1. Aberson, S.D., and J. Kaplan. The relationship between the Madden-Julian Oscillation and tropical cyclone rapid intensification. Weather and Forecasting, 35(10):1865-1870, https://doi.org/10.1175/WAF-D-19-0209.1 2020

    Abstract:

    The relationship between the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and tropical cyclone rapid intensification in the northern basins of the western hemisphere is examined. All rapid-intensification events in the north/western hemisphere and the MJO phase and amplitude are compiled from 1974 to 2015. Rapid intensification events and the MJO tend to move in tandem with each other from west to east across the hemisphere, though rapid intensification appears most likely during a neutral MJO phase. The addition of this information to an operational statistical rapid intensification forecasting scheme does not significantly improve forecasts.

  2. Christophersen, H., A. Aksoy, J. Dunion, and S. Aberson. Composite impact of Global Hawk unmanned aircraft dropwindsondes on tropical cyclone analyses and forecasts. Monthly Weather Review, 146(7):2297-2314, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-17-0304.1 2018

    Abstract:

    The impacts of Global Hawk (GH) dropwindsondes on tropical cyclone (TC) analyses and forecasts are examined over a composite sample of missions flown during the NASA Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) and the NOAA Sensing Hazards with Operational Unmanned Technology (SHOUT) field campaigns. An ensemble Kalman filter is employed to assimilate the dropwindsonde observations at the vortex scale. With the assimilation of GH dropwindsondes, TCs generally exhibit less position and intensity errors, a better wind-pressure relationship, and improved representation of integrated kinetic energy in the analyses. The resulting track and intensity forecasts with all the cases generally show a positive impact when GH dropwindsondes are assimilated. The impact of GH dropwindsondes is further explored with cases stratified for intensity change and presence of crewed aircraft data. GH dropwindsondes demonstrate a larger impact for non-steady-state TCs (non-SS; 24-h intensity change larger than 20 kt) than for steady state (SS) TCs. The relative skill from assimilating GH dropwindsondes ranges between 25-35% for either the position or intensity improvement in the final analyses overall, but only up to 10% for SS cases alone. The resulting forecasts for non-SS cases show higher skill for both track and intensity than SS cases. In addition, the GH dropwindsonde impact on TC forecasts varies in the presence of crewed aircraft data. An increased intensity improvement at long lead times is seen when crewed aircraft data are absent. This demonstrates the importance of strategically designing flight patterns to exploit the sampling strengths of the GH and crewed aircraft in order to maximize data impacts on TC prediction.

  3. Tang, J., J.A. Zhang, S.D. Aberson, F.D. Marks, and X. Lei. Multilevel tower observations of vertical eddy diffusivity and mixing length in the tropical cyclone boundary layer during landfalls. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 75(9):3159-3168, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-17-0353.1 2018

    Abstract:

    This study analyzes the fast-response (20-Hz) wind data collected by a multi-level tower during the landfalls of Tropical Storm Lionrock (1006), Typhoon Fanapi (1011) and Typhoon Megi (1015) in 2010. Turbulent momentum fluxes are calculated using the standard eddy-correlation method. Vertical eddy diffusivity (Km) and mixing length are estimated using the directly measured momentum fluxes and mean-wind profiles. It is found that the momentum flux increases with wind speed at all four levels. The eddy diffusivity calculated using the direct-flux method is compared to that using a theoretical method in which the vertical eddy diffusivity is formulated as a linear function of the friction velocity and height. It is found that below ~ 60 m, Km can be approximately parameterized using this theoretical method, though this method overestimates Km for higher altitude, indicating that the surface-layer depth is close to 60 m in the tropical cyclones studied here. It is also found that Km at each level varies with wind direction during landfalls: Km estimated based on observations with landward fetch is significantly larger than that estimated using data with seaward fetch. This result suggests that different parameterizations of Km should be used in the boundary-layer schemes of numerical models forecasting tropical cyclones over land versus over the ocean.

  4. Aberson, S.D., J.A. Zhang, and K. Nunez-Ocasio. An extreme event in the eyewall of Hurricane Felix on 2 September 2007. Monthly Weather Review, 145(6):2083-2092, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-16-0364.1 2017

    Abstract:

    During a routine penetration into Hurricane Felix late on 2 September 2007, NOAA-42 encountered extreme turbulence and graupel, flight-level horizontal wind gusts of over 83 m s-1, and vertical wind speeds varying from 10 m s-1 downward to 31 m s-1 upward and back to nearly 7 m s-1 downward within 1 min. This led the plane to rise nearly 300 m and then return to its original level within that time. Though a dropwindsonde was released during this event, the radars and data systems on board the aircraft were rendered inoperable, limiting the amount of data obtained. The feature observed during the flight is shown to be similar to that encountered during flights into Hurricanes Hugo (1989) and Patricia (2015), and by a dropwindsonde released into a misovortex in Hurricane Isabel (2014). This paper describes a unique dataset of a small-scale feature that appears to be prevalent in very intense tropical cyclones, providing new evidence for eye-eyewall mixing processes that may be related to intensity change.

  5. Aberson, S.D., K.J. Sellwood, and P.A. Leighton. Calculating dropwindsonde location and time from TEMP-DROP messages for accurate assimilation and analysis. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 34(8):1673-1678, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0023.1 2017

    Abstract:

    Current practice is to transmit dropwindsonde data from aircraft using the TEMP-DROP format, which provides only the release location and time with 0.1° latitude-longitude (about 11 km), and 1-h resolutions, respectively. The current dropwindsonde has a fall speed of approximately 15 ms-1, so the instrument will be advected faster horizontally than it will descend if the wind speed exceeds this value. Where wind speeds are greatest, such as in tropical cyclones, this will introduce large errors in the location of the observations, especially near the surface. A technique to calculate the correct time and location of each observation in the TEMP-DROP message is introduced. Mean differences between the calculated and reported locations are about 0.5 km for distance and 15 sec for time, or <1% of the error size for distance and <10% for time.

  6. Evans, C., K.M. Wood, S.D. Aberson, H.M. Archambault, S.M. Milrad, L.F. Bosart, K.L. Corbosiero, C.A. Davis, J.R. Dias Pinto, J. Doyle, C. Fogarty, T.J. Galarneau, C.M. Grams, K.S. Griffin, J. Gyakum, R.E. Hart, N. Kitabatake, H.S. Lentink, R. McTaggart-Cowan, W. Perrie, J.F.D. Quinting, C.A. Reynolds, M. Riemer, E.A. Ritchie, Y. Sun, and F. Zhang. The extratropical transition of tropical cyclones, Part 1: Cyclone evolution and direct impacts. Monthly Weather Review, 145(11):4317-4344, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-17-0027.1 2017

    Abstract:

    Extratropical transition (ET) is the process by which a tropical cyclone, upon encountering a baroclinic environment and reduced sea surface temperature at higher latitudes, transforms into an extratropical cyclone. ET is influenced by, and influences, phenomena from the tropics to the midlatitudes and from the meso- to the planetary-scales to extents that vary between individual events. Motivated in part by recent high-impact and/or extensively observed events such as North Atlantic Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Western North Pacific Typhoon Sinlaku in 2008, this review details advances in understanding and predicting ET since the publication of an earlier review in 2003. Methods for diagnosing ET in reanalysis, observational, and model-forecast datasets are discussed. New climatologies for the eastern North Pacific and southwest Indian Oceans are presented alongside updates to western North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean climatologies. Advances in understanding and, in some cases, modeling the direct impacts of ET-related wind, waves, and precipitation are noted. Improved understanding of structural evolution throughout the transformation stage of ET fostered in large part by novel aircraft observations collected in several recent ET events is highlighted. Predictive skill for operational and numerical model ET-related forecasts is discussed along with environmental factors influencing post-transition cyclone structure and evolution. Operational ET forecast and analysis practices and challenges are detailed. In particular, some challenges of effective hazard communication for the evolving threats posed by a tropical cyclone during and after transition are introduced. This review concludes with recommendations for future work to further improve understanding, forecasts, and hazard communication.

  7. Rogers, R.F., S. Aberson, M.M. Bell, D.J. Cecil, J.D. Doyle, T.B. Kimberlain, J. Morgerman, L.K. Shay, and C. Velden. Rewriting the tropical record books: The extraordinary intensification of Hurricane Patricia (2015). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 98(10):2019-2112, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0039.1 2017

    Abstract:

    Hurricane Patricia was a historic tropical cyclone that broke many records, such as intensification rate, peak intensity, and overwater weakening rate, during its brief 4-day lifetime in late October 2015 in the eastern Pacific basin. Patricia confounded all of the intensity forecast guidance owing to its rapid intensity changes. Fortunately, the hurricane-penetrating National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration WP-3D and U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration WB-57 high-altitude jet, under support of the Office of Naval Research, conducted missions through and over Patricia prior to and during its extreme intensity changes on all 4 days, while an extensive array of pressure sensors sampled Patricia after landfall. The observations collected from these missions include traditional data sources such as airborne Doppler radar and flight-level instruments as well as new data sources like a high-density array of dropsondes released from high-altitude and wide-swath radiometer. The combination of data from these sources and from satellites provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the physical processes responsible for Patricia’s structure and evolution and offers the potential to improve forecasts of tropical cyclone rapid intensity changes. This paper provides an overview of Patricia as well as the data collected during the aircraft missions.

  8. Stern, D.P., G.H. Bryan, and S.D. Aberson. Extreme low-level updrafts and wind speeds measured by dropsondes in tropical cyclones. Monthly Weather Review, 144(6):2177-2204 , doi:10.1175/MWR-D-15-0313.1 2016

    Abstract:

    Previous studies have found surprisingly strong vertical motions in low levels of some tropical cyclones. In this study, all available dropsondes (~12,000) within tropical cyclones from 1997-2013 are examined, in order to create a dataset of the most extreme updrafts (≥ 10 m s−1; 169 sondes) and wind speeds (≥ 90 m s−1; 64 sondes). It is shown that extreme low-level (0-3 km) updrafts are ubiquitous within intense (Category 4 and 5) tropical cyclones, and that few such updrafts have been observed within weaker storms. These extreme updrafts, which are almost exclusively found within the eyewall just inwards of the radius of maximum winds, sometimes occur in close association with extreme horizontal wind speeds. Consistent with previous studies, it is suggested that both the extremes in vertical velocity and wind speed are associated with small-scale (~1 km) vortices that exist along the eye/eyewall interface. As a substantial number of updrafts are found within a kilometer of the surface, it can be shown that it is implausible for buoyancy to be the primary mechanism for vertical acceleration. Additionally, the azimuthal distribution of both the extreme updrafts and wind speeds is strongly associated with the orientation of the environmental vertical wind shear.

