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Impact of Oceansat-2 Scatterometer Winds and TMI Observations on Phet Cyclone Simulation

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3 Author(s)
Kumar, P. ; Atmos. & Oceanic Sci. Group, Indian Space Res. Organ., Ahmedabad, India ; Harish Kumar, K.P. ; Pal, P.K.

The Indian Space Research Organisation launched the Oceansat-2 scatterometer (OSCAT) for atmospheric and oceanographic applications. In this paper, a case study has been performed to assess the impact of OSCAT-retrieved wind vectors on the simulation of tropical cyclone Phet over the Arabian Sea. Three-dimensional variational data assimilation of the Weather Research and Forecasting model is used for this purpose. In addition to OSCAT winds, wind speed and precipitable water derived from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) are also used for assimilation to evaluate the impact of scatterometer and radiometer data on tropical cyclone prediction. Results show that an ~ 60-km track error is observed in control and TMI experiments when compared with Joint Typhoon Warning Center observed cyclone center at 1800 UTC 01 June 2010. An approximately 40-km track error is determined in the initial center position of OSCAT experiments. The mean track error forecast is less in OSCAT experiments ( ~ 80 km) in comparison with TMI experiments ( ~ 110 km). Only OSCAT data experiments are able to predict the track of the cyclone toward the Oman coast. Assimilation of scatterometer wind direction improves the track forecast; but it degrades the forecast of the intensity, maximum magnitude, and evolution of the cyclone. None of these experiments are able to capture the observed minimum sea level pressure (964 hPa at 1200 UTC 02 June 2010) accurately. TMI experiments are slightly better than OSCAT experiments in capturing the intensity of cyclone Phet, whereas wind direction from OSCAT improves the track forecast of the cyclone.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 6 )