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Assimilation of INSAT data in the simulation of the recent tropical Cyclone Aila

Deb, S. K., Kumar, Prashant, Pal, P. K., Joshi, P. C.
International journal of remote sensing 2011 v.32 no.18 pp. 5135-5155
hurricanes, model validation, models, prediction, relative humidity, research institutions, temperature, weather stations, Bay of Bengal, India, Indian Ocean
The atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) from the operational geostationary Indian National Satellite Kalpana-1 are now regularly available at the Space Applications Centre, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). ISRO also provides a large number of near real-time surface observations, such as winds, temperature, relative humidity, pressure, etc., from automatic weather stations (AWS) at various locations in India under the Prediction of Regional Weather with Observational Meso-Network and Atmospheric Modeling (PRWONAM) project. A series of experimental forecasts are attempted here to evaluate the impact of AMVs derived from Kalpana-1 and AWS surface observations for the track and intensity prediction of the recent Bay of Bengal Cyclone Aila using the Advanced Research Weather Research Forecast model (ARW-WRF). The insertion of AMVs using Cressman objective analysis techniques has had some positive, though not significant, impact in the initial position errors and track forecasts when compared with the corresponding control experiments. However, no significant improvement is noticed in the simulations of cyclone intensities, that is, minimum sea-level pressure and maximum surface winds forecasts when satellite winds are used for assimilation. Moreover, the model performance is also evaluated by repeating the same sets of experiments using AMV, AWS surface observations and upper-air radiosonde data together for assimilation. The simulation of initial position errors, track and intensity forecasts from all experiments are comparable. Though these results are preliminary with respect to the Kalpana-1 AMV, the present study can provide some insight for WRF model users over the Indian Ocean region.