16.1 Utility of NUCAPS Retrieved Profiles to Diagnose Extratropical Transition

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 1:30 PM
620 (Washington State Convention Center )
Emily Berndt, MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and M. J. Folmer, J. Halverson, and J. P. Dunion

Currently, NOAA Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) temperature and moisture soundings are available in AWIPS-II as a point-based display.  Traditionally, soundings are used to anticipate and forecast severe convection, however unique and valuable information can be gained from soundings for other forecasting applications, such as extratropical transition, especially in data sparse regions. The goal of this research is to demonstrate how NUCAPS infrared retrieved temperature, moisture, and ozone profiles can complement the Air Mass RGB satellite imagery by giving forecasters insight about the vertical distribution of various atmospheric variables that are important for anticipating tropical to extratropical transition events and potentially influencing this satellite product.  The Air Mass RGB product provides forecasters with an enhanced view of various air masses that are combined into a single image and can help differentiate between possible stratospheric/tropospheric interactions, moist tropical air masses, warm/dry tropical air masses, and cool, continental/maritime air masses. Even though this product provides a wealth of qualitative information about the horizontal distribution of synoptic features, forecasters are also interested in more quantitative information such as the vertical distribution of temperature, moisture, and ozone which impact the composite coloring of the resulting Air Mass RGB imagery.  This work presents analyses of NUCAPS soundings, AIRS soundings, NOAA G-IV GPS dropwindsondes, the Air Mass RGB product, and MERRA reanalysis leading up to and during Sandy (2012), Arthur (2014), and Atsani (2015) tropical to extratropical transition.  In addition, an enhanced stratospheric depth product was developed to identify the dynamic tropopause from the NUCAPS retrieved ozone profiles to aid identification of stratospheric air influence.   Last, NOAA NWS National Center forecasters from the National Hurricane Center, Ocean Prediction Center, and NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch participated in a product evaluation during the latter half of the 2016 hurricane season.  The utility of NUCAPS retrieved profiles to diagnose extratropical transition events is presented from a JPSS Proving Ground perspective through case study and training examples, new product development, and forecaster feedback.
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