Impact of MODIS and AIRS total precipitable water on modifying the vertical shear and Hurricane Emily simulations

Yi Chin Liu*, Shu Hua Chen, Fang Ching Chien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of retrieved total precipitable water (TPW) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) infrared (IR), MODIS near-infrared (NIR), and the combined Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)-IR and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-Microwave channels on simulations of Hurricane Emily was assessed and compared using the Weather Research and Forecasting model and its three-dimensional variation data assimilation (3D-Var) system. After assimilating MODIS IR TPW, the model clearly better reproduced storm tracking, intensity, and the 10 m wind field, while the improvement was limited or nil when assimilating either MODIS NIR TPW or AIRS TPW. After the data assimilation of MODIS IR TPW, a positive moisture increment was present to the east of the simulated storm in 3D-Var analysis (i.e., initial conditions). The positive TPW increment enhanced a convective cloud, which was also observed by satellites. The convective cloud effectively modulated the height and wind fields, resulting in a weakening of the vertical wind shear (VWS) over the region. The weak VWS band was then advected to the north of the storm, preventing the storm from attaching to the strong VWS zone located between 20N and 30N. There was no such positive moisture increment, convective cloud, or weak VWS band occurring to the east of the simulated storm in the other data assimilation experiments. This explains why the simulated storm intensified with assimilation of MODIS IR TPW but not for the other experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberD02126
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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