18th Conference on Weather and Forecasting, 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, and Ninth Conference on Mesoscale Processes

Wednesday, 1 August 2001
Impact of Lidar Wind Sounding on Mesoscale Forecast
Shih-Hung Chou, NASA/MSFC, Huntsville, AL; and T. L. Miller
An Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) was conducted to study the impact of airborne lidar wind sounding on mesoscale weather forecast. A wind retrieval scheme, which interpolates wind data from a grid data system, simulates the retrieval of wind profile from a satellite lidar system. A mesoscale forecast system based on the PSU/NCAR MM5 model is developed and incorporated the assimilation of the retrieved line-of-sight wind. To avoid the “identical twin” problem, the NCEP reanalysis data is used as our reference “nature” atmosphere. The simulated space-based lidar wind observations were retrieved by interpolating the NCEP values to the observation locations. A modified dataset, obtained by smoothing the NCEP dataset, was used as the initial state whose forecast was sought to be improved by assimilating the retrieved lidar observations.

Forecasts using wind profiles with various lidar instrument parameters has been conducted. The results show that to significantly improve the mesoscale forecast the satellite should fly near the storm center with large scanning radius. Increasing lidar firing rate also improves the forecast. Cloud cover and lack of aerosol degrade the quality of the lidar wind data and, subsequently, the forecast.

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