P2.70 Constructing a 13-year (1996-2008) high resolution GPS dropsonde database for hurricane research

Thursday, 13 May 2010
Arizona Ballroom 7 (JW MArriott Starr Pass Resort)
Jeffrey Halverson, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD; and J. Wang, K. Young, B. Arensdorf, and M. Black

We are undertaking extensive quality control and analysis of an unprecedented 13-year database of nearly 16,500 dropsondes released into tropical cyclones and their environments. The dropsonde measurements were obtained from various aircraft platforms (NOAA, NASA, USAF, NCAR) operating in the Western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific and samples tropical cyclones of all intensity categories, both over open and ocean and during landfall. The immediate objective is to make available a long-term, research-quality dataset in which consistent quality control measures are applied, with special emphasis on improving the dropsonde water vapor profile. A longer term objective of the project will be to characterize the thermodynamic and kinematic structures of tropical cyclones. This analysis will include the construction of composite storm structures based on intensity category, geographic setting and storm region (i.e. eye, eyewall, primary and secondary rain band, environment), characterization of vertical and horizontal wind variations within the vortex, an improved description of the inner core warm anomaly, and information on vertical drafts (as inferred from changes in dropsonde fall speed). This extensive dataset will facilitate a better understanding of hurricane characteristics and trends across a diverse set of storm environments with potential application to both the numerical modeling and operational forecast communities.
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