H*Wind: An Integrated Observing System for Tropical Cyclones

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 4:30 PM
B306 (GWCC)
Mark Powell, NOAA/AOML/HRD, Tallahassee, FL

Hurricanes impact the open ocean, islands, coastal margins, mainland interior, and the atmosphere above. To monitor the tropical cyclone wind field, measurements are gathered from a wide variety of exposure environments dependent on upstream fetch terrain, or sea state over varying heights, sampling intervals, and averaging times. Observing system platforms comprise satellite (scatterometers), reconnaissance and research aircraft (Airborne Doppler radar, GPS dropsondes, Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer SFMR), marine in situ (buoys and ships), and land (ASOS, Metar, portable mesonet). In effect, the aircraft and, more recently, portable university mesonets provide for an adaptive observing system that deploys to meet the event. Developing such a multidisciplinary observing system brings several challenges including real-time communications from non-conventional platforms (e.g. mesonets), and developing standardization for averaging time, height, exposure to ensure that the resulting two dimensional observation field conforms to a common framework. Here we use observations gathered in Hurricane Ike of 2008 to demonstrate how we integrate measurements from space, air, land, and ocean to produce an objective analysis of the surface wind field. We will then describe some of the many applications for such data including initialization of numerical hurricane prediction, storm surge, and wave models.