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14th JCSDA Technical Review Meeting and Science Workshop on Satellite Data Assimilation in Moss Landing, CA

14th JCSDA Technical Review Meeting and Science Workshop on Satellite Data Assimilation

The 14th JCSDA Technical Review Meeting and Science Workshop on Satellite Data Assimilation took place on May 31 - June 2, 2016. The meeting, which was coordinated by NRL, was held at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Moss Landing, CA. The workshop posters and presentations can be found online on the meeting webpage.

SMAP Data Assimilation at the GMAO

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...

The 3rd Joint JCSDA-ECMWF Workshop on Assimilating Satellite Observations of Clouds and Precipitation into NWP Models

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

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

photo: Dr. Thomas Auligne 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 (NOAA/NWS).

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!

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