Paper on possible improvements to forecasts from additional radio-occultation satellite data released online in Monthly Weather Review


The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) are a set of satellites that were launched in 2006 and orbit the earth about 500 miles above ground. They use radio signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites in a process called “radio occultation” to measure temperature and moisture with high accuracy every 100 m (about 300 ft) in the vertical. These data have proven to improve weather forecasts since they became available.

This study looks at how much weather forecast models would improve by adding more radio-occultation temperature and moisture profiles from 12 satellites similar to COSMIC. The work uses a technique known as an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE). Observations that are like the real ones that this new set of 12 satellites would produce are created and added to a weather forecast model along with the data that are usually available. The simulation of the data from these 12 satellites is based on the original design of the COSMIC-2 mission.

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  • The addition of COSMIC-2 observations improves weather forecasts

  • The biggest forecast improvements from COSMIC-2 are in the tropics.

You can read the paper at


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