64 The Australian VHF Wind Profiler Network Operation and Impacts on Global Numerical Weather Prediction

Monday, 28 August 2017
Zurich DEFG (Swissotel Chicago)
Bronwyn K. Dolman, ATRAD Pty Ltd., Thebarton, Australia; and C. Tingwell, I. M. Reid, and M. Hervo

Completed in 2017, the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology profiler network consists of 9 wind profiling radars (WPRs) located across Australia. There are two WPR classes with Boundary Layer (BL) Profilers in Ceduna, Mildura, Cairns, Coffs Harbour and Mackay, and Stratospheric Tropospheric (ST) Profilers in Halls Creek, Tennant Creek, Carnarvon and Longreach. These systems complement an existing network of 5 Bureau profilers installed at Sydney, Launceston, Canberra, Broadmeadows and East Sale, which underwent software and minor hardware upgrades. The BLPs consist of 27 Yagi antennas arranged in 3 groups of 9 (square 3x3 array), with the centre of each group forming the vertex of a triangle. The BLPs utilise the spaced antenna wind measurements technique, and return results from approximately 300 m to 8 km, dependent on weather conditions. The STPs consist of 144 Yagi antennas arrange on a 12 by 12 square grid. The STPs operate at 80 kW, and utilise the Doppler wind measurement technique, and return results from approximately 500 m to near 20 km dependent on conditions.

In addition to desktop use by Australian forecasters, data from the Bureau profilers are available on the GTS, and are currently being ingested into both Australian and global Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. Profiler data is also used for research purposes, examining new phenomena such as an atmospheric wave pattern discovered in Ceduna, known phenomena such as a low level jet in Tennant Creek, and in developing new techniques. Precipitation retrievals and monitoring the height of the tropopause and convective boundary layer are prime examples, and show how profilers can be used for more than just routine wind measurements and compliment other technology such as satellites.

Measuring the impact of any new instrument on global NWP models presents significant challenges. Data quality, timeliness of data delivery, frequency of observation and density of like measurements are among the variables contributing to the challenge. Criteria of data acceptance also vary across the major models, which leads to data acceptance in some models where others reject it.

This presentation will introduce the Operational Australian Wind Profiler network, and present investigations into the use of its data in global numerical weather prediction models. Results from the Australian Community Climate and Earth-Systems Simulator (ACCESS) will be featured.

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