2002 Annual

Tuesday, 15 January 2002: 4:30 PM
Understanding the global water and energy cycle through assimilation of precipitation-related observations: Lessons from TRMM and prospects for GPM
Arthur Y. Hou, NASA/GSFC/DAO, Greenbelt, MD; and S. Q. Zhang, A. M. da Silva, and J. L. F. Li
Understanding the Earth's climate and how it responds to climate perturbations relies on what we know about how atmospheric moisture, clouds, latent heating, and the large-scale circulation vary with changing climatic conditions. The physical process that links these key climate elements is precipitation. Improving the fidelity of precipitation-related fields in global analyses is essential for gaining a better understanding of the global water and energy cycle. In recent years, research and operational use of precipitation observations derived from microwave sensors such as the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) have shown the tremendous potential of using these data to improve global modeling, data assimilation, and numerical weather prediction. We will give an overview of the benefits of assimilating TRMM and SSM/I rain rates and discuss developmental strategies for using space-based rainfall and rainfall-related observations to improve forecast models and climate datasets in preparation for the proposed multi-national Global Precipitation Mission (GPM).

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