These are computer model forecast tracks for tropical storms Cindy and Gert from July, 2005. The black curve is the actual track. The red curve represents the forecast track without NASA data, and the blue curved track includes NASA data. The shapes along the lines indicate storm locations every 6 hours. These figures show that by adding aircraft dropsonde (sensor) data and satellite wind data, the computer model forecast more accurate landfall time and locations and improved the storm track by about 50 percent. Credit: University of Utah
Data gathered from last year’s NASA hurricane research mission and a NASA satellite have improved tropical storm landfall and storm strength forecasts in computer models.
Ocean surface wind data gathered from NASA’s QuikSCAT satellite were combined with data from aircraft sensors dropped into tropical storms and fed into a new generation weather research and forecasting (WRF) computer model used to predict weather. The researchers in this study also used data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES-11 satellite rapid-scan cloud track wind data. When the data were added, the resulting prediction showed improved track and intensity forecast of tropical storms.
"Our results indicate the quite positive impact of those data on forecasts of two landfall storms in last season: tropical storms Cindy and Gert." said Zhaoxia Pu, scientist at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and lead researcher on the study. She reported the results on April 24 at the American Meteorological Society’s Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology in Monterey, Calif. The detailed results of this study have been submitted to the Monthly Weather Review for publication.
Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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