An observing system simulation experiment is used to examine the impact of assimilating water vapor- sensitive satellite infrared brightness temperatures and Doppler radar reflectivity and radial velocity observations on the analysis accuracy of a cool season extratropical cyclone. Assimilation experiments are performed for four different combinations of satellite, radar, and conventional observations using an ensemble Kalman filter assimilation system. Comparison with the high-resolution "truth" simulation indicates that the joint assimilation of satellite and radar observations reduces errors in cloud properties compared to the case in which only conventional observations are assimilated. The satellite observations provide the most impact in the mid- to upper troposphere, whereas the radar data also improve the cloud analysis near the surface and aloft as a result of their greater vertical resolution and larger overall sample size. Errors in the wind field are also significantly reduced when radar radial velocity observations were assimilated. Overall, assimilating both satellite and radar data creates the most accurate model analysis, which indicates that both observation types provide independent and complimentary information and illustrates the potential for these datasets for improving mesoscale model analyses and ensuing forecasts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science