92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
Assimilation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Wind Information in Environment Canada's Limited-Area Analysis System
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Rick Danielson, UCAR, Miami, FL; and L. Fillion and H. Ritchie

A new observational platform can be a challenge to incorporate into a weather forecast system. In part, this is because there is simply more data to assimilate and their weighting may be unclear, but observed scales and physical processes may not be fully resolved as well. Such is the case for satellite SARs that have the potential to provide O[1-km] ocean wind, current, and possibly wave breaking information. An initial simplification is to interpret SAR backscatter following established methods of scatterometer wind retrieval. This motivates the present study, although we believe a more natural treatment of SAR observations follows an approach that is both direct (i.e., that assimilates backscatter instead of derived wind) and inclusive of smaller scales (i.e., that benefits from scales unresolved by more conventional observing platforms). A resulting framework is described for integrating SAR data into ongoing developments of high resolution data assimilation at Environment Canada. Some 60 assimilation periods between 10 November and 20 December, 2009 are employed to summarize the impact of SAR assimilation on analyses.

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