  9. Aberson, S.D., A. Aksoy, K.J. Sellwood, T. Vukicevic, and X. Zhang. Assimilation of high-resolution tropical cyclone observations with an ensemble Kalman filter using HEDAS: Evaluation of 2008-2011 HWRF forecasts. Monthly Weather Review, 143(2):511-523, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-14-00138.1 2015

    Abstract:

    NOAA has been gathering high-resolution flight-level, dropwindsonde and airborne Doppler radar data in tropical cyclones for almost three decades; the U.S. Air Force routinely obtained the same type and quality of data, excepting Doppler radar, for most of that time. The data have been used for operational diagnosis and for research, and, starting in 2013, have been assimilated into operational regional tropical cyclone models. This study is an effort to quantify the impact of assimilating these data into a version of the operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast model using an ensemble Kalman filter. Eighty-three cases from 2008-2011 were investigated. The aircraft whose data were used in the study all provide high-density flight-level wind and thermodynamic observations as well as surface wind speed data. Forecasts initialized with these data assimilated are compared to those using the model standard initialization. Since only NOAA aircraft provide airborne Doppler radar data, these data are also tested to see their impact above the standard aircraft data. The aircraft data alone are shown to provide some statistically significant improvement to track and intensity forecasts during the critical watch and warning period before projected landfall (through 60 h), with the Doppler radar data providing some further improvement. This study shows the potential for improved forecasts with regular tropical cyclone aircraft reconnaissance and the assimilation of data obtained from them, especially airborne Doppler radar data, into the numerical guidance.

  10. Aberson, S.D. A climatological baseline for assessing the skill of tropical cyclone phase forecasts. Weather and Forecasting, 29(1):122-129, doi:10.1175/WAF-D-12-00130.1 2014

    Abstract:

    A simple linear discriminant analysis scheme using climatological predictors is derived for the Atlantic basin as a no-skill baseline for operational phase forecasts from the National Hurricane Center. The model with independent data correctly classifies 80% of the cases at 12 h, and this value decreases to about 45% by 60 h, remaining steady thereafter. Using the same cases, NHC-issued phase predictions were more frequency accurate than the baseline, so their forecasts are said to have skill.

  11. Gall, R., F. Toepfer, F. Marks, E.N. Rappaport, A. Aksoy, S. Aberson, J.W. Bao, M. Bender, S. Benjamin, L. Bernardet, M. Biswas, B. Brown, J. Cangialosi, C. Davis, M. DeMaria, J. Doyle, M. Fiorino, J. Franklin, I. Ginis, S. Gopalakrishnan, T. Hamill, R. Hodur, H.S. Kim, J. Knaff, T. Krishnamurti, P. Kucera, Y. Kwon, W. Lapenta, N. Lett, S. Lord, T. Marchok, E. Mifflin, M. Morin, K. Musgrave, L. Nance, C. Reynolds, V. Tallapragada, H. Tolman, R. Torn, G. Vandenberghe, T. Vukicevic, X. Wang, Y. Weng, J. Whittaker, R. Yablonsky, D.-L. Zhang, F. Zhang, J. Zhang, X. Zhang, and D.A. Delinsky. Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project: 2013 HFIP R&D activities summary—Recent results and operational implementation. HFIP Technical Report, HFIP2014-2, 50 pp., 2014

    Abstract:

    This report describes the activities and results of the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) in 2013. Since this is the fourth year of the first five years of the project, we, like last year, focus on the improvements in the operational Global Forecast System (GFS) global model and the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) regional model. HFIP is organized around the three “streams”: Stream 1 or the operational model development; Stream 1.5 which comprises a group of experimental models that have been evaluated by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) pre-season and then made available to NHC forecasters during their forecast cycle; and Stream 2 representing HFIP experimental models which test and evaluate new techniques and strategies for model forecast guidance before testing is begun for possible operational implementation. Stream 2 also tests techniques that cannot be tested on current operational computers because of their size and time requirements, but can be tested on HFIP computer facilities in Boulder, Colorado. Those studies are looking ahead to possible future operational computational capability. The report outlines the HFIP program, how it is organized, its goals, its models, and then results from each of the three streams.

  12. Aksoy, A., S.D. Aberson, T. Vukicevic, K.J. Sellwood, S. Lorsolo, and X. Zhang. Assimilation of high-resolution tropical cyclone observations with an ensemble Kalman filter using NOAA/AOML/HRD’s HEDAS: Evaluation of the 2008-2011 vortex-scale analyses. Monthly Weather Review, 141(6):1842-1865, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-12-00194.1 2013

    Abstract:

    The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) is developed to assimilate tropical cyclone inner-core observations for high-resolution vortex initialization. It is based on a serial implementation of the square-root ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF). In this study, HWRF is used in an experimental configuration with horizontal grid spacing of 9/3 km on the outer/inner domains. HEDAS is applied to 83 cases from years 2008-2011. With the exception of two Hurricane Hilary (2011) cases in the eastern North Pacific basin, all cases are observed in the Atlantic basin. Observed storm intensity for these cases ranges from tropical depression to category-4 hurricane. Overall, it is found that high-resolution tropical cyclone observations, when assimilated with an advanced data assimilation technique such as the EnKF, result in analyses of the primary circulation that are realistic in terms of intensity, wavenumber-0 radial structure, as well as wavenumber-1 azimuthal structure. Representing the secondary circulation in the analyses is found to be more challenging with systematic errors in the magnitude and depth of the low-level radial inflow. This is believed to result from a model bias in the experimental HWRF due to the over-diffusive nature of the planetary boundary layer parameterization utilized. Thermodynamic deviations from the observed structure are believed to be due to both an imbalance between the number of the kinematic and thermodynamic observations in general and the sub-optimal ensemble covariances between kinematic and thermodynamic fields. Future plans are discussed to address these challenges.

  13. Rogers, R.F., S.D. Aberson, A. Aksoy, B. Annane, M. Black, J.J. Cione, N. Dorst, J. Dunion, J.F. Gamache, S.B. Goldenberg, S.G. Gopalakrishnan, J. Kaplan, B.W. Klotz, S. Lorsolo, F.D. Marks, S.T. Murillo, M.D. Powell, P.D. Reasor, K.J. Sellwood, E.W. Uhlhorn, T. Vukicevic, J.A. Zhang, and X. Zhang. NOAA’s Hurricane Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX): A progress report. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94(6):859-882, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00089 2013

    Abstract:

    An update of the progress achieved as part of the NOAA Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX) is provided. Included is a brief summary of the noteworthy aircraft missions flown in the years since 2005, the first year IFEX flights occurred, as well as a description of the research and development activities that directly address the three primary IFEX goals: (1) Collect observations that span the tropical cyclone (TC) life cycle in a variety of environments for model initialization and evaluation; (2) Develop and refine measurement strategies and technologies that provide improved real-time monitoring of TC intensity, structure, and environment; and (3) Improve the understanding of physical processes important in intensity change for a TC at all stages of its life cycle. Such activities include the real-time analysis and transmission of Doppler radar measurements; numerical model and data assimilation advancements; characterization of tropical cyclone composite structure across multiple scales, from vortex-scale to turbulence-scale; improvements in statistical prediction of rapid intensification; and studies specifically targeting tropical cyclogenesis, extratropical transition, and the impact of environmental humidity on TC structure and evolution. While progress in TC intensity forecasting remains challenging, the activities described here provide some hope for improvement. 

  14. Vukicevic, T., A. Aksoy, P. Reasor, S. Aberson, K. Sellwood, and F. Marks. Joint impact of forecast tendency and state error biases in Ensemble Kalman Filter data assimilation of inner-core tropical cyclone observations. Monthly Weather Review, 141(9):2992-3006, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-12-00211.1 2013

    Abstract:

    In this study the properties and causes of systematic errors in high-resolution data assimilation of inner core tropical cyclone (TC) observations were investigated using the HWRF Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS). Although Aksoy et al. (2012b) demonstrated overall good performance of HEDAS for 83 cases from years 2008-2011 using airborne observations from research and operational aircraft, some systematic errors were identified in the analyses with respect to independent observation-based estimates. The axisymmetric primary circulation intensity was underestimated for hurricane cases and the secondary circulation was systematically weaker for all cases. The diagnostic analysis in this study shows that the underestimate of primary circulation was caused by the systematic spin down of the vortex core in the short term forecasts during the cycling with observations. This tendency bias was associated with the systematic errors in the secondary circulation, temperature and humidity. The biases were reoccurring in each cycle during the assimilation due to inconsistency between the strength of primary and secondary circulation during the short-term forecasts, the impact of model error in planetary boundary layer dynamics, and the effect of forecast tendency bias on the background error correlations. Although limited to the current analysis the findings in this study point to a generic problem of mutual dependence of short-term forecast tendency and state estimate errors in the data assimilation of TC core observations. The results indicate that such coupling of errors in the assimilation would also lead to short term intensity forecast bias after the assimilation for the same reasons.

  15. Aksoy, A., S. Lorsolo, T. Vukicevic, K.J. Sellwood, S.D. Aberson, and F. Zhang. The HWRF Hurricane Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) for high-resolution data: The impact of airborne Doppler radar observations in an OSSE. Monthly Weather Review, 140(6):1843-1862, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-11-00212.1 2012

    Abstract: Within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory has developed the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) to assimilate hurricane inner-core observations for high-resolution vortex initialization. HEDAS is based on a serial implementation of the square root ensemble Kalman filter. HWRF is configured with a horizontal grid spacing of 9/3 km on the outer/inner domains. In this preliminary study, airborne Doppler radar radial wind observations are simulated from a higher-resolution (4.5/1.5 km) version of the same model with other modifications that resulted in appreciable model error. A 24-h nature run simulation of Hurricane Paloma is initialized at 7 November 2008 12Z and produced a realistic, category-2-strength hurricane vortex. The impact of assimilating Doppler wind observations is assessed in observation space as well as in model space. It is observed that while the assimilation of Doppler wind observations results in significant improvements in the overall vortex structure, a general bias in the average error statistics persists due to the under-estimation of overall intensity. A general deficiency in ensemble spread is also evident. While covariance inflation/relaxation and observation thinning result in improved ensemble spread, these do not translate into improvements in overall error statistics. These results strongly suggest a need to include in the ensemble a representation of forecast error growth from other sources such as model error.

