87th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 17 January 2007: 2:15 PM
Initialization of Hurricane Jeanne (2004) Using Airborne Doppler Radar Data
212B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Qingnong Xiao, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and C. Davis, X. Zhang, J. Tuttle, G. Holland, and Y. H. Kuo
Hurricanes approaching the coastline of North America are well sampled by both airborne and coastal radars, but these data are currently being used primarily in the form of images for qualitative interpretation by forecasters. Using the newly developed Advanced Research WRF (ARW) and its variational data assimilation system (WRF-Var), this study demonstrates that the assimilation of airborne Doppler radar measurements can greatly improve the definition of the inner core structure of hurricane Jeanne (2004). A series of forecast experiments with the initialization using radar data, are carried out to evaluate the forecast skill of the storm's track, intensity and structure. The observation sensitivity experiments with and without radar data assimilation are conducted to evaluate the impact of radial velocity, reflectivity, single time radar data or multiple time data cycling on the initialization of Hurricane Jeanne (2004) and its forecasts. The results show that the methodology developed for the airborne radar data assimilation has great potential in operational forecasts.

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