Di Napoli, S.M., M.A. Bourassa, and M.D. Powell. Uncertainty and intercalibration analysis of H*Wind. Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 29(6):822-833, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-11-00165.1 2012 FY2012

Abstract: The HRD Real-time Hurricane Wind Analysis System (H*Wind) is a software application used by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division to create a gridded tropical cyclone wind analysis based on a wide range of observations. These analyses are used in both forecasting and research applications. Although mean bias and RMS errors are listed, H*Wind lacks robust uncertainty information that considers the contributions of random observation errors, relative biases between observation types, temporal drift resulting from combining non-simultaneous measurements into a single analysis, and smoothing and interpolation errors introduced by the H*Wind analysis. This investigation seeks to estimate the total contributions of these sources, and thereby provide an overall uncertainty estimate for the H*Wind product. A series of statistical analyses show that in general, the total uncertainty in the H*Wind product in hurricanes is approximately 6% near the storm center, increasing to nearly 13% near the tropical storm force wind radius. The H*Wind analysis algorithm is found to introduce a positive bias to the wind speeds near the storm center, where the analyzed wind speeds are enhanced to match the highest observations. In addition, spectral analyses are performed to ensure that the filter wavelength of the final analysis product matches user specifications. With increased knowledge of bias and uncertainty sources and their effects, researchers will have a better understanding of the uncertainty in the H*Wind product, and can then judge the suitability of H*Wind for various research applications.

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