  16. Wu, C.-C., S.-G. Chen, C.-C. Yang, P.-H. Lin, and S.D. Aberson. Potential vorticity diagnosis of the factors affecting the track of Typhoon Sinlaku (2008) and the impact from dropwindsonde data during T-PaRC. Monthly Weather Review, 140(8):2670-2688, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-11-00229.1 2012

    Abstract: In 2008, abundant dropwindsonde data were collected during both reconnaissance and surveillance flights in and around tropical cyclones (TCs) in the western North Pacific basin under the framework of the Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) - Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC). The National Centers for Environmental Prediction Global Forecast System (GFS) showed significant track improvements for Typhoon Sinlaku (2008) after the assimilation of dropwindsonde data. For this particular typhoon, the potential vorticity (PV) diagnosis is adopted to understand the key factors affecting the track. A data denial run initialized at 0000 UTC 10 September is examined to evaluate how the extra data collected during T-PARC improve GFS track forecasts. A quantitative analysis of the steering flow based on the PV diagnosis indicates that the Pacific subtropical high to the east of Sinlaku is a primary factor that advects Sinlaku northwestward, while the monsoon trough plays a secondary role. The assimilation of dropwindsonde data improves the structure and intensity of the initial vortex and maintains the forecast vortex structure in the vertical. The difference in the vertical extent of the vortices could be regarded as a cause for the discrepancy in steering flow between runs with and without the dropwindsonde data. This paper highlights the importance of improved analyses of the vertical TC structure, and thus of a representative steering flow in the deep troposphere during the forecasts.

  17. Yeh, K.-S., X. Zhang, S.G. Gopalakrishnan, S. Aberson, R. Rogers, F.D. Marks, and R. Atlas. Performance of the experimental HWRF in the 2008 hurricane season. Natural Hazards, 63(3):1439-1449, doi:10.1007/s11069-011-9787-7 2012

    Abstract: In response to the needs of improving hurricane forecasts, we have built an experimental version of the operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model (HWRF), which is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The experimental HWRF (HWRFx) is adopted to study the intensity change problem at the highest possible resolutions with the existing computing facility, using moving nests to focus the model resolution in the vicinity of the storms. Although this is at an early stage of development, results from real-time experiments in the 2008 hurricane season show that the HWRFx is generally comparable to the NOAA operational models, in terms of the accuracy of both track and intensity forecasts. The HWRFx, however, has a negative bias in the intensity forecasts as opposed to the positive biases of the NOAA operational models. We present in this article a brief description of the HWRFx and its performance during the 2008 hurricane season in comparison with the NOAA operational models.

  18. Aberson, S.D. The impact of dropwindsonde data from the THORPEX-Pacific Area Regional Campaign and the NOAA Hurricane Field Program on tropical cyclone forecasts in the Global Forecast System. Monthly Weather Review, 139(9):2689-2703, doi:10.1175/2011MWR3634.1 2011

    Abstract: Four aircraft released dropwindsondes in and around tropical cyclones in the west Pacific during The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment 2008 Pacific Area Regional Campaign and Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region; multiple aircraft concurrently participated in similar missions in the Atlantic. Previous studies have treated each region separately and have focused on the tropical cyclones whose environments were sampled. The large number of missions and tropical cyclones in both regions, and additional tropical cyclones in the east Pacific and Indian Oceans allows for the global impact of these observations on tropical cyclone track forecasts to be studied. The study shows that there are unintended global consequences to local changes in initial conditions, in this case due to the assimilation of dropwindsonde data in tropical cyclone environments. These global impacts are mainly due to the spectral nature of the model system. These differences should be small and slightly positive, since improved local initial conditions should lead to small global forecast improvements. However, the impacts on tropical cyclones far removed from the data are shown to be as large and positive as those on the tropical cyclones specifically targeted for improved track forecasts. Causes of this unexpected result are hypothesized, potentially providing operational forecasters tools to identify when large remote impacts from surveillance missions might occur.

  19. Aberson, S.D., S.J. Majumdar, C.A. Reynolds, and B.J. Etherton. An observing system experiment for tropical cyclone targeting techniques using the Global Forecast System. Monthly Weather Review, 139(3):895-907, doi:10.1175/2010MWR33979.1 2011

    Abstract:

    In 1997, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center and the Hurricane Research Division began operational synoptic surveillance missions with the Gulfstream IV-SP jet aircraft to improve the numerical guidance for hurricanes that threaten the continental United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. The dropwindsonde observations from these missions were processed and formatted aboard the aircraft and sent to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the Global Telecommunications System to be ingested into the Global Forecasting System, which serves as initial and boundary conditions for regional numerical models that also forecast tropical cyclone track and intensity. As a result of limited aircraft resources, optimal observing strategies for these missions are investigated. An Observing System Experiment in which different configurations of the dropwindsonde data based on three targeting techniques (ensemble variance, ensemble transform Kalman filter, and total energy singular vectors) are assimilated into the model system was conducted. All three techniques show some promise in obtaining maximal forecast improvements while limiting flight time and expendables. The data taken within and around the regions specified by the total energy singular vectors provide the largest forecast improvements, though the sample size is too small to make any operational recommendations. Case studies show that the impact of dropwindsonde data obtained either outside of fully sampled, or within nonfully sampled target regions is generally, though not always, small; this suggests that the techniques are able to discern in which regions extra observations will impact the particular forecast.

  20. Chou, K.-S., C.-C. Wu, P.-H. Lin, S.D. Aberson, M. Weissmann, F. Harnisch, and T. Nakazawa. The impact of dropwindsonde observations on typhoon track forecasts in DOTSTAR and T-PaRC. Monthly Weather Review, 139(6):1728-1743, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3582.1 2011

    Abstract: The typhoon surveillance program Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR) has been conducted since 2003 to obtain dropwindsonde observations around tropical cyclones near Taiwan. In addition, an international field project. The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) in which dropwindsonde observations were obtained by both surveillance and reconnaissance flights was conducted in summer 2008 in the same region. In this study, the impact of the dropwindsonde data on track forecasts is investigated for DOTSTAR (2003-09) and T-PARC (2008) experiments. Two operational global models from NCEP and ECMWF are used to evaluate the impact of dropwindsonde data. In addition, the impact on the two-model mean is assessed. The impact of dropwindsonde data on track forecasts is different in the NCEP and ECMWF model systems. Using the NCEP system, the assimilation of dropwindsonde data leads to improvements in 1- to 5-day track forecasts in about 60% of the cases. The differences between track forecasts with and without the dropwindsonde data are generally larger for cases in which the data improved the forecasts than in cases in which the forecasts were degraded. Overall, the mean 1- to 5-day track forecast error is reduced by about 10%-20% for both DOTSTAR and T-PARC cases in the NCEP system. In the ECMWF system, the impact is not as beneficial as in the NCEP system, likely because of more extensive use of satellite data and more complex data assimilation used in the former, leading to better performance even without dropwindsonde data. The stronger impacts of the dropwindsonde data are revealed for the 3- to 5-day forecast in the two-model mean of the NCEP and ECMWF systems than for each individual model.

  21. Weissmann, M., F. Harnisch, C.-C. Wu, P.-H. Lin, Y. Ohta, K. Yamashita, Y.-H. Kim, E-H. Jeon, T. Nakazawa, and S.D. Aberson. The influence of assimilating dropsonde data on typhoon track and mid-latitude forecasts. Monthly Weather Review, 139(3):908-920, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3377.1 2011

    Abstract: A unique data set of targeted dropsonde observations was collected during the THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC) in autumn 2008. The campaign was supplemented by an enhancement of the operational Dropsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR) program. For the first time, up to four different aircraft were available for typhoon observations and over 1500 additional soundings were collected. This study investigates the influence of assimilating additional observations during the two major typhoon events of T-PARC on the typhoon track forecast by the global models of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the limited area Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Additionally, the influence of T-PARC observations on ECMWF mid-latitude forecasts is investigated. All models show an improving tendency of typhoon track forecasts, but the degree of improvement varied from about 20-40% in NCEP and WRF to a comparably low influence in ECMWF and JMA. This is likely related to lower track forecast errors without dropsondes in the latter two models, presumably caused by a more extensive use of satellite data and 4D-Var assimilation at ECMWF and JMA compared to 3D-Var of NCEP and WRF. The different behavior of the models emphasizes that the benefit gained strongly depends on the quality of the first-guess field and the assimilation system.

  22. Zhang, X., T. Quirino, K.-S. Yeh, S. Gopalakrishnan, F. Marks, S. Goldenberg, and S. Aberson. HWRFx: Improving hurricane forecasts with high-resolution modeling. Computing in Science and Engineering, 13(1):13-21, doi:10.1109/MCSE.2010.121 2011

    Abstract: Using the hurricane weather research and forecasting experimental modeling system (HWRFx), researchers examined the impact of increased model resolution on system performance in forecasting a select sample of tropical cyclones from the 2005 and 2007 hurricane seasons.

  23. Aberson, S.D. Ten years of hurricane synoptic surveillance (1997-2006). Monthly Weather Review, 138(5):1536-1549, doi:10.1175/2009MWR3090.1 2010

    Abstract: In 1997, the National Hurricane Center and the Hurricane Research Division began operational synoptic surveillance missions with the Gulfstream IV-SP jet aircraft to improve the numerical guidance for hurricanes that threaten the continental United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. During the first ten years, 176 such missions were conducted. Global Positioning System dropwindsondes were released from the aircraft at 150-200 km intervals along the flight track in the environment of each tropical cyclone to obtain wind, temperature, and humidity profiles from flight level (about 150 hPa) to the surface. The observations were processed and formatted aboard the aircraft and sent to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the Global Telecommunications System to be ingested into the Global Forecast System, which serves as initial and boundary conditions for regional numerical models that also forecast tropical cyclone track and intensity. The results of an observing system experiment using these data are presented.

