TITLE

The Impact of Assimilating SSM/I and QuikSCAT Satellite Winds on Hurricane Isidore Simulations

AUTHOR(S)
Chen, Shu-Hua
PUB. DATE
February 2007
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Feb2007, Vol. 135 Issue 2, p549
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Three observational datasets of Hurricane Isidore (in 2002) were analyzed and compared: the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I), the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) winds, and dropsonde winds. SSM/I and QuikSCAT winds were on average about 1.9 and 0.3 m s-1 stronger, respectively, than dropsonde winds. With more than 20 000 points of data, SSM/I wind speed was about 2.2 m s-1 stronger than QuikSCAT. Comparison of the wind direction observed by QuikSCAT with those from the dropsondes showed that the quality of QuikSCAT data is good. The effect of assimilating SSM/I wind speeds and/or QuikSCAT wind vectors for the analysis of Hurricane Isidore was assessed using the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) and its three-dimensional variational data assimilation system. For the Hurricane Isidore case study, it was found that the assimilation of either satellite winds strengthened the cyclonic circulation in the analysis. However, the increment of the QuikSCAT wind analysis is more complicated than that from the SSM/I analysis due to the correction of the storm location, a positive result from the assimilation of wind vectors. The increase in low-level wind speeds enhanced the air–sea interaction processes and improved the simulated intensity for Isidore. In addition, the storm structure was better simulated. Assimilation of QuikSCAT wind vectors clearly improved simulation of the storm track, in particular during the later period of the simulation, but lack of information about the wind direction from SSM/I data prevented it from having much of an effect. Assessing the assimilation of QuikSCAT wind speed versus wind vector data confirmed this hypothesis. The track improvement partially resulted from the relocation of the storm’s initial position after assimilation of the wind vectors. For this case study, it was found that the assimilation of SSM/I or QuikSCAT data had the greatest impact on the Hurricane Isidore simulation during the first 2 days.
ACCESSION #
23980418

 

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