13th Conference on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for Atmosphere, Oceans, and Land Surface (IOAS-AOLS)


Impact of Lake Okeechobee Sea Surface Temperatures on Numerical Predictions of Summertime Convective Systems over South Florida

Michael Splitt, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL; and J. L. Case, K. K. Fuell, P. Santos, S. M. Lazarus, and G. J. Jedlovec

The NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center, the Florida Institute of Technology, and the NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office at Miami, FL (MFL) are collaborating on a project to investigate the impact of using high-resolution, 2-km Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sea surface temperature (SST) composites within the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) prediction system. The NWS MFL is currently running WRF in real-time to support daily forecast operations, using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model dynamical core within the NWS Science and Training Resource Center's Environmental Modeling System (EMS) software. Twenty-seven hour forecasts are run daily initialized at 0300, 0900, 1500, and 2100 UTC on a domain with 4-km grid spacing covering the southern half of Florida and adjacent waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. The SSTs are initialized with the NCEP Real-Time Global (RTG) analyses at 1/12° resolution.

The project objective is to determine whether more accurate specification of the lower-boundary forcing over water using the MODIS SST composites within the 4-km WRF runs will result in improved sea fluxes and hence, more accurate evolution of coastal mesoscale circulations and the associated sensible weather elements. SPoRT conducted parallel WRF EMS runs from February to August 2007 identical to the operational runs at NWS MFL except for the use of MODIS SST composites in place of the RTG product as the initial and boundary conditions over water. During the course of this evaluation, an intriguing case was examined from 6 May 2007, in which lake breezes and convection around Lake Okeechobee evolved quite differently when using the high-resolution SPoRT MODIS SST composites versus the lower-resolution RTG SSTs. This paper will analyze the differences in the 6 May simulations, as well as examine other cases from the summer 2007 in which the WRF-simulated Lake Okeechobee breezes evolved differently due to the SST initialization. The effects on wind fields and precipitation systems will be emphasized, including validation against surface mesonet observations and Stage IV precipitation grids.

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Session 5A, Mesoscale Data Assimilation and Impact Experiments—II
Tuesday, 13 January 2009, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, Room 130

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