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Impacts of Targeted Aeri and Doppler Lidar Wind Retrievals On Short-term Forecasts of The Initiation and Early Evolution of Thunderstorms


The ability of Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) and Doppler lidar (DL) wind profile observations to impact short-term forecasts of convection is explored by assimilating retrievals into a partially cycled convection-allowing ensemble analysis and forecast system. AERI and DL retrievals were obtained over 12 days using a mobile platform that was deployed in the preconvective and near-storm environments of thunderstorms during the afternoon in the U.S. Great Plains. The observation locations were guided by real-time ensemble sensitivity analysis (ESA) fields. AERI retrievals of temperature and dewpoint and DL retrievals of the horizontal wind components were assimilated into a control experiment that only assimilated conventional observations. Using the fractions skill score within 25-km neighborhoods, it is found that the assimilation of the AERI and DL retrievals results in far more times when the forecasts are improved than degraded in the 6-h forecast period. However, statistical confidence in the improvements often is not high and little to no relationships between the ESA fields and the actual changes in spread and skill is found. But, the focus on convective initiation and early convective evolution—a challenging forecast problem—and the fact that frequent improvements were seen despite observations from only one system over a limited period, provides encouragement to continue exploring the benefits of ground-based profilers to supplement the current upper-air observing system for severe weather forecasting applications.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
December 19, 2018
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Monthly Weather Report
Published On
April 01, 2019
Publisher Name
American Meteorological Society
Print Volume
Print Number
Page Range
Submitted On
October 02, 2018


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.