Chen, SH, Zhao, Z, Haase, JS, Chen, AD, Vandenberghe, F (2008). A study of the characteristics and assimilation of retrieved MODIS total precipitable water data in severe weather simulations. MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW, 136(9), 3608-3628.
This study determined the accuracy and biases associated with retrieved Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) total precipitable water (TPW) data, and it investigated the impact of these data on severe weather simulations using the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model. Comparisons of MODIS TPW with the global positioning system (GPS) TPW and radiosonde-derived TPW were carried out. The comparison with GPS TPW over the United States showed that the root-mean-square (RMS) differences between these two datasets were about 5.2 and 3.3 mm for infrared (IR) and near-infrared (nIR) TPW, respectively. MODIS IR TPW data were overestimated in a dry atmosphere but underestimated in a moist atmosphere, whereas the nIR values were slightly underestimated in a dry atmosphere but overestimated in a moist atmosphere. Two cases, a severe thunderstorm system (2004) over land and Hurricane Isidore (2002) over ocean, as well as conventional observations and Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) retrievals were used to assess the impact of MODIS nIR TPW data on severe weather simulations. The assimilation of MODIS data has a slightly positive impact on the simulated rainfall over Oklahoma for the thunderstorm case, and it was able to enhance Isidore's intensity when the storm track was reasonably simulated. The use of original and bias-corrected MODIS nIR TPW did not show significant differences from both case studies. In addition, SSM/I data were found to have a positive impact on both severe weather simulations, and the impact was comparable to or slightly better than that of MODIS data.