COSMIC-2 Satellites Improve Tropical Weather Forecasts

news image
Special Stories
8 Nov 2019 2:00 AM
[COSMIC-2 spacecraft image. From NOAA] [NOAA]   The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) are satellites launched in 2006 to orbit the earth about 500 miles above ground. They use radio signals from Global Positioning System satellites in a process called “radio occultation” to measure temperature and moisture with high accuracy and resolution. These data have proven to improve global weather forecasts since they became available. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIDw4DyjR7o

A new study looked at how much weather forecast models would improve by adding more radio-occultation temperature and moisture data from satellites similar to COSMIC that were launched this past June (COSMIC-2), along with another proposed set of satellites. This second set of satellites consists of 6 satellites that stay near the equator and 6 more that move north and south somewhat close to the poles, what we call high-inclination orbit. The work uses a technique known as an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE). Observations like real ones that this new set of satellites would produce are created and added to a weather forecast model along with the data that are usually available. This study also investigates the impact of reducing the number of satellites for the high-inclination orbit from 6 to 4, and the impact of slightly degrading the 6 satellites in high-inclination orbit to the older COSMIC level of accuracy.

Important Conclusions:
  • The biggest forecast improvement from the 6 COSMIC-2 satellites near the equator is in the tropics, and the addition of a high-inclination orbit constellation is necessary to improve weather forecasts globally.
  • The largest impact from reducing COSMIC-2 from 6 to 4 satellites is to slightly degrade weather forecasts in the northern hemisphere outside the tropics.
  • The impact of degrading the 6 high-inclination orbit COSMIC-2 satellites to COSMIC level of accuracy, in terms of penetration into the lower troposphere, is mostly neutral.
 
All Weather News
More
Severe Threat in the PNW this Weekend

Severe Threat in the PNW this Weekend

This isn't something you see every Spring - s

12 Apr 2024 9:25 PM
Phoenix Hits 90+, Heat shifts East

Phoenix Hits 90+, Heat shifts East

Phoenix has hit 90°+ for the first time in 20

12 Apr 2024 9:20 PM
Looking Ahead: Severe Weather Monday & Tuesday

Looking Ahead: Severe Weather Monday & Tuesday

It is officially the heart of severe weather

12 Apr 2024 9:15 PM
West Coast: Snow, Wind and Heavy Rain

West Coast: Snow, Wind and Heavy Rain

Energy from the Pacific Ocean will bring a fe

12 Apr 2024 9:10 PM
Rain, Storms & Snow Linger in the Northeast

Rain, Storms & Snow Linger in the Northeast

A strong low-pressure system, that brought se

12 Apr 2024 9:05 PM
West Coast Wet Season Ending: Looking Back at Storms

West Coast Wet Season Ending: Looking Back at Storms

Above - a landslide in Studio City, CA during

12 Apr 2024 1:00 PM
Cleanup Underway Following Storms in the South

Cleanup Underway Following Storms in the South

A flash flood emergency occurred in New Orlea

12 Apr 2024 12:10 PM