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Observing System Experiments with aircraft data

Principal Investigator:

Project Members:

Collaborating Scientists:

Kun-Hsuan Chou (Chinese Culture University)

Chris Velden (NOAA/CIMSS)

Chun-Chieh Wu (National Taiwan University)



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 data sets for other research projects.


HEDAS analyses of all cases with airborne Doppler radar data from 2008-2011 have been completed, and a manuscript submitted to Monthly Weather Review.


HFIP Reconnaissance Data Tiger Team (RDITT) runs for all available cases 2008-2012 completed:

  1. Runs with aircraft high-density observations and airborne Doppler radar data assimilated
  2. Runs with aircraft high-density observations assimilated
  3. Runs with airborne Doppler radar data assimilated
  4. No-assimilation control runs

Future Goals:
  • Test the impact of NOAA G-IV observations on HWRF forecasts during surveillance and inner-core flights.
  • Test the impact of dropwindsonde data during DOTSTAR missions.
  • Test the impact of data from the Global Hawk aircraft.
  • Test the impact of CIMSS high-density atmospheric motion vectors.
  • Test the impact of accounting for dropwindsonde drift in the assimilation.
  • Investigate small-scale (non-synoptic) targeting using the HEDAS ensemble.

  • 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. Forecasting17, 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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