12th Conference on IOAS-AOLS


Towards improved forecasts of atmospheric and oceanic circulations over the complex terrain of the Eastern Mediterranean

Themis Chronis, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL; and J. L. Case, A. Papadopoulos, E. N. Anagnostou, J. R. Mecikalski, and S. L. Haines

Forecasting atmospheric and oceanic circulations accurately over the Eastern Mediterranean has proved to be an exceptional challenge. The existence of fine-scale topographic variability (land/sea coverage) in the region can create strong spatial temperature and wind gradients of which any sort of numerical weather prediction (NWP) model may have difficulty capturing. The Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) is currently one the main operational centers for wave forecasting in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Currently, HCMR's operational NWP model is based on the coupled Eta/Princeton Ocean Model (POM). Since 1999, HCMR has operated the POSEIDON floating buoys as a means of state-of-the-art real-time observations of several oceanic and surface atmospheric variables. A highly complementary observational basis is also offered by the available low-orbit scatterometers as well as infrared sounders. Both sensors can provide high-resolution retrievals of surface vector wind and temperature in this region.

This study aims at assessing the potential for improving both atmospheric and oceanic circulation by (1) initializing a regional NWP model with high-resolution sea surface temperatures (e.g. MODIS) in order to capture the substantial differential between heat capacities (island effects), (2) incorporating satellite scatterometry (e.g. QuickScat) in a 3-D data assimilation scheme, and (3) validating the data assimilation and modeling system using the fleet of POSEIDON buoys. This paper and presentation will focus on our initial efforts to assimilate the datasets described above in order to develop a regional, high-resolution configuration of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) NWP model over a domain covering the Eastern Mediterranean region.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (324K)

Session 8, Mesoscale Data Assimilation
Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM, 204

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