Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Various targeting techniques have been explored to improve the prediction of tropical cyclones. However, no existing technique has proven beneficial for the collection of hurricane measurements. Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) are an alternative tool for determining the optimal configuration of observations by providing a cost-effective way of quantifying the potential impact of observing systems. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) tasks the NOAA G-IV aircraft each year to sample atmospheric conditions that may impact the development of a hurricane threatening the United States or its territories. These missions are essential for collecting direct environmental measurements over the open ocean, which continues to be a region of sparse observations crucial for tropical cyclone (TC) prediction. Aircraft data are assimilated into models and used to produce real-time analyses and forecasts for a given TC. NHC's existing targeting technique aims to optimize the use of reconnaissance observations and relies on regions of highest uncertainty in the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS).
This research focuses on improving the existing targeting software by evaluating the impact of proposed aircraft reconnaissance observing system designs through various sensitivity experiments. Dropsondes deployed in variety of flight patterns were simulated from a regional WRF ARW Nature Run (Nolan et al., 2013) spanning 13 days, covering the life cycle of a rapidly intensifying Atlantic tropical cyclone. These data were assessed using the operational GFS forecast model in a global OSSE framework to determine the potential impact on TC prediction within NHC's real-time architecture. Results from aircraft flight pattern sensitivity studies provide insight into improvements for real-time operational synoptic surveillance targeting for hurricanes and tropical storms.
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