  24. Aberson, S.D., J. Cione, C.-C. Wu, M.M. Bell, J. Halverson, C. Fogarty, and M. Weissmann. Aircraft observations of tropical cyclones. In Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones: From Science to Mitigation, J.C.L. Chan and J.D. Kepert (eds.). World Scientific Publishing Company, 2nd edition, 227-240, 2010

    Abstract: Nine different types of aircraft are currently in use to observe tropical cyclones and their environments for operations and research. The following is a description of those aircraft, their instrumentation, and the field programs with which they have been involved.

  25. Goni, G., M. DeMaria, J. Knaff, C. Sampson, J. Price, A. Mehra, I. Ginis, I.-I. Lin, P. Sandery, S. Ramos-Buarque, M.M. Ali, F. Bringas, S. Aberson, R. Lumpkin, G. Halliwell, C. Lauer, E. Chassignet, A. Mavume, and K. Kang. The ocean observing system for tropical cyclone intensification forecasts and studies. In Proceedings, OceanObs09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Volume 2), Venice, Italy, September 21-25, 2009, J. Hall, D.E. Harrison, and D. Stammer (eds.). ESA Publication, WPP-306, 13 pp., doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.36 2010

    Abstract: No abstract.

  26. Aberson, S.D. Regimes or cycles in tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90(1):39-43, doi:10.1175/2008BAMS2549.1 2009

    Abstract: The important role of the correct use of statistics in the atmospheric sciences literature is once again emphasized. Despite previous work on this topic, statistical techniques, even very simple ones, continue to be misused or altogether neglected, with the inevitable result of misleading or erroneous conclusions. An example concerning the impact of global climate change and hurricane activity is presented.

  27. Wu, C.-C., J.-H. Chen, S.J. Majumdar, M.S. Peng, C.A. Reynolds, S.D. Aberson, R. Buizza, M. Yamaguchi, S.-G. Chen, T. Nakazawa, and K.-H. Chou. Intercomparison of targeted observation guidance for tropical cyclones in the northwestern Pacific. Monthly Weather Review, 137(8):2471-2492, doi:10.1175/2009MWR2762.1 2009

    Abstract: This study compares six different guidance products for targeted observations over the northwest Pacific Ocean for 84 cases of 2-day forecasts in 2006 and highlights the unique dynamical features affecting the tropical cyclone (TC) tracks in this basin. The six products include three types of guidance based on total-energy singular vectors (TESVs) from different global models, the ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF) based on a multimodel ensemble, the deep-layer mean (DLM) wind variance, and the adjoint-derived sensitivity steering vector (ADSSV). The similarities among the six products are evaluated using two objective statistical techniques to show the diversity of the sensitivity regions in large, synoptic-scale domains and in smaller domains local to the TC. It is shown that the three TESVs are relatively similar to one another in both the large and the small domains while the comparisons of the DLM wind variance with other methods show rather low similarities. The ETKF and the ADSSV usually show high similarity because their optimal sensitivity usually lies close to the TC. The ADSSV, relative to the ETKF, reveals more similar sensitivity patterns to those associated with TESVs. Three special cases are also selected to highlight the similarities and differences among the six guidance products and to interpret the dynamical systems affecting the TC motion in the northwestern Pacific. Among the three storms studied, Typhoon Chanchu was associated with the subtropical high, Typhoon Shanshan was associated with the midlatitude trough, and Typhoon Durian was associated with the subtropical jet. The adjoint methods are found to be more capable of capturing the signal of the dynamic system that may affect the TC movement or evolution than are the ensemble methods.

  28. Aberson, S.D. An alternative tropical cyclone intensity forecast verification technique. Weather and Forecasting, 23(6):1304-1310, doi:10.1175/2008WAF2222123.1 2008

    Abstract: The National Hurricane Center (NHC) does not verify official or model forecasts if those forecasts call for a tropical cyclone to dissipate or if the real tropical cyclone dissipates. A new technique in which these forecasts are included in a contingency table with all other forecasts is presented. Skill scores and probabilities are calculated. Forecast verifications with the currently used technique have shown a slight improvement in intensity forecasts. The new technique, taking into account all forecasts, suggests that the probability of a forecast having a large (>30 kt) error is decreasing, and the likelihood of the error being less than about 10 kt is increasing in time, at all forecast lead times except 12 h when the forecasts are already quite good.

  29. Aberson, S.D. Large forecast degradations due to synoptic surveillance during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. Monthly Weather Review, 136(8):3138-3150, doi:10.1175/2007MWR2192.1 2008

    Abstract: Though operational tropical cyclone synoptic surveillance generally leads to smaller track forecast errors in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Forecasting System (GFS) than would occur otherwise, not every case is improved. Very large GFS forecast degradations due to surveillance are investigated. Small perturbations to model initial conditions may have a large impact locally or downstream in a short time. In these cases, the perturbations are due either to erroneous data assimilated into the models or to issues with the complex data assimilation system itself, and may have caused the forecast degradations. Investigation of forecast and observing system failures can lead to procedural changes that may eliminate some causes of future large forecast errors.

  30. Pu, Z., X. Li, C.S. Velden, S.D. Aberson, and W.T. Liu. The impact of aircraft dropsonde and satellite wind data on numerical simulations of two landfalling tropical storms during Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes Experiment. Weather and Forecasting, 23(1):62-79, doi:10.1175/2007WAF2007006.1 2008

    Abstract: Dropwindsonde, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-11 (GOES-11) rapid-scan atmospheric motion vectors, and NASA Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) near-surface wind data collected during NASA's Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) field experiment in July 2005 were assimilated into an advanced research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model using its three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) system. The impacts of the mesoscale data assimilation on WRF numerical simulation of Tropical Storms Cindy and Gert (2005) near landfall are examined. Sensitivity of the forecasts to the assimilation of each single data type is investigated. Specifically, different 3DVAR strategies with different analysis update cycles and resolutions are compared in order to identify the better methodology for assimilating the data from research aircraft and satellite for tropical cyclone study. The results presented herein indicate the following. (1) Assimilation of dropwindsonde and satellite wind data into the WRF model improves the forecasts of the two tropical storms up to the landfall time. The QuikSCAT wind information is very important for improving the storm track forecast, whereas the dropwindsonde and GOES-11 wind data are also necessary for improved forecasts of intensity and precipitation. (2) Data assimilation also improves the quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) near landfall of the tropical storms. (3) A 1-h rapid-update analysis cycle at high resolution (9 km) provides more accurate tropical cyclone forecasts than a regular 6-h analysis cycle at coarse (27 km) resolution. The high-resolution rapidly updated 3DVAR analysis cycle might be a practical way to assimilate the data collected from tropical cyclone field experiments.

  31. Stern, D.P., D.S. Nolan, and S.D. Aberson. Simulations and observations of extreme low-level updrafts in Hurricane Isabel. Extended Abstracts, 28th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Orlando, FL, April 28-May 2, 2008. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 6 pp., 2008

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  32. Reynolds, C.A., M.S. Peng, S.J. Majumdar, S.D. Aberson, C.H. Bishop, and R. Buizza. Interpretation of adaptive observing guidance for Atlantic tropical cyclones. Monthly Weather Review, 135(12):4006-4029, doi:10.1175/2007MWR2027.1 2007

    Abstract: Adaptive observing guidance products for Atlantic tropical cyclones are compared using composite techniques that allow one to quantitatively examine differences in the spatial structures of the guidance maps and relate these differences to the constraints and approximations of the respective techniques. The guidance maps are produced using the ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF) based on ensembles from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and total-energy singular vectors (TESVs) produced by ECMWF and the Naval Research Laboratory. Systematic structural differences in the guidance products are linked to the fact that TESVs consider the dynamics of perturbation growth only, while the ETKF combines information on perturbation evolution with error statistics from an ensemble-based data assimilation scheme. The impact of constraining the SVs using different estimates of analysis error variance instead of a total-energy norm, in effect bringing the two methods closer together, is also assessed. When the targets are close to the storm, the TESV products are a maximum in an annulus around the storm, whereas the ETKF products are a maximum at the storm location itself. When the targets are remote from the storm, the TESVs almost always indicate targets northwest of the storm, whereas the ETKF targets are more scattered relative to the storm location and often occur over the northern North Atlantic. The ETKF guidance often coincides with locations in which the ensemble-based analysis error variance is large. As the TESV method is not designed to consider spatial differences in the likely analysis errors, it will produce targets over well-observed regions, such as the continental United States. Constraining the SV calculation using analysis error variance values from an operational 3D variational data assimilation system (with stationary, quasi-isotropic background error statistics) results in a modest modulation of the target areas away from the well-observed regions, and a modest reduction of perturbation growth. Constraining the SVs using the ETKF estimate of analysis error variance produces SV targets similar to ETKF targets and results in a significant reduction in perturbation growth, due to the highly localized nature of the analysis error variance estimates. These results illustrate the strong sensitivity of SVs to the norm (and to the analysis error variance estimate used to define it) and confirm that discrepancies between target areas computed using different methods reflect the mathematical and physical differences between the methods themselves.

  33. Wu, C.-C., K.-H. Chou, P.-H. Lin, S.D. Aberson, M.S. Peng, and T. Nakazawa. The impact of dropsonde data on typhoon track forecasting in DOTSTAR. Weather and Forecasting, 22(6):1157-1176, doi:10.1175/2007WAF2006062.1 2007

    Abstract: Starting from 2003, a new typhoon surveillance program, Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region (DOTSTAR), was launched. During 2004, 10 missions for eight typhoons were conducted successfully with 155 dropwindsondes deployed. In this study, the impact of these dropwindsonde data on tropical cyclone track forecasts has been evaluated with five models (four operational and one research models). All models, except the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) hurricane model, show the positive impact that the dropwindsonde data have on tropical cyclone track forecasts. During the first 72 h, the mean track error reductions in the National Centers for Environmental Predictions (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS), the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC), and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) Global Spectral Model (GSM) are 14%, 14%, and 19%, respectively. The track error reduction in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, in which the initial conditions are directly interpolated from the operational GFS forecast, is 16%. However, the mean track improvement in the GFDL model is a statistically insignificant 3%. The 72-h average track error reduction from the ensemble mean of the above three global models is 22%, which is consistent with the track forecast improvement in Atlantic tropical cyclones from surveillance missions. In all, despite the fact that the impact of the dropwindsonde data is not statistically significant due to the limited number of DOTSTAR cases in 2004, the overall added value of the dropwindsonde data in improving typhoon track forecasts over the western North Pacific is encouraging. Further progress in the targeted observations of the dropwindsonde surveillances and satellite data, and in the modeling and data assimilation system, is expected to lead to even greater improvement in tropical cyclone track forecasts.

