The 14th JCSDA Technical Review Meeting and Science Workshop on Satellite Data Assimilation is scheduled to take place
May 31 - June 2, 2016. The meeting, which is being coordinated by NRL, will be held at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in
Moss Landing, CA. For more information, and the link to online registration, visit the meeting webpage.
The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission has been
providing L-band (1.4 GHz) passive microwave brightness temperature (Tb) observations
since April 2015. These observations are sensitive to surface (0-5 cm) soil moisture. Several
of the key applications targeted by SMAP, however, require knowledge of deeper-layer,
"root zone" (0-100 cm) soil moisture, which is not directly measured by SMAP. The NASA
Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) contributes to SMAP by providing Level
4 data, including the Level 4 Surface and Root Zone Soil Moisture (L4_SM) product, which
is based on the assimilation of SMAP Tb observations in the ensemble-based NASA GEOS-5
land surface data assimilation system. The L4_SM product offers global
data every three hours at 9 km resolution, thereby interpolating and extrapolating the coarser-
scale (~40 km) SMAP observations in time and in space (both horizontally and vertically).
Read more from the JCSDA Winter 2016 Quarterly...
Impact of a Degraded Polar-orbiting Satellite Observing System
on NOAA Global NWP
The current global environmental satellite observing system consists of a complex arrangement
of geostationary and low Earth-orbiting platforms, providing a multitude of space-borne sensors
capable of remotely measuring quantities of the Earth's atmosphere and surface across the
visible, infrared, and microwave electromagnetic spectra. These observations consist of
observations from passive and active microwave (PMW/AMW), along with narrow-band and
hyperspectral infrared (IR) sensors, configured in three primary orbits for optimal global
coverage: the early morning (early-AM), mid-morning (mid-AM), and afternoon (PM), labeled
according to the platforms' equatorial crossing times.
Coverage in each primary orbit could be considered quasi-redundant, due to the presence of
multiple platforms currently providing operational observations. The coverage is provided in the
early-AM by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) platforms of the U.S. Department
of Defense, in the mid-AM by the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) MetOp
series, and in the PM by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) program, which is in the process
of transitioning to the next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) program beginning
with the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite, in partnership with the U.S.
National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA). Read more from the JCSDA Fall 2015 Quarterly...
Ocean Surface Structure Assimilation at NRL
Forecasting the ocean surface stratification throughout the mixed layer is critically important
to fisheries management, anticipation of harmful algal blooms and hypoxic events, search and
rescue, disaster response, and safety at sea. Ocean processes that control the surface mixed
layer development can be discerned from satellite measurements. These measurements include
satellite altimetry, which observes the ocean mesoscale conditions controlling the underlying
stratification and rate of entrainment at the mixed layer base. Surface temperature observations
from infrared and microwave sensors are linked to the thermal content within the mixed layer.
The surface winds and waves-observed by scatterometers, passive microwave sensors, altimeters,
and synthetic aperture radars-inject turbulent energy at the ocean surface that mixes downward
and sustains the mixed layer. In addition, surface latent and sensible heat fluxes, along with
incoming solar and outgoing longwave radiation, are critical controllers of the ocean surface
structure properties. Read more from the JCSDA Summer 2015 Quarterly...
08.05.2015 The JCSDA is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the 3rd Joint JCSDA-ECMWF Workshop
on Assimilating Satellite Observations of Clouds and Precipitation into NWP Models December 1 - 3, 2015 at the National Centers
for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, MD. The workshop will mainly focus on discussing challenges inherent in
the assimilation of satellite data impacted by cloud and precipitation and making recommendations for future research and
collaboration. Attendance at the workshop is by invitation only. For more information about the workshop, and how
to request an invitation, please see the meeting webpage.
Evaluation and Improvement of Land Surface States and Parameters To
Increase Assimilation of Surface-Sensitive Channels and Improve Operational Forecast Skill
06.29.2015 Land surface models (LSMs) exist within a wide spectrum of complexity. Current
NOAA/NCEP/EMC LSMs, such as the Noah LSM, use a bulk surface treatment,
meaning the vegetation, snow, and soil surface are treated as a combined unit with one
surface temperature. Bulk LSMs have been effective at providing accurate lower boundary
condition fluxes of heat and water to the atmosphere in operational settings.
Recent LSM developments such as the Noah-MP LSM consider a more process-based
approach, with multi-layer snow packs and explicit vegetation canopies that have dynamic
growth. These new LSMs can more accurately simulate situations when surface
heterogeneities exist (e.g., canopy overlying snow), provide more detailed information
about individual land surface processes (e.g., multiple surface temperatures), and
may increase the assimilation of atmospheric and land surface observations to enhance
model performance. Read more from the JCSDA Spring 2015 Quarterly...
Dr. Thomas Auligné
Joins JCSDA as New Director
05.12.2015 Dr. Thomas Auligné began his tenure as the
JCSDA Director on May 1. Since 2007, Dr. Auligné had been a Project
Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.
There, Dr. Auligné worked exclusively on improving the data
assimilation and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) capabilities impacting
both the broader research community as well as operational data
assimilation systems at several JCSDA partner institutions. Much of his
focus has been on the assimilation of cloud (and precipitation) impacted
satellite observations. For a number of years, Dr. Auligné led the
effort to develop the Air Force Weather Agency (now the 557th Weather Wing)
Coupled Assimilation and Cloud Prediction System (ACAPS), which aims to
provide cloud analysis and forecast capabilities based on NWP. Recently Dr.
Auligné has also worked on a multivariate minimum residual method to
improve and increase the number of assimilated Infrared (IR) satellite
radiance observations, through the retrieval of cloud fraction profiles
implemented in the Weather Research and Forecasting model and data
assimilation system (WRF-DA). This technique was also extended for short-
term forecasting of clouds for both aviation and solar energy applications.
Additionally, Dr. Auligné developed the Ensemble-Variational
Integrated Localized (EVIL) algorithm implemented in the Gridpoint
Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation application for National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Weather Service
In the years leading up to his work at NCAR, Dr. Auligné earned
his M.S. degree in Meteorology from the École Nationale de la
Météorologie in Toulouse, France. Dr. Auligné earned his
Ph.D in Atmospheric Physics from the Paul Sabatier University, also in
Toulouse. Dr. Auligné has held positions at both Météo-
France and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF),
focusing on assimilation of the first hyperspectral IR sensor (AIRS) and
satellite radiance variational bias correction schemes, respectively. At
NCAR, he also collaborated on many other projects, including the
development of a variational field alignment algorithm to resolve
displaced cloud fields between the model background and satellite
observations, as well as an observation impact diagnostic tool based on
adjoint sensitivity. Dr. Auligné is also dedicated to outreach in the
atmospheric science community, mentoring several students and postdocs,
participating and lecturing in various data assimilation tutorials, and
organizing several conferences and workshops.
Dr. Auligné is an outdoor sports enthusiast who enjoys mountain
biking, canyoneering, and kiteboarding, to name a few hobbies. He is also
an avid world traveler, having visited over 60 countries. Dr. Auligné
and his wife Synthia have two boys: Eliot (4) and Teiva (2).
Please join us in wishing Dr. Auligné much success as Director of the JCSDA!