- Top of page
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Comparison of AIRS Temperature and Moisture Profiles With Dropsonde Data From NAMMA and T-PARC Field Experiments
- 3. Impact of AIRS Retrieved Temperature and Moisture Profiles on Tropical Cyclone Forecasts
- 4. Concluding Remarks
- Supporting Information
 The quality of the retrieved temperature and moisture profiles acquired from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) aboard the NASA Aqua spacecraft was evaluated by comparing the data with dropsonde observations obtained from NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA 2006) and international THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign (T-PARC 2008) field programs. Results indicate that the AIRS retrieved temperature profiles are in good agreement with dropsonde observations. However, the AIRS retrieved moisture profiles show a larger bias compared with the dropsondes over the tropical oceans where tropical cyclones developed. A series of data assimilation experiments is then performed with an advanced research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model and its three-dimensional variational data assimilation system. Results show that the assimilation of the AIRS retrieved temperature and moisture profiles has a significant impact on the numerical simulations of tropical cyclones. However, the overall impacts of the data assimilation on numerical simulations of tropical cyclones are very sensitive to the bias corrections of the data. Specifically, the dry biases of moisture profiles cause the decay of Tropical Storm Debby (2006) in the numerical simulations. Only with bias correction can data assimilation result in a reasonable portrayal of storm development. Compared with the moisture profiles, temperature profiles show a larger impact on the track forecasting. Assimilation of the temperature profiles resulted in significant improvements in the track forecasts for both Debby (2006) and Typhoon Jangmi (2008).