  34. Aberson, S.D., and B.J. Etherton. Targeting and data assimilation studies during Hurricane Humberto (2001). Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 63(1):175-186, doi:10.1175/JAS3594.1 2006

    Abstract:

    Two operational synoptic surveillance missions were conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration into Hurricane Humberto (2001). Forecasts from two leading dynamical hurricane track forecast models were improved substantially during the watch and warning period before a projected landfall by the assimilation of the additional dropwindsonde data. Feasibility tests with a barotropic model suggest that further improvements may be obtained by the use of the ensemble transform Kalman filter for assimilating these additional data into the model. This is the first effort to assimilate data into a hurricane model using the ensemble transform Kalman filter.

  35. Aberson, S.D., and D.P. Stern. Extreme horizontal winds measured by dropwindsondes in hurricanes. Preprints, 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Monterey, CA, April 24-28, 2006. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 4 pp. (CD-ROM), 2006

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  36. Aberson, S.D., and J.B. Halverson. Kelvin-Helmholtz billows in the eyewall of Hurricane Erin. Monthly Weather Review, 134(3):1036-1038, doi:10.1175/MWR3094.1 2006

    Abstract:

    A photograph of vertically aligned KelvinHelmholtz billows in the eastern eyewall of Hurricane Erin on 10 September 2001 is presented. The vertical shear instability in the horizontal winds necessary to produce the billows is confirmed with a high-altitude dropwindsonde observation. This shear instability is not known to be common in tropical cyclone eyewalls and is likely only in cases with a very large eyewall tilt. However, research and reconnaissance aircraft pilots need to be aware of the possibility of their existence, along with other types of hazardous conditions, in such rare circumstances.

  37. Aberson, S.D., J.P. Dunion, and F.D. Marks. A photograph of a wavenumber-2 asymmetry in the eye of Hurricane Erin. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 63(1):387-391, doi:10.1175/JAS3593.1 2006

    Abstract:

    A photograph of a wavenumber-2 asymmetry in the eye of Hurricane Erin taken during a NOAA WP-3D research flight during the Fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-4) field program on 10 September 2001 is described. The photograph of the cloud structure within the eye is evaluated using airborne and satellite remote sensing observations, and a possible explanation for the asymmetry is presented.

  38. Aberson, S.D., M.L. Black, R.A. Black, R.W. Burpee, J.J. Cione, C.W. Landsea, and F.D. Marks. Thirty years of tropical cyclone research with the NOAA P-3 aircraft. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87(8):1039-1055, doi:10.1175/BAMS-87-8-1039 2006

    Abstract:

    In 1976 and 1977, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration purchased two customized WP-3D (P-3) aircraft to conduct tropical cyclone (TC) research. During their first 30 years, the P-3s have proved to be invaluable research platforms, obtaining data at the micro- to synoptic scale, with missions conducted in 134 TCs in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans and near Australia. Analyses of the observations led to many new insights about TC structure, dynamics, thermodynamics, and environmental interactions. The real-time use of the information by the National Hurricane and Environmental Modeling Centers of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), as well as later research, has helped to increase the accuracy of wind, flood, and storm surge forecasts and severe weather warnings and has resulted in significant improvements to operational numerical model guidance for TC-track forecasts. In commemoration of the first 30 years of research with these aircraft, this manuscript presents a brief overview of the instrumentation aboard the aircraft and the major research findings during this period.

  39. Aberson, S.D., M.T. Montgomery, M.M. Bell, and M.L. Black. Hurricane Isabel (2003): New insights into the physics of intense storms, Part II: Extreme localized wind. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87(10):1349-1354, doi:10.1175/BAMS-87-10-1335 2006

    Abstract:

    An unprecedented dataset of category-5 Hurricane Isabel was collected on 12-14 September 2003. This two-part series focuses on novel dynamical and thermodynamical aspects of Isabel's inner-core structure on 13 September. In Part I, using a composite of dropwindsonde and in situ aircraft data, the authors suggested that the axisymmetric structure of Isabel showed that the storm was superintense. Mesocyclones seen clearly in satellite imagery within the eye of Hurricane Isabel are hypothesized to mix high-entropy air at low levels in the eye into the eyewall, stimulating explosive convective development and a concomitant local horizontal wind acceleration. Part II focuses on a unique set of observations into an extraordinary small- (miso) scale cyclonic feature inside of the inner edge of the eyewall of Hurricane Isabel. A dropwindsonde released into this feature measured the strongest known horizontal wind in a tropical cyclone. This particular observation is discussed in the context of concurrent observations from airborne Doppler radar and other airborne instruments. These observations show wind even stronger than the system-scale superintense wind suggested in Part I. Speculation on the frequency of occurrence of these "little whirls" and their potentially catastrophic impacts are presented.

  40. Chou, K.-H., C.-C. Wu, P.-H. Lin, S.D. Aberson, M. Peng, and T. Nakazawa. The impact of dropsonde data from DOTSTAR on tropical cyclone track forecasting. Preprints, 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Monterey, CA, April 24-28, 2006. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 12 pp. (CD-ROM), 2006

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  41. Etherton, B.J., C.-C. Wu, S.J. Majumdar, and S.D. Aberson. A comparison of targeting techniques for 2005 Atlantic tropical cyclones. Preprints, 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Monterey, CA, April 24-28, 2006. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 4 pp. (CD-ROM), 2006

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  42. Majumdar, S.J., S.D. Aberson, C.H. Bishop, R. Buizza, M.S. Peng, and C.A. Reynolds. A comparison of adaptive observing guidance for Atlantic tropical cyclones. Monthly Weather Review, 134(9):2354-2372, doi:10.1175/MWR3193.1 2006

    Abstract:

    Airborne adaptive observations have been collected for more than two decades in the neighborhood of tropical cyclones, to attempt to improve short-range forecasts of cyclone track. However, only simple subjective strategies for adaptive observations have been used, and the utility of objective strategies to improve tropical cyclone forecasts remains unexplored. Two objective techniques that have been used extensively for midlatitude adaptive observing programs, and the current strategy based on the ensemble deep-layer mean (DLM) wind variance, are compared quantitatively using two metrics. The ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF) uses ensembles from NCEP and the ECMWF. Total-energy singular vectors (TESVs) are computed by the ECMWF and the Naval Research Laboratory, using their respective global models. Comparisons of 78 guidance products for 2-day forecasts during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season are made, on both continental and localized scales relevant to synoptic surveillance missions. The ECMWF and NRL TESV guidance identifies similar large-scale target regions in 90% of the cases, but are less similar to each other in the local tropical cyclone environment (56% of the cases) with a more stringent criterion for similarity. For major hurricanes, all techniques usually indicate targets close to the storm center. For weaker tropical cyclones, the TESV guidance selects similar targets to those from the ETKF (DLM wind variance) in only 30% (20%) of the cases. ETKF guidance using the ECMWF ensemble is more like that provided by the NCEP ensemble (and DLM wind variance) for major hurricanes than for weaker tropical cyclones. Minor differences in these results occur when a different metric based on the ranking of fixed storm-relative regions is used.

  43. Montgomery, M.T., M.M. Bell, S.D. Aberson, and M.L. Black. Hurricane Isabel (2003): New insights into the physics of intense storms, Part I: Mean vortex structure and maximum intensity estimates. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87(10):1335-1347, doi:10.1175/BAMS-87-10-1335 2006

    Abstract:

    This study is an observational analysis of the inner-core structure, sea surface temperature, outflow layer, and atmospheric boundary layer of an intense tropical cyclone whose intensity and structure is consistent with recent numerical and theoretical predictions of superintense storms. The findings suggest new scientific challenges for the current understanding of hurricanes. Unprecedented observations of the category-5 Hurricane Isabel (2003) were collected during 12-14 September. This two-part article reports novel dynamic and thermodynamic aspects of the inner-core structure of Isabel on 13 September that was made possible by analysis of these data. Here, a composite of the axisymmetric structure of the inner core and environment of Isabel is estimated using global positioning system dropwindsondes and in situ aircraft data. In Part II, an extreme wind speed observation on the same day is discussed in the context of this work. The axisymmetric data composite suggests a reservoir of high-entropy air inside the low-level eye and significant penetration of inflowing near-surface air from outside. The analysis suggests that the low-level air penetrating the eye is enhanced thermodynamically by acquiring additional entropy through interaction with the ocean and replaces air mixed out of the eye. The results support the hypothesis that this high-entropy eye air "turboboosts" the hurricane engine upon its injection into the eyewall clouds. Recent estimates of the ratio of sea-to-air enthalpy and momentum exchange at high wind speeds are used to suggest that Isabel utilized this extra power to exceed the previously assumed intensity upper bound by 10-35 m s-1 for the given environmental conditions. Additional study with other datasets is encouraged to further test the superintensity hypothesis.

  44. Reynolds, C.A., M.S. Peng, S.J. Majumdar, S.D. Aberson, C.H. Bishop, and R. Buizza. Interpretation of tropical cyclone targeting guidance. Preprints, 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Monterey, CA, April 24-28, 2006. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 10 pp. (CD-ROM), 2006

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  45. Rogers, R.F., S.D. Aberson, M.L. Black, P.G. Black, J.J. Cione, P.P. Dodge, J.P. Dunion, J.F. Gamache, J. Kaplan, M.D. Powell, L.N. Shay, N. Surgi, and E.W. Uhlhorn. The Intensity Forecasting Experiment: A NOAA multi-year field program for improving tropical cyclone intensity forecasts. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87(11):1523-1537, doi:10.1175/BAMS-87-11-1523 2006

    Abstract:

    In 2005, NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (HRD), part of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, began a multi-year experiment called the Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX). By emphasizing a partnership among NOAA's HRD, Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), National Hurricane Center (NHC), Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), and National Environmental Satellite Data Information Service (NESDIS), IFEX represents a new approach for conducting hurricane field program operations. IFEX is intended to improve the prediction of tropical cyclone (TC) intensity change by: (1) collecting observations that span the TC life cycle in a variety of environments; (2) developing and refining measurement technologies that provide improved real-time monitoring of TC intensity, structure, and environment; and (3) improving the understanding of the physical processes important in intensity change for a TC at all stages of its life cycle. This paper presents a summary of the accomplishments of IFEX during the 2005 hurricane season. New and refined technologies for measuring such fields as surface and three-dimensional wind fields, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, were achieved in a variety of field experiments that spanned the life cycle of several tropical cyclones, from formation and early organization to peak intensity and subsequent landfall or extratropical transition. Partnerships with other experiments during 2005 also expanded the spatial and temporal coverage of the data collected in 2005. A brief discussion of the plans for IFEX in 2006 is also provided.

