Evaluation of MoPED Observations in Surface Analyses

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 4:00 PM
131C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
John D. Horel, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and D. Xia and P. O. G. Heppner

As part of the National Mesonet program, Global Science & Technology Inc, (GST) provides environmental observations collected on board commercial vehicles to the National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). GST's Mobile Platform Environmental Data (MoPED) system acquires the data from over 200 vehicles that are travelling primarily during weekday daylight hours along major transportation routes in the eastern third of the United States as well as a few highway routes in the West. Observations of temperature, pressure, and relative humidity at subminute intervals are accessed form a GST server and bundled at the University of Utah into 5 minute median values. Utilizing the 12 values available for each hour, over 2500 observations are available to incorporate into surface analyses of temperature, relative humidity, and dew point temperature in the University of Utah Two-Dimensional Variational Analysis (UU2DVAR) system. The UU2DVAR analyses at 2.5 km horizontal resolution incorporate an additional ~12,000 observations within the continental United States from fixed sites.

An objective measure of analysis improvement is used to evaluate the impact of the MoPED observations on the high resolution surface analyses of temperature and moisture. Statistics on model improvement as a function of network (ASOS, RAWS, CWOP, MoPED, etc.) have been collected since March 2014. Generally, the quality of the MoPED observations are comparable to those from other networks. MoPED observations provide the greatest improvement to the surface analyses during active weather periods in rural highway stretches in the southeastern United States where routine weather observations tend to be sparse.