87th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 15 January 2007
The Impact of Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) Profiles on Short-term Weather Forecasts
212B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Shih-Hung Chou, NASA/MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and B. T. Zavodsky, G. J. Jedlovec, and W. M. Lapenta
Poster PDF (376.2 kB)
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), together with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), represents one of the most advanced space-based atmospheric sounding systems. The combined AIRS/AMSU system provides radiance measurements used to retrieve temperature profiles with an accuracy of 1 K over 1 km layers under both clear and partly cloudy conditions, while the accuracy of the derived humidity profiles is 15% in 2 km layers. Critical to the successful use of AIRS profiles for weather and climate studies is the use of profile quality indicators and error estimates provided with each profile Aside form monitoring changes in Earth's climate, one of the objectives of AIRS is to provide sounding information of sufficient accuracy such that the assimilation of the new observations, especially in data sparse region, will lead to an improvement in weather forecasts.

The purpose of this paper is to describe a procedure to optimally assimilate high-resolution AIRS profile data in a regional analysis/forecast model. The paper will focus on the impact of AIRS profiles on a rapidly developing east coast storm and will also discuss preliminary results for a 30-day forecast period, simulating a quasi-operation environment. Temperature and moisture profiles were obtained from the prototype version 5.0 EOS science team retrieval algorithm which includes explicit error information for each profile. The error profile information was used to select the highest quality temperature and moisture data for every profile location and pressure level for assimilation into the ARPS Data Analysis System (ADAS). The AIRS-enhanced analyses were used as initial fields for the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) system used by the SPoRT project for regional weather forecast studies. The ADAS/WRF system will be run on CONUS domain with an emphasis on the east coast. The preliminary assessment of the impact of the AIRS profiles will focus on quality control issues associated with AIRS, intelligent use of the quality indicators, and forecast verification.

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