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evaluation of enhanced high resolution modis/amsr-e ssts and the impact on regional weather forecastOver the last few years, the NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center has been generating a 1-km sea surface temperature (SST) composite derived from retrievals of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for use in operational diagnostics and regional model initialization. With the assumption that the day-to-day variation in the SST is nominal, individual MODIS passes aboard the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua and Terra satellites are used to create and update four composite SST products each day at 0400, 0700, 1600, and 1900 UTC, valid over the western Atlantic and Caribbean waters. A six month study from February to August 2007 over the marine areas surrounding southern Florida was conducted to compare the use of the MODIS SST composite versus the Real-Time Global SST analysis to initialize the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Substantial changes in the forecast heat fluxes were seen at times in the marine boundary layer, but relatively little overall improvement was measured in the sensible weather elements. The limited improvement in the WRF model forecasts could be attributed to the diurnal changes in SST seen in the MODIS SST composites but not accounted for by the model. Furthermore, cloud contamination caused extended periods when individual passes of MODIS were unable to update the SSTs, leading to substantial SST latency and a cool bias during the early summer months. In order to alleviate the latency problems, the SPoRT Center recently enhanced its MODIS SST composite by incorporating information from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) instruments as well as the Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis. These enhancements substantially decreased the latency due to cloud cover and improved the bias and correlation of the composites at available marine point observations. While these enhancements improved upon the modeled cold bias using the original MODIS SSTs, the discernable impacts on the WRF model were still somewhat limited. This paper explores several factors that may have contributed to this result. First, the original methodology to initialize the model used the most recent SST composite available in a hypothetical real ]time configuration, often matching the forecast initial time with an SST field that was 5-8 hours offset. To minimize the differences that result from the diurnal variations in SST, the previous day fs SST composite is incorporated at a time closest to the model initialization hour (e.g. 1600 UTC composite at 1500 UTC model initialization). Second, the diurnal change seen in the MODIS SST composites was not represented by the WRF model in previous simulations, since the SSTs were held constant throughout the model integration. To address this issue, we explore the use of a water skin-temperature diurnal cycle prediction capability within v3.1 of the WRF model to better represent fluctuations in marine surface forcing. Finally, the verification of the WRF model is limited to very few over-water sites, many of which are located near the coastlines. In order to measure the open ocean improvements from the AMSR-E, we could use an independent 2-dimensional, satellite-derived data set to validate the forecast model by applying an object-based verification method. Such a validation technique could aid in better understanding the benefits of the mesoscale SST spatial structure to regional models applications.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Schiferl, Luke D.
(Wisconsin Univ. WI, United States)
Fuell, Kevin K.
(Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Case, Jonathan L.
(ENSCO, Inc. United States)
Jedlovec, Gary J.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 17, 2010
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
14th Conference on Integrated Observing and Assimilation System for Atmosphere, Oceans and Land Surface (IOAS-AOLS)(Atlanta, GA)
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