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The Use of Composite GOES-R Satellite Imagery To Evaluate A Tc Intensity and Vortex Structure Forecast By An Fv3gfs-based Hurricane Forecast Model


The HAFS model is an effort under the NGGPS and UFS initiatives to create the next generation of hurricane prediction and analysis system based on FV3-GFS. It has been validated extensively using traditional verification indicators such as tracker error and biases, intensity error and biases, and the radii of gale, damaging and hurricane strength winds. While satellite images have been used to verify hurricane model forecasts, they have not been used on HAFS. The community radiative transfer model CRTM is used to generate model synthetic satellite images from HAFS model forecast state variables. The 24 forecast snapshots in the mature stage of hurricane Dorian in 2019 are used to generate a composite model synthetic GOES-R infrared brightness image. The composite synthetic image is compared to the corresponding composite image generated from the observed GOES-R data, to evaluate the model forecast TC vortex intensity, size, and asymmetric structure. Results show that the HAFS forecast TC Dorian agrees reasonably well with the observation, but the forecast intensity is weaker, its overall vortex size smaller, and the radii of its eye and maximum winds larger than the observed. The evaluation results can be used to further improve the model. While these results are consistent with those obtained by traditional verification methods, evaluations based on composite satellite images provide an additional benefit with richer information because they have near-real-times spatially and temporally continuous high-resolution data with global coverage. Composite satellite infrared images could be used routinely to supplement traditional verification methods in the HAFS and other hurricane model evaluations. Note since this study only evaluated one hurricane, the above conclusions are only applicable to the model behavior of the mature stage of hurricane Dorian in 2019, and caution is needed to extend these conclusions to expect model biases in predicting other TCs. Nevertheless, the consistency between the evaluation using composite satellite images and the traditional metrics, of hurricane Dorian, shows that this method has the potential to be applied to other storms in future studies

Article / Publication Data
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Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
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Published On
January 13, 2022
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Submitted On
December 10, 2021


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Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

  • Shaowu Bao - lead Gsl
  • Evan A. Kalina - third Gsl
    Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
    NOAA/Global Systems Laboratory