85th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 11 January 2005: 11:15 AM
Forecasting sea ice concentration using a free-drift model and Kalman Filter
Michael Van Woert, NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, MD
The National Ice Center (NIC) is responsible for providing near-real-time sea ice forecast products to U.S. government users. Currently the NIC relies upon the Polar Ice Prediction System (PIPS) 2.0 for its operational forecasts. The PIPS model is initialized daily with special sensor microwave/imager (SSM/I) data using direct insertion. In atmospheric data assimilation, the technique of direct data insertion has been shown to introduce artifacts into the output field. Here we explore the potential of using a simple, single thickness category, free-drift sea ice model forced by ECMWF winds for short-term sea ice forecasting. A novel feature of this simple forecast system is the use of a Kalman filter to assimilate daily SSM/I data into the forecast model. Preliminary results indicate that the model covariances quickly converge (within 72 hours of startup) to an uncertainty in ice concentration of ~3%. The sea ice concentration forecasts fields compare favorable with observed ice concentration fields at the valid forecast time. In this talk the model/Kalman filter development will be described and the results discussed.

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