Study on tropical cyclone forecast improvements due to data from the new Aeolus satellite released online in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

Summary:

The Atmospheric Dynamics Mission – Aeolus was launched into space in August 2018, by the European Space Agency. It is the first satellite capable of observing wind velocity around the world from the surface to 30 km above. This study describes the impact of incorporating these wind observations into computer weather models on tropical cyclone forecasts. 

Schematic of the Aeolus satellite. (Courtesy European Space Agency/ATG Medialab.

Important Conclusions:

  • Aeolus wind observations within 500 km of the tropical cyclone center provide the biggest impact on forecasts.
  • Aeolus wind observations improve forecasts (up to 17% in how strong the tropical cyclone will be and up to 11% in how far from the center hurricane-force winds extend) when aircraft reconnaissance observations are not available, especially in the early stages of tropical cyclone development. 

The full study can be accessed at https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/qj.4370. For more information, contact aoml.communications@noaa.gov.

This work was supported by the NOAA/NESDIS Office of Projects, Planning, and Acquisition Technology Maturation Program, under the NOAA-CIRA grant NA19OAR4320073. The GRaphics for OSEs and OSSEs on TCs (GROOT) verification package developed by Dr. Sarah Ditchek and funded by the Quantitative Observing System Assessment Program (QOSAP) and the FY18 Hurricane Supplemental (NOAA Award ID #NA19OAR0220188) was used for some of the analyses in this publication.