  46. Stern, D., and S.D. Aberson. Extreme vertical winds measured by dropsondes in hurricanes. Preprints, 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Monterey, CA, April 24-28, 2006. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 5 pp. (CD-ROM), 2006

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  47. Etherton, B.J., and S.D. Aberson. Ensemble based data assimilation of observations of Hurricane Humberto. Preprints, 9th Symposium on Integrated Observing and Assimilation Systems for the Atmosphere, Oceans, and Land Surface, San Diego, CA, January 9-13, 2005. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 5 pp., 2005

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  48. Majumdar, S.J., S.D. Aberson, C.H. Bishop, R. Buizza, M.S. Peng, and C.A. Reynolds. A comparison of adaptive observing guidance for Atlantic tropical cyclones. European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Technical Memorandum No. 482, 24 pp., 2005

    Abstract:

    Airborne adaptive observations have been collected for more than two decades in the neighborhood of tropical cyclones, to attempt to improve short-range forecasts of cyclone track. However, only simple subjective strategies for adaptive observations have been used, and the utility of objective strategies to improve tropical cyclone forecasts remains unexplored. Two objective techniques that have been used extensively for mid-latitude adaptive observing programs, and the current strategy based on the ensemble deep-layer mean (DLM) wind variance, are compared quantitatively using two metrics. The ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF) uses ensembles from NCEP and ECMWF. Total-energy singular vectors (TESVs) are computed by ECMWF and the Naval Research Laboratory, using their respective global models. Comparisons of 78 guidance products for two-day forecasts during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season are made, on both continental and localized scales relevant to synoptic surveillance missions. The ECMWF and NRL TESV guidance identifies similar large-scale target regions in 90% of the cases, but are less similar to each other in the local tropical cyclone environment (56% of the cases) with a more stringent criterion for similarity. For major hurricanes, all techniques usually indicate targets close to the storm center. For weaker tropical cyclones, the TESV guidance selects similar targets to those from the ETKF (DLM wind Variance) in only 30% (20%) of the cases. ETKF guidance using the ECMWF ensemble is more like that provided by the NCEP ensemble (and DLM wind variance) for major hurricanes than for weaker tropical cyclones. Minor differences in these results occur when a different metric based on the ranking of fixed storm-relative regions is used.

  49. Wu, C.-C., P.-H. Lin, and S.D. Aberson. Typhoon surveillance in northwestern Pacific. Vaisala News, 167:24-25, 2005

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  50. 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. Dropsonde observations for typhoon surveillance near the Taiwan region (DOTSTAR): An overview. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 86(6):787-790, doi:10.1175/BAMS-86-6-787 2005

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  51. Aberson, S.D. The G-IV surveillance era, targeting, and ensemble forecasts (1997-present). Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 236-237, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  52. Aberson, S.D., M.L. Black, M.T. Montgomery, and M. Bell. A record wind measurement in Hurricane Isabel: Direct evidence of an eyewall mesocyclone? Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 168-169, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  53. Bell, M.M., M.T. Montgomery, M.L. Black, and S.D. Aberson. Observed vortex and thermodynamic structure of Hurricane Isabel at maximum intensity. Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 196-197, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  54. Black, M.L., J.P. Dunion, J.P. Kossin, W.H. Schubert, C.S. Velden, P.G. Black, R. Zehr, and S.D. Aberson. Mesovortices in Hurricane Isabel (2003): A comparison of satellite, radar, and photographic observations. Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 128-129, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  55. Huang, W.-P., C.-C. Wu, P.-H. Lin, S.D. Aberson, and K.-C. Hsu. The preliminary analysis of the dropsonde data from DOTSTAR and their impact on the typhoon track forecasts. Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 188-189, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  56. Jones, S.C., C.S. Velden, S.D. Aberson, J. Abraham, and P.A. Harr. Extratropical transition and THORPEX. Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 643-644, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  57. Kossin, J.P., W.H. Schubert, C.S. Velden, M.L. Black, P.G. Black, R.M. Zehr, S.D. Aberson, and J.P. Dunion. Mesovortices in Hurricane Isabel (2003). Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 447-448, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  58. Majumdar, S.J., S.D. Aberson, B.J. Etherton, L.D. Holland, Z. Toth, and C.H. Bishop. Targeting strategies to improve hurricane track forecasts. Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 190-191, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  59. Wu, C.-C., P.-H. Lin, T.-C. Yeh, and S.D. Aberson. Dropsonde observations for typhoon surveillance near the Taiwan region (DOTSTAR): An overview. Preprints, 26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 3-7, 2004. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 186-187, 2004

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  60. Aberson, S.D. Targeted observations to improve operational tropical cyclone track forecast guidance. Monthly Weather Review, 131(8):1613-1628, doi:10.1175//2550.1 2003

    Abstract:

    Since 1997, the Tropical Prediction Center and the Hurricane Research Division have conducted operational synoptic surveillance missions with a Gulfstream IV-SP jet aircraft to improve numerical forecast guidance. Due to limited aircraft resources, optimal observing strategies for these missions must be developed. In the current study, the most rapidly growing modes are represented by areas of large forecast spread in the NCEP bred-vector ensemble forecasting system. The sampling strategy requires sampling of the entire target region with regularly spaced dropwindsonde observations. Three dynamical models were employed in testing the targeting and sampling strategies. With the assimilation into the numerical guidance of all the observations gathered during the surveillance missions, only the 12-h Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Hurricane Model forecast showed statistically significant improvement. Assimilation of only the subset of data from the subjectively found fully sampled target regions produced a statistically significant reduction of the track forecast errors of up to 25% within the critical first two days of the forecast. This is comparable with the cumulative business-as-usual improvement expected over 18 yr.

  61. Aberson, S.D., and C.R. Sampson. On the predictability of tropical cyclone tracks in the northwest Pacific basin. Monthly Weather Review, 131(7):1491-1497, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(2003)131<1491:OTPOTC>2.0.CO; 2003

    Abstract:

    A new northwest Pacific climatology and persistence (CLIPER) model is derived with historical tropical cyclone tracks during the satellite and aircraft reconnaissance era (1970-1995). The new CLIPER extends the forecasts from three to five days and exhibits smaller forecast biases than the previous CLIPER, although forecast errors are comparable. The new model is based on more accurate historical tropical cyclone track data, and a simpler derivation of the regression equations, than is the old model. Nonlinear systems analysis shows that the predictability timescale in which the average errors increase by a factor e is just over 15 h, which is about the same as that calculated by similar methods near Australia and in the North Atlantic. This suggests that five-day tropical cyclone track forecasts may be beneficial, assuming small initial errors; therefore, a CLIPER model extended to five days is needed as a baseline to measure the forecast skill.

  62. Aberson, S.D. Operational targeting of hurricane tracks in the Atlantic: Processes and procedures. Proceedings, Second Workshop on Landfalling Typhoons in the Taiwan Area, Taipei, Taiwan, April 25-26, 2002. National Science Council, 53-67, 2002

    Abstract:

    NOAA has been conducting operational targeting of dropwindsonde observations to improve tropical cyclone track forecasts since 1997. During the first two years, however, the impact of the observations was minimal, with only a slight improvement in track forecasts. However, with improvements to models, data assimilation, and targeting techniques, the forecasts for Hurricane Michelle in late 2001 were improved by 45 to 60% in the NCEP global model. This talk will present the basic premise behind targeting and the various targeting techniques available, and the process used in the U.S. to accomplish the targeting missions.

  63. Aberson, S.D. Tropical cyclone track predictability limits. Preprints, 25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, San Diego, CA, April 29-May 3, 2002. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 220-221, 2002

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  64. Aberson, S.D. Two years of operational hurricane synoptic surveillance. Weather and Forecasting, 17(5):1101-1110, doi:10.1175/1520-0434(2002)017<1101:TYOOHS>2.0.CO; 2002

    Abstract:

    In 1997, the National Hurricane Center and the Hurricane Research Division began operational synoptic surveillance missions with the Gulfstream IV-SP jet aircraft to improve the numerical guidance for hurricanes that threaten the continental United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Hawaii. During the first two years, 24 missions were conducted. Global positioning system dropwindsondes were released from the aircraft at 150-200 km intervals along the flight track in the environment of each tropical cyclone to obtain profiles of wind, temperature, and humidity from flight level (nearly 150 hPa) to the surface. The observations were processed and formatted aboard the aircraft and sent to NCEP to be ingested into the Global Data Assimilation System, which subsequently served as initial and boundary conditions for a number of numerical models that forecast the track and intensity of tropical cyclones. The current study is an attempt to mimic this process to assess the impact of these operational missions on the numerical guidance. Although the small number of missions flown in 1997 showed error reductions of as much as 32%, the improvements seen in the two-year sample are not promising. The additional dropwindsonde data from the synoptic surveillance missions provided statistically significant improvements in the GFDL forecasts only at 12 h. The "VBAR" and Global Forecast System (AVN) forecasts were not significantly improved at any forecast time. Further examination suggests that the AVN synthetic vortex procedure, combined with difficulty in the quantification of the current storm-motion vector operationally, may have caused the mediocre improvements. Forecast improvements of 14-24% in GFDL forecasts are shown in the subset of cases in which the synthetic vortex data do not seem to be a problem. Improvements in the landfall forecasts are also seen in this subset of cases. A reassessment of tropical cyclone vortex initialization schemes used by forecast centers and numerical modelers may be necessary.

