Development of the ensemble Kalman filter system for hurricane data assimilation at NOAA/AOML/HRD: Preliminary evaluation using environmental and vortex-scale dropwindsonde data

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 3:45 PM
B306 (GWCC)
Altug Aksoy, Univ. of Miami/RSMAS, Miami, FL; and K. J. Sellwood, P. Leighton, T. Vukicevic, S. D. Aberson, and F. Zhang

The Hurricane Research Division (HRD) at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) routinely conducts flight missions into hurricanes to collect synoptic-scale surveillance (by the G-IV aircraft) and high-resolution inner-core (by the P-3 aircraft) data, including flight-level, dropsonde, surface wind speed, and Doppler radar observations. Currently, while the synoptic-scale surveillance data are assimilated by most operational centers, due to lack of sufficient resolution and sophisticated data assimilation tools, the utilization of the high-resolution data for the initialization of hurricane forecast models is limited at best.

The HRD has recently committed to the development of a state-of-the-art ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) data assimilation system to utilize the high-resolution inner-core data obtained from flight missions, as part of NOAA's Hurricane Intensity Improvement Program (HFIP). Within this development effort, assimilation of dropwindsonde observations is considered as one of the higher-priority tasks, as dropwindsondes provide very valuable information on overall tropical cyclone structure throughout the depth of the troposphere. In this talk, a brief report on the overall progress of the EnKF system and recent results using environmental and vortex-scale dropwindsonde data will be presented.