASTRA aircraft to release dropswindsondes from an altitude of 42,000 feet directly into the environment of Northwestern-Pacific typhoons that potentially will affect Taiwan. Data are collected on atmospheric conditions in key areas around the typhoons and are used in forecasting and academic research. The objectives of DOTSTAR are: 1) A pilot study to perform dropwindsonde surveillance to enhance the observations of the atmosphere around Northwestern-Pacific typhoons that may affect the Taiwan area. 2) To evaluate how the dropwindsonde data influence model track predictions, and to study the optimal observation strategies for improving forecasts. 3) To provide guidance for future observation strategies. 4) To validate remote sensing data around typhoons and to help explore typhoon dynamics and theories. 5) To improve adaptive observation strategies and data assimilation, which are at the forefront of typhoon forecasting and research. On September 1, 2003, the first DOTSTAR mission, around Typhoon Dujuan was completed successfully. A press release from NOAA on the successful first mission of DOTSTAR caught the attentions of the tropical cyclone forecasting and research communities. On November 2, 2003, the second mission was conducted for Typhoon Melor, and the ASTRA flew directly over the centre of Melor. The preliminary results from the first two missions and the overall planning and goals of DOTSTAR will be presented in the conference. It is believed that DOTSTAR is of critical interest to TC researchers and forecasters, and the presentation will provide very useful information for the TC research community. A companion paper by Huang et al., entitled "The Impact of GPS Dropsondes on typhoon track forecasts of DOTSTAR", is also submitted separately.

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Session 6C, Tropical Cyclone Prediction and Predictability II: Track and Intensity
Tuesday, 4 May 2004, 10:15 AM-11:30 AM, Napoleon II Room

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