Combined assimilation of satellite precipitation and soil moisture

A case study using TRMM and SMOS data

Liao Fan Lin, Ardeshir M. Ebtehaj, Alejandro N. Flores, Satish Bastola, Rafael L. Bras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents a framework that enables simultaneous assimilation of satellite precipitation and soil moisture observations into the coupled Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Noah land surface model through variational approaches. The authors tested the framework by assimilating precipitation data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and soil moisture data from the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite. The results show that assimilation of both TRMM and SMOS data can effectively improve the forecast skills of precipitation, top 10-cm soil moisture, and 2-m temperature and specific humidity. Within a 2-day time window, impacts of precipitation data assimilation on the forecasts remain relatively constant for forecast lead times greater than 6 h, while the influence of soil moisture data assimilation increases with lead time. The study also demonstrates that the forecast skill of precipitation, soil moisture, and near-surface temperature and humidity are further improved when both the TRMM and SMOS data are assimilated. In particular, the combined data assimilation reduces the prediction biases and root-mean-square errors, respectively, by 57% and 6% (for precipitation); 73% and 27% (for soil moisture); 17% and 9% (for 2-m temperature); and 33% and 11% (for 2-m specific humidity).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4997-5014
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume145
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

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SMOS
TRMM
soil moisture
data assimilation
humidity
assimilation
land surface
surface temperature
temperature
weather
salinity
forecast
ocean
prediction

Keywords

  • Atmosphere-land interaction
  • Data assimilation
  • Mesoscale models
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • Precipitation
  • Soil moisture

Cite this

Combined assimilation of satellite precipitation and soil moisture : A case study using TRMM and SMOS data. / Lin, Liao Fan; Ebtehaj, Ardeshir M.; Flores, Alejandro N.; Bastola, Satish; Bras, Rafael L.

In: Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 145, No. 12, 01.12.2017, p. 4997-5014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lin, Liao Fan ; Ebtehaj, Ardeshir M. ; Flores, Alejandro N. ; Bastola, Satish ; Bras, Rafael L. / Combined assimilation of satellite precipitation and soil moisture : A case study using TRMM and SMOS data. In: Monthly Weather Review. 2017 ; Vol. 145, No. 12. pp. 4997-5014.
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