Optimizing Global Hawk flight tracks relative to meteorological features and supplemental observations to maximize TC model intensity and structure forecast improvements

Peter Black
Cherokee Nation Technologies, LLC
18 July, 3 pm in 2890

Flight tracks from several Global Hawk flights from 2012-2016 in three field programs will be reviewed relative to feature identification and timing: 1) HS3, 2) SHOUT Hurricane and 3) SHOUT El Niņo Rapid Response. This evaluation is being driven by a shift in Global Hawk use from a research platform to an operational platform. Most flights used one of three standard pattern types: 1) Racetrack, 2) Alpha (or ‘Figure 4’) and 3) Butterfly, the latter two being flown relative to the moving storm center. A review of recent studies involving use of Global Hawk flight data in TC prediction models suggest that improvements in feature structural definition and model impact can be anticipated based upon pattern re-alignment relative to: 1) supporting aircraft and satellite data coverage, 2) feature orientation, 3) feature motion, 4) environmental wind shear as well as phasing relative to: i) anticipated intensity change times, ii) feature diurnal variation and iii) model Data Assimilation time/ duration. The importance of these considerations vs issues such as observational focus on predicted uncertainty regions in various ensemble model guidance will be briefly commented upon.