Impact of assimilating Aeolus observations in the global model ICON: A global statistical overview

Anne Martin, Martin Weissmann, Alexander Cress

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


Global wind profiles provided by the satellite mission Aeolus are an important recent supplement to the Global Observing System (GOS). This study investigates the impact of Aeolus horizontal line-of-sight (HLOS) wind observations in the operational global assimilation and forecasting system of Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) that is based on the ICOsahedral Nonhydrostatic (ICON) model. For this purpose, an Observing System Experiment (OSE) was conducted and evaluated for a three months period from July 2020 to October 2020. The Aeolus Rayleigh clear and Mie cloudy data quality and consistency was derived from observation minus background statistics. To correct for an altitude-dependent bias, a model-based bias correction scheme has been implemented. Comparisons of the systematic changes in the analysis and the respective forecasts provide an overview of the overall impact of the Aeolus HLOS wind assimilation in ICON. Increased influence of Aeolus wind profiles is found in jet regimes (e.g. amplification of the zonal wind component), around large-scale circulation systems and convectively active areas in the tropics. The reduction in forecast error is largest in the tropical upper troposphere and stratosphere as well as in the mid- and upper troposphere of the Southern Hemisphere. The Northern Hemisphere shows a somewhat smaller but still beneficial impact of Aeolus observations. The verification with other conventional observations shows a mean relative reduction in short-range forecast error between 0.1 and 0.6% in the Northern Hemisphere and up to 1.6% in the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere. When verifying against the ERA5 reanalysis, forecast errors of zonal wind, temperature and geopotential up to five days lead time are reduced by 2 - 4% on global average and up to 5 - 8% around the tropical tropopause.
Seiten (von - bis)2962-2979
FachzeitschriftQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 6 Okt. 2023

ÖFOS 2012

  • 105206 Meteorologie


  • Aeolus mission
  • DopplerWind Lidar
  • NWP
  • Data assimilation
  • Data denial experiment


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