Fusion of Hurricane Models and Observations: Developing the Technology to Improve the Forecasts

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 11:30 AM
232A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Svetla Hristova-Veleva, JPL, Pasadena, CA; and M. Boothe, S. G. Gopalakrishnan, Z. Haddad, B. Knosp, B. Lambrigtsen, P. P. Li, M. Montgomery, N. Niamsuwan, T. P. Shen, V. Tallapragada, S. Tanelli, and F. J. Turk

Currently there are still many unanswered questions about the physical processes that determine hurricane genesis and evolution. Furthermore, a significant amount of work remains to be done in validating and improving hurricane models. A major goal of NASA's Hurricane Science Research Program is to bring the wealth of satellite and airborne observations collected over the past two decades to bear on addressing the outstanding scientific questions and improving our forecast models. Despite the significant amount of satellite data today, they are still underutilized in hurricane research and operations, due to their complexity and volume. To meet this need, we are developing the JPL Tropical Cyclone Information System (TCIS) to provide fusion of models and observations by bringing them together into a common system and developing online tools for joint analysis and visualization. This NASA/ESTO/AIST-funded project is developed in close collaboration with NOAA/EMC and NOAA/AOML/HRD to bring the operational and research versions of the hurricane model (HWRF) forecasts into the satellite database. To properly evaluate the models we go beyond the comparison of the geophysical fields. We input the model fields from HWRF and GFS into instrument simulators (e.g. NASA Earth Observing System Simulator Suite (NEOS3), CRTM) and compute synthetic observations (e.g. microwave brightness temperatures) for a more direct comparison to the satellite data. In this presentation we will start by describing the scientific questions. We will then outline our current framework to provide fusion of models and observations. Next, we will illustrate how the system can be used to evaluate several models (HWRF, GFS) by applying our analysis tools to several hurricanes observed during the 2013/2014 seasons. Finally, we will outline our future plans.