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Evaluation of Regional Aircraft Observations Using Tamdar


We present a multiyear evaluation of a regional aircraft observation system (TAMDAR). We compare TAMDAR observation errors with errors in traditional reports from commercial aircraft (AMDAR), and evaluate the impact of TAMDAR observations on forecasts from the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) over a three-year period. Because of the high vertical resolution of TAMDAR observations near the surface, we developed and employed a novel verification system that compares RUC forecasts against RAOBs every 10; this revealed TAMDAR-related positive impact on RUC forecasts—particularly for relative humidity forecasts—that were not evident when only RAOB mandatory levels were considered. In addition, we performed multiple retrospective experiments over two 10-day periods, one in winter and one in summer; these allowed us to assess the impact of various data assimilation strategies, and varying data resolution. TAMDAR’s impact on 3-h RUC forecasts of temperature, relative humidity, and wind is found to be positive and, for temperature and relative humidity, substantial in the region, altitude, and time range over which TAMDAR-equipped aircraft operate.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
November 18, 2009
Fiscal Year
Publication Name
Weather and Forecasting
Published On
April 01, 2010
Final Online Publication On
April 01, 2010
Publisher Name
Amer Meteorological Soc
Print Volume
Print Number
Page Range
Submitted On
June 18, 2009


Not available


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

  • Edward J. Szoke - Not Positioned Gsl
    Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University
    NOAA/Global Systems Laboratory