5A.7 The Assimilation of Smartphone Pressures for Mesoscale Prediction

Tuesday, 30 June 2015: 9:30 AM
Salon A-2 (Hilton Chicago)
Clifford F. Mass, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and L. E. Madaus and C. McNicholas

A wide variety of smartphones possess high quality atmospheric pressure sensors, with relatively low error characteristics. Today, nearly 50 million smartphones in North America contain pressure sensors and this will increase substantially during the next few years. Smartphones offer the potential to provide an extraordinary density of surface pressure observations for numerical weather prediction, defining critical lower-tropospheric atmospheric structures such as cold pools, minor trough, and outflow boundaries, to name only a few. During the past few years, the University of Washington has been collecting millions of pressures observations per day through two private sector firms that distribute pressure-gathering apps for both Android and IOS (Apple) platforms. We have developed innovative approaches for quality controlling this unconventional data source and have experimented with the assimilation of smartphone pressures through an ensemble data assimilation platform (DART/WRF). The proposed talk will describe the current availability of smartphone pressures and future trends. The UW quality control algorithms will be described and initial experiments with assimilating relatively dense arrays of smartphone pressures will be described. The talk will end with a vision of the future application of smartphone pressures in NWP.
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