  65. Etherton, B.J., and S.D. Aberson. Assimilation of GPS dropwindsonde data using a VICBAR ensemble. Preprints, 25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, San Diego, CA, April 29-May 3, 2002. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 218-219, 2002

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  66. Powell, M.D., and S.D. Aberson. Accuracy of United States tropical cyclone landfall forecasts in the Atlantic basin, 1976-2001. Preprints, 25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, San Diego, CA, April 29-May 3, 2002. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 301-302, 2002

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  67. Rogers, R.F., S.D. Aberson, J. Kaplan, and S.B. Goldenberg. A pronounced upper-tropospheric warm anomaly encountered by the NOAA Gulfstream-IV aircraft in the vicinity of deep convection. Monthly Weather Review, 130(1):180-187, 2002

    Abstract:

    Recent flights near deep convection by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Gulfstream-IV surveillance aircraft have occasionally experienced significant positive temperature anomalies that sometimes impact the aircraft performance. One such event occurred over the Bahamas on 23 August 1999. During a 20-s time period, when the plane was cruising at an altitude of 175 hPa, the flight-level ambient temperature rose 15°C and returned to ambient values, concurrent with significant fluctuations in the horizontal and vertical winds. Large temperature anomalies such as that reported here can cause the avionics on the aircraft to compensate with a sudden decrease in air speed and a loss of altitude. Possible explanations for this anomaly include instrument error and convectively forced gravity waves or upper-level subsidence.

  68. Aberson, S.D. The ensemble of tropical cyclone track forecasting models in the North Atlantic Basin (1976-2000). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82(9):1895-1904, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(2001)082<0000:TEOTCT> 2001

    Abstract:

    The suite of tropical cyclone track forecast models in the Atlantic basin from the 1976 to 2000 hurricane seasons are treated as a forecast ensemble. The 12-h ensemble mean forecast, adjusted for forecast difficulty, has improved at a rate of just under 1% per year, and the improvement rate increases to almost 2.4% per year for the 72-h forecasts. The average size of the 72-h (48-h) error in 1976 is less than the average size of the 48-h (36-h) error in 2000. The average 36-h forecast error in 2000 is comparable to the 24-h forecast error in 1976. The ensemble currently spans the true path of the tropical cyclone in the cross-track direction more than 90% of the time and in the alongtrack direction between 60% and 90% of the time depending on the forecast lead time. The ensemble spread is unable to provide estimates of individual forecast reliability, likely making probabilistic landfall forecasts from this ensemble unreliable. The reliability of the spread in the cross-track direction suggests the possibility of limiting hurricane watch and warning regions depending upon the ensemble spread at landfall.

  69. Aberson, S.D., S.J. Majumdar, and C.H. Bishop. A real-time ensemble for the prediction of hurricane tracks in the Atlantic basin. Preprints, 18th Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting and 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, Fort Lauderdale, FL, July 30-August 2, 2001. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 456-457, 2001

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  70. Michaels, M., M. Shepard, S.D. Aberson, H.A. Friedman, and K. Murphy. Survey results of Society membership: The face of our profession at the threshold of the new millennium. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82(7):1331-1352, 2001

    Abstract:

    In the spring of 1999, the American Meteorological Society surveyed its membership in order to update demographic information on the Society and to gain a more detailed perspective on the workplace. The survey was sent out with the dues statement and was solicited on a separate form returned independently to protect privacy and maintain anonymity. The responses were captured in a newly employed, machine-readable format to provide an ease of statistical analysis and data compilation not available in prior survey analysis. This data collection and subsequent demographic analysis represents the first attempt to update information regarding the membership since the 1993 survey results were published by Zevin and Seitter. The format of the 1999 survey was designed to logically follow and expand upon the historical data of the membership collected at varying intervals since 1975. The 1999 survey was broken into six parts. The sections on demographics, education, and current employment closely followed the previous surveys from 1993 and 1990 to facilitate direct comparisons between historical datasets whenever possible. The last three sections were reworked to elicit more declarative responses regarding personal circumstances, workplace circumstances, and additional issues concerning career choice and AMS membership, respectively. An additional space was provided for narrative comments regarding opportunities for women and minorities in the AMS-related sciences. Some 10,000 members were sent the 1999 dues statement and enclosed survey questionnaire. A total of 4,669 members responded. The following is a detailed analysis of the data collected from the 1999 membership survey.

  71. Powell, M.D., and S.D. Aberson. Accuracy of United States tropical cyclone landfall forecasts in the Atlantic Basin (1976-2000). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82(12):2749-2768, 2001

    Abstract:

    About 13% of all Atlantic basin tropical cyclone forecasts issued from 1976 to 2000 are for landfalls along the United States coastline, and 2% more are for storms forecast to make landfall in the United States but that remain at sea. Landfall position and time forecasts are skillful at all forecast time periods and are more skillful than Atlantic basin track forecasts as a whole, but within 30 h of predicted landfall, timing errors demonstrate an early bias of 1.5-2.5 h. Landfall forecasts are most accurate for storms moving at oblique or normal angles to the coastline and slow-moving storms. During the last quarter century, after adjustment for forecast difficulty, no statistically significant improvement or degradation is noted for landfall position forecasts. Time of landfall forecasts indicate no degradation at any period and significant improvement for the 19-30 h period. The early bias and lack of improvement are consistent with a conservative or "least regret" forecast and warning strategy to account for possible storm accelerations. Landfall timing uncertainty is ~11 h at 24 and 36 h, which suggests that hurricane warnings could be disseminated about 12 h earlier (at 36 h, rather than 24 h, before predicted landfall) without substantial loss of lead time accuracy (although warning areas necessarily would be larger). Reconsideration of the National Weather Service Strategic Plan and United States Weather Research Program track forecast goals is recommended in light of these results.

  72. Aberson, S.D. The first three years of operational targeting with the NOAA Gulfstream-IV. Preprints, 4th Symposium on Integrated Observing Systems, Long Beach, CA, January 9-14, 2000. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 198-199, 2000

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  73. Aberson, S.D. Three years of tropical cyclone synoptic surveillance in the Atlantic basin. Preprints, 24th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 29-June 2, 2000. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 108-109, 2000

    Abstract:

    Since 1997, NOAA has performed more than 50 synoptic surveillance missions in the core and environments of tropical cyclones threatening the United States mainland, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands with their G-IV and P3 aircraft. GPS dropwindsonde observations are taken approximately every 250 km along the flight tracks and sent to the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the National Hurricane Center for incorporation in numerical guidance and for subjective evaluation. The impact of these data on both track and intensity forecasts will be presented. Since small differences in initial conditions are known to grow in the numerical models at different rates, targeting the fastest growing modes has been studied. Results of such targeting, including methods to find target locations and sampling strategies, will be presented.

  74. Aberson, S.D. Woman and minorities in meteorology since 1950. 80th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Long Beach, CA, January 9-14, 2000. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 70-71, 2000

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  75. Aberson, S.D. Women's trends: The changing status of women in the profession/society. Preprints, 9th Symposium on Education, Long Beach, CA, January 9-14, 2000. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 70-71, 2000

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  76. Aberson, S.D., and K. Bedka. The operational ensemble of tropical cyclone track guidance at the National Hurricane Center (1976-1998). Preprints, 24th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 29-June 2, 2000. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 177-178, 2000

    Abstract:

    A suite of operational track forecast models has been run at NHC in support of NHC s task to provide tropical cyclone track forecasts. Official NHC forecasts have improved at a rate faster than 1% during the 1990s, suggesting substantial improvements to the numerical guidance. This operational ensemble since 1976 has been analyzed as a set to mark the improvements of the guidance with time. The improvements in the ability of the guidance to span the actual track of tropical cyclones, the performance of the ensemble mean with time, and changes in individual model performance are to be presented.

  77. Aberson, S.D. Ensemble-based products to improve tropical cyclone forecasting. Preprints, 23rd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Dallas, TX, January 10-15, 1999. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 843-844, 1999

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  78. Aberson, S.D. Targeting and sampling strategies to improve hurricane forecasts. Preprints, 23rd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Dallas, TX, January 10-15, 1999. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 105-107, 1999

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  79. Aberson, S.D., and J.L. Franklin. Impact on hurricane track and intensity forecasts of GPS dropwindsonde observations from the first-season flights of the NOAA Gulfstream-IV jet aircraft. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 80(3):421-428, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1999)080<0421:IOHTAI>2.0.CO; 1999

    Abstract:

    In 1997, the Tropical Prediction Center (TPC) began operational Gulfstream-IV jet aircraft missions to improve the numerical guidance for hurricanes threatening the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. During these missions, the new generation of Global Positioning System dropwindsondes were released from the aircraft at 150-200-km intervals along the flight track in the environment of the tropical cyclone to obtain profiles of wind, temperature, and humidity from flight level to the surface. The observations were ingested into the global model at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which subsequently served as initial and boundary conditions to other numerical tropical cyclone models. Because of a lack of tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic basin, only five such missions were conducted during the inaugural 1997 hurricane season. Due to logistical constraints, sampling in all quadrants of the storm environment was accomplished in only one of the five cases during 1997. Nonetheless, the dropwindsonde observations improved mean track forecasts from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory hurricane model by as much as 32%, and the intensity forecasts by as much as 20% during the hurricane watch period (within 48 h of projected landfall). Forecasts from another dynamical tropical cyclone model (VICBAR) also showed modest improvements with the dropwindsonde observations. These improvements, if confirmed by a larger sample, represent a large step toward the forecast accuracy goals of TPC. The forecast track improvements are as large as those accumulated over the past 20-25 years, and those for forecast intensity provide further evidence that better synoptic-scale data can lead to more skillful dynamical tropical cyclone intensity forecasts.

  80. Bishop, C.H., S. Majumdar, I. Szunyogh, Z. Toth, and S.D. Aberson. Using ensembles to simulate the impact of targeted observations. Preprints, 23rd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Dallas, TX, January 10-15, 1999. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 117-118, 1999

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  81. Majumdar, S.J., S.D. Aberson, C.H. Bishop, and Z. Toth. Real time hurricane track targeting using a VICBAR ensemble. Preprints, 23rd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Dallas, TX, January 10-15, 1999. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 755-756, 1999

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  82. Aberson, S.D. Five-day tropical cyclone track forecasts in the North Atlantic basin. Weather and Forecasting, 13(4):1005-1015, doi:10.1175/1520-0434(1998)013<1005:FDTCTF>2.0.CO; 1998

    Abstract:

    Statistical analyses of the most recent 40 years of hurricane tracks (1956-1995) are presented, leading to a version of the North Atlantic climatology and persistence (CLIPER) model that exhibits much smaller forecast biases but similar forecast errors compared to the previously used version. Changes to the model involve the inclusion of more accurate historical tropical cyclone track data and a simpler derivation of the regression equations. Nonlinear systems analysis shows that the predictability timescale in which the average errors increase by a factor e is approximately 2.5 days in the Atlantic basin, which is larger than that found by similar methods near Australia. This suggests that five-day tropical cyclone track forecasts may have some benefit, and, therefore, a version of CLIPER extended to five days to be used as a baseline to measure this skill is needed.

