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Synoptic Surveillance and Targeting Group

Team Leader: Sim Aberson (HRD)

Team Members:
Sharanya Majumdar (UM/RSMAS) |:| RSMAS project page
Chun-Chieh Wu (NTU)
Po-Hsuing Lin (NTU)
Carolyn Reynolds (NRL)
James Doyle (NRL)
Roberto Buizza (ECMWF)
Munehiko Yamaguchi (JMA)
Tetsuo Nakazawa (JMA)


Improvement of tropical cyclone forecasts through improvement of initial conditions for numerical weather prediction models by:

  • targeting observations of opportunity such as dropwindsondes to those regions most likely to positively impact the specific forecast
  • improve the assimilation of targeted observations into numerical models.
  • provide improved environmental data sets for other research projects.


This will be accomplished by, in all available basins:

  • conducting Observing Systems Experiments (OSEs)
  • obtaining over-sampled data sets to test targeting strategies
  • working to improve the assimilation of observations into current models
  • testing next-generation data assimilation techniques (eg. ETKF) on these data sets.
  • experimenting with various data resolutions in time and space
  • automating the current operational procedures


  • Transition of targeting and flight-track drawing to operations complete.
  • Assessment of DOTSTAR surveillance missions in the Taiwan Region complete.
  • Automated flight track drawing software transitioned to operations and in use in Japan.
  • Testing of singular vector and ensemble-based targeting strategies versus a uniform sampling strategy complete.
  • Assimilation of dropwindsonde humidity into NOAA operational models transitioned to operations.


  • Aberson, S.D., and J.L. Franklin, 1999: Impact on hurricane track and intensity forecasts of GPS dropwindsonde observations from the first-season flights of the NOAA Gulfstream-IV jet aircraft. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 80, 421-428.

  • Aberson, S.D., 2002: Two years of operational hurricane synoptic surveillance. Wea. Forecasting, 17, 1101-1110.

  • Aberson, S.D., 2003: Targeted observations to improve operational tropical cyclone track forecast guidance. Mon. Wea. Rev., 131, 1613-1628.

  • Wu, C.-C., P.-H. Lin, S.D. Aberson, T.-C. Yeh, W.-P. Huang, K.-H. Chou, J.-S. Hong, G.-C. Lu, C.-T. Fong, K.-C. Hsu, I.-I. Lin, P.-L. Lin, and C.-H. Liu, 2005: Dropsonde observations for typhoon surveillance near the Taiwan region (DOTSTAR): An overview. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 86, 787-790.

  • Aberson, S.D., and B. Etherton, 2006: Targeting and data assimilation studies during Hurricane Humberto (2001). J. Atmos. Sci., 63, 175-186.

  • Majumdar, S. J., S.D. Aberson, C. H. Buizza, M.S. Peng, and C. A. Reynolds, 2006: A comparison of Adaptive Observing Guidance for Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 2354-2372.

  • Reynolds, C.A., M.S. Peng, S.J. Majumdar, S.D. Aberson, C.H. Bishop, and R. Buizza, 2007: Interpretation of adaptive observing guidance for Atlantic tropical cyclones. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 4006-4029.

  • Wu, C.-C., K.-H. Chou, P.-S. Lin, S.D. Aberson, M.S. Peng, and T. Nakazawa, 2007: The impact of dropsonde data on typhoon track forecasting in DOTSTAR. Wea. Forecast., 22, 1157-1176.

  • Aberson, S.D., 2009: Large forecast degradations due to synoptic surveillance during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136, 3138-3150.

  • Aberson, S. D., 2010: Ten years of hurricane synoptic surveillance (1997-2006). Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 1536-1549.

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Last modified: 5/30/2011

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