The Potential Value of Combining Assimilation of Water Vapor Radiances and Cloud Liquid/Ice Water Path From ABI on Analyses and Forecasts for Hurricane Irma (2017)
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The Potential Value of Combining Assimilation of Water Vapor Radiances and Cloud Liquid/Ice Water Path From ABI on Analyses and Forecasts for Hurricane Irma (2017)

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
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    All-sky assimilation of infrared (IR), near-IR, and visible band measurements are beneficial for forecasting cloud-covered tropical cyclones, but numerous challenges remain. This study uses the combined assimilation of clear-sky water vapor radiances and the cloud liquid/ice water path (CWP) retrieved from the Advanced Baseline Imager on the new generation geostationary environmental satellites. The two measurements are spatial complementary to one another. Microphysics schemes, cumulus parameterizations, and dynamic CWP observation errors are optimized using sensitivity tests. The cycling assimilations and subsequent forecasts of Hurricane Irma (2017) are investigated to assess the added value of the combined assimilation and its impacts on hurricane forecasts. Comparisons with ERA5 and dropsonde observations from the National Hurricane Operations Plan show that the combined assimilation can improve the prognostic variables of Hurricane Irma (2017) for both the large-scale circumstances and the inner-core area, resulting in a clear improvement in hurricane track and intensity predictions. The detailed diagnostics show that the improved track predictions can be attributed to the more precise steering flow produced by the combined assimilation. Moreover, the additional CWP assimilation allows for a more accurate initialization of water vapor in the hurricane's inner-core area when the model produces dry simulated water vapor bias. Then the subsequent phase changes of water vapor improve the hurricane intensity forecasting by enhancing the feedback between heating and vortex circulation. The combined assimilation shows the potential value of better utilization of all-sky satellite measurements to improve hurricane initialization and forecast.
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    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 127, e2022JD036910
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