  83. Aberson, S.D., M.A. Bender, and R.E. Tuleya. Ensemble forecasting of tropical cyclone intensity. Preprints, Symposium on Tropical Cyclone Intensity Change, Phoenix, AZ, January 11-16, 1998. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 150-153, 1998

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  84. Aberson, S.D., M.A. Bender, and R.E. Tuleya. Ensemble forecasting of tropical cyclone tracks. Preprints, 12th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, Phoenix, AZ, January 11-16, 1998. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 290-292, 1998

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  85. Powell, M.D., and S.D. Aberson. How well do we forecast the position and time of hurricane landfall? Preprints, 16th Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting and Symposium on the Research Foci of the U.S. Weather Research Program, Phoenix, AZ, January 11-16, 1998. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 9-12, 1998

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  86. Aberson, S.D. Adaptive observations in a hurricane environment. Preprints, 22nd Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Ft. Collins, CO, May 19-23, 1997. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 308-309, 1997

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  87. Aberson, S.D. The prediction of the performance of a nested barotropic hurricane track forecast model. Weather and Forecasting, 12(1):24-30, doi:10.1175/1520-0434(1997)012<0024:TPOTPO>2.0.CO; 1997

    Abstract:

    Linear multiple regression and discriminant analyses provide estimates of the errors of track forecasts from a nested barotropic hurricane track forecast model (VICBAR), which was run in the North Atlantic Basin during the 1989-94 hurricane seasons. Predictors are determined from the synoptic situation, the magnitude of atmospheric changes in the environment of the tropical cyclone, the consistency between current and past predictions, and the past performance of the model for each particular storm. This technique distinguishes cases in which VICBAR performs well from those for which it performs poorly and can provide skillful operational predictions of model performance to forecasts.

  88. Burpee, R.W., J.L. Franklin, S.J. Lord, R.E. Tuleya, and S.D. Aberson. The impact of Omega dropwindsondes on operational hurricane track forecast models. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77(5):925-933, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1996)0772.0.CO;2 1996

    Abstract:

    Since 1982, the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) has conducted a series of experiments with research aircraft to enhance the number of observations in the environment and the core of hurricanes threatening the United States. During these experiments, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration WP-3D aircraft crews release Omega dropwindsondes (ODWs) at 15-20 min intervals along the flight track to obtain profiles of wind, temperature, and humidity between flight level and the sea surface. Data from the ODWs are transmitted back to the aircraft and then sent via satellite to the Tropical Prediction Center and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), where the observations become part of the operational database. This paper tests the hypothesis that additional observations improve the objective track forecast models that provide operational guidance to the hurricane forecasters. The testing evaluates differences in forecast tracks from models run with and without the ODW data in a research mode at HRD, NCEP, and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. The middle- and lower-tropospheric ODW data produce statistically significant reductions in 12-60 h mean forecast errors. The error reductions, which range from 16% to 30%, are at least as large as the accumulated improvement in operational forecasts achieved over the last 20-25 years. This breakthrough provides strong experimental evidence that more comprehensive observations in the hurricane environment and core will lead to immediate improvements in operational forecast guidance.

  89. Franklin, J.L., S.E. Feuer, J. Kaplan, and S.D. Aberson. Tropical cyclone motion and surrounding flow relationships: Searching for beta gyres in Omega dropwindsonde datasets. Monthly Weather Review, 124(1):64-84, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1996)124<0064:TCMASF>2.0.CO; 1996

    Abstract:

    In 1982, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admininstration's Hurricane Research Division began a series of experiments to collect Omega dropwindsonde (ODW) observations within about 1000 km of the center of tropical cyclones. By 1992, 16 ODW datasets had been collected in ten Atlantic basin hurricanes and tropical storms. Objective wind analyses for each dataset, at ten levels from 100 mb to the surface, have been produced using a consistent set of analysis parameters. The objective analyses, which resolve synoptic-scale features in the storm environment with an accuracy and confidence unattainable from routine operational analyses, have been used to examine relationships between a tropical cyclone's motion and its surrounding synoptic-scale flow. Tropical cyclone motion is found to be consistent with barotropic steering of the vortex by the surrounding flow within 3° latitude (333 km) of the cyclone center. At this radius, the surrounding deep-layer mean flow explains over 90% of the variance in vortex motion. The analyses show vorticity asymmetries that strongly resemble the beta gyres common to barotropic models, although other synoptic features in the environment make isolation of these gyres from the wind fields difficult. A reasonably strong relationship is found between the motion of the vortex (relative to its large scale surrounding flow) and the absolute vorticity gradient of the vortex environment.

  90. Aberson, S.D., S.J. Lord, M. DeMaria, and M.S. Tracton. Short-range ensemble forecasting of hurricane tracks. Preprints, 21st Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, April 24-28, 1995. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 494-496, 1995

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  91. Aberson, S.D., and M. DeMaria. Verification of a nested barotropic hurricane track forecast model (VICBAR). Monthly Weather Review, 122(12):2804-2815, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1994)122<2804:VOANBH>2.0.CO; 1994

    Abstract:

    A nested analysis and barotropic hurricane track forecast model (VICBAR) was run for tropical cyclone cases in the North Atlantic basin during the 1989-1993 hurricane seasons. VICBAR is compared to the other operational hurricane track forecast models and is shown to perform as well as each of these. VICBAR forecasts are stratified by initial date, intensity, and location to assess the variability of model performance. VICBAR produces the best forecasts for hurricane cases, for cases initiated earliest in the hurricane season, for cases moving the most slowly northward, and for those moving westward. The forecasts with the largest errors are examined to illustrate the limitations of the model and to determine whether these cases can be identified operationally.

  92. Burpee, R.W., S.D. Aberson, P.G. Black, M. DeMaria, J.L. Franklin, J.S. Griffin, S.H. Houston, J. Kaplan, S.J. Lord, F.D. Marks, M.D. Powell, and H.E. Willoughby. Real-time guidance provided by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division to forecasters during Emily of 1993. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 75(10):1765-1783, doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1994)075<1765:RTGPBN>2.0.CO; 1994

    Abstract:

    The Hurricane Research Division (HRD) is NOAA's primary component for research on tropical cyclones. In accomplishing research goals, many staff members have developed analysis procedures and forecast models that not only help improve the understanding of hurricane structure, motion, and intensity change, but also provide operational support for forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC). During the 1993 hurricane season, HRD demonstrated three important real-time capabilities for the first time. These achievements included the successful transmission of a series of color radar reflectivity images from the NOAA research aircraft to NHC, the operational availability of objective mesoscale streamline and isotach analyses of a hurricane surface wind field, and the transition of the experimental dropwindsonde program on the periphery of hurricanes to a technology capable of supporting operational requirements. Examples of these and other real-time capabilities are presented for Hurricane Emily.

  93. DeMaria, M., and S. Aberson. Development of a nested spectral hurricane model. In Research Activities in Atmospheric and Oceanic Modelling, G.J. Boer (ed.). CAS/JSC Working Group on Numerical Experimentation, Report No. 19, WMO/TD-No. 592, 5.36, 1994

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  94. Aberson, S.D., M. DeMaria, and R.E. Kohler. A four year (1989-1992) sample of a nested barotropic hurricane track forecast model (VICBAR). Preprints, 20th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, San Antonio, TX, May 10-14, 1993. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 292-295, 1993

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  95. Velden, C., S. Nieman, S.D. Aberson, and J.L. Franklin. Tracking motions from satellite water vapor imagery: Quantitative applications to hurricane track forecasting. Preprints, 20th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, San Antonio, TX, May 10-14, 1993. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 193-196, 1993

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  96. DeMaria, M., S.D. Aberson, K.V. Ooyama, and S.J. Lord. A nested spectral model for hurricane track forecasting. Monthly Weather Review, 120(8):1628-1643, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1992)120<1628:ANSMFH>2.0.CO; 1992

    Abstract:

    A numerical method for including a wide range of horizontal scales of motion is tested in a barotropic hurricane track forecast model. The numerical method uses cubic B-spline representations of variables on nested domains. The spline representation is used for the objective analysis of observations and the solution of the prediction equations (shallow-water equations on a Mercator projection). This analysis and forecasting system is referred to as VICBAR. The VICBAR model was tested in near real-time during the 1989 and 1990 Atlantic hurricane seasons. For the 1989 season, VICBAR had skill comparable with, or greater than, that of the operational track forecast models. For the 1990 season, VICBAR had skill comparable with that of theoperational track forecast models, except at 72 h when QLM (a three-dimensional mesoscale model) had greater skill than VICBAR. During both 1989 and 1990, VICBAR had considerably more skill for forecasts of hurricanes than for forecasts of tropical storms. For the 1990 season, VICBAR was generalized to include time-dependent boundary conditions from a global forecast model. These boundary conditions improve the VICBAR forecasts, especially for the longer range forecasts (60-72 h). The skill of the VICBAR is sensitive to the choice of the background field used in the objective analysis and the fields used to apply the boundary conditions. The use of background fields and boundary condition fields from a 12 h old global model forecast significantly reduced the VICBAR skill relative to the use of fields from the current global forecast.

  97. Aberson, S.D., and M. DeMaria. A nested barotropic hurricane track forecast model (VICBAR). Preprints, 19th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, May 6-10, 1991. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 81-86, 1991

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  98. Goldenberg, S.B., S.D. Aberson, and R.E. Kohler. An updated, fine-grid version of the operational barotropic hurricane-track prediction model. Preprints, 17th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Miami, FL, April 7-10, 1987. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 86-89, 1987

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  99. Goldenberg, S.B., S.D. Aberson, and R.E. Kohler. Incorporation of Omega dropwindsonde data into SANBAR: An operational barotropic hurricane-track forecast model. Proceedings, 16th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Houston, TX, May 14-17, 1985. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 44-45, 1985

    Abstract:

    No abstract.

  100. Lewis, J.M., C.M. Hayden, C.S. Velden, T.R. Stewart, S.J. Lord, S.B. Goldenberg, and S.D. Aberson. The use of VAS winds and temperatures as input to barotropic hurricane-track forecasting. Proceedings, 16th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, Houston, TX, May 14-17, 1985. American Meteorological Society, Boston, 40-41, 1985

    Abstract:

    No abstract.