• John P George

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Validation of two gridded soil moisture products over India with in-situ observations

      C K Unnikrishnan John P George Abhishek Lodh Devesh Kumar Maurya Swapan Mallick E N Rajagopal Saji Mohandas

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      Surface level soil moisture from two gridded datasets over India are evaluated in this study. The firstone is the UK Met Office (UKMO) soil moisture analysis produced by a land data assimilation systembased on Extended Kalman Filter method (EKF), which make use of satellite observation of AdvancedScatterometer (ASCAT) soil wetness index as well as the screen level meteorological observations. Seconddataset is a satellite soil moisture product, produced by National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) usingpassive microwave Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 measurements. In-situ observations ofsoil moisture from India Meteorological Department (IMD) are used for the validation of the gridded soilmoisture products. The difference between these datasets over India is minimum in the non-monsoonmonths and over agricultural regions. It is seen that the NRSC data is slightly drier (0.05%) and UKMOsoil moisture analysis is relatively wet during southwest monsoon season. Standard AMSR-2 satellitesoil moisture product is used to compare the NRSC and UKMO products. The standard AMSR-2 andUKMO values are closer in monsoon season and AMSR-2 soil moisture is higher than UKMO in allseasons. NRSC and AMSR-2 showed a correlation of 0.83 (significant at 0.01 level). The probabilitydistribution of IMD soil moisture observation peaks at 0.25 m^3/m^3, NRSC at 0.15 m^3/m^3, AMSR-2 at0.25 m3/m3 and UKMO at 0.35 m^3/m^3 during June–September period. Validation results show UKMOanalysis has better correlation with in-situ observations compared to the NRSC and AMSR-2 datasets.The seasonal variation in soil moisture is better represented in UKMO analysis. Underestimation of soilmoisture during monsoon season over India in NRSC data suggests the necessity of incorporating theactual vegetation for a better soil moisture retrieval using passive microwave sensors. Both productshave good agreement over bare soil, shrubs and grassland compared to needle leaf tree, broad leaf treeand urban land cover types.

    • All-sky radiance simulation of Megha-Tropiques SAPHIR microwave sensor using multiple scattering radiative transfer model for data assimilation applications

      A Madhulatha John P George E N Rajagopal

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      Incorporation of cloud- and precipitation-affected radiances from microwave satellite sensors in data assimilation system has a great potential in improving the accuracy of numerical model forecasts over the regions of high impact weather. By employing the multiple scattering radiative transfer model RTTOVSCATT,all-sky radiance (clear sky and cloudy sky) simulation has been performed for six channel microwave SAPHIR (Sounder for Atmospheric Profiling of Humidity in the Inter-tropics by Radiometry) sensors of Megha-Tropiques (MT) satellite. To investigate the importance of cloud-affected radiance data in severe weather conditions, all-sky radiance simulation is carried out for the severe cyclonic storm

      ‘Hudhud’ formed over Bay of Bengal. Hydrometeors from NCMRWF unified model (NCUM) forecasts are used as input to the RTTOV model to simulate cloud-affected SAPHIR radiances. Horizontal and vertical distribution of all-sky simulated radiances agrees reasonably well with the SAPHIR observed radiancesover cloudy regions during different stages of cyclone development. Simulated brightness temperatures of six SAPHIR channels indicate that the three dimensional humidity structure of tropical cyclone is well represented in all-sky computations. Improved correlation and reduced bias and root mean squareerror against SAPHIR observations are apparent. Probability distribution functions reveal that all-sky simulations are able to produce the cloud-affected lower brightness temperatures associated with cloudy regions. The density scatter plots infer that all-sky radiances are more consistent with observed radiances.Correlation between different types of hydrometeors and simulated brightness temperatures at respective atmospheric levels highlights the significance of inclusion of scattering effects from different hydrometeors in simulating the cloud-affected radiances in all-sky simulations. The results are promisingand suggest that the inclusion of multiple scattering radiative transfer models into data assimilation system can simulate the cloud-affected microwave radiance data which provide detailed information on three dimensional humidity structure of the atmosphere in the presence of cloud hydrometeors.

    • Prediction of fog/visibility over India using NWP Model

      Aditi Singh John P George Gopal Raman Iyengar

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      Frequent occurrence of fog in different parts of northern India is common during the winter months of December and January. Low visibility conditions due to fog disrupt normal public life. Visibility conditions heavily affect both surface and air transport. A number of flights are either diverted or cancelled every year during the winter season due to low visibility conditions, experienced at differentairports of north India. Thus, fog and visibility forecasts over plains of north India become very important during winter months. This study aims to understand the ability of a NWP model (NCMRWF, Unified Model, NCUM) with a diagnostic visibility scheme to forecast visibility over plains of north India. Thepresent study verifies visibility forecasts obtained from NCUM against the INSAT-3D fog images and visibility observations from the METAR reports of different stations in the plains of north India. The study shows that the visibility forecast obtained from NCUM can provide reasonably good indication ofthe spatial extent of fog in advance of one day. The fog intensity is also predicted fairly well. The study also verifies the simple diagnostic model for fog which is driven by NWP model forecast of surface relative humidity and wind speed. The performance of NWP model forecast of visibility is found comparable tothat from simple fog model driven by NWP forecast of relative humidity and wind speed.

    • Assimilation of INSAT-3D imager water vapour clear sky brightness temperature in the NCMRWF’s assimilation and forecast system

      Indira Rani S Ruth Taylor Priti Sharma Bushair M T Buddhi Prakash Jangid John P George Rajagopal E N

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      This paper describes the direct assimilation of water vapour (WV) clear sky brightness temperatures (CSBTs) from the INSAT-3D imager in the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) Unified Model (NCUM) assimilation and forecast system. INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs show a systematic bias of 2–3 K compared to the data simulated from the model first guess fields in the pre-assimilation study. The bias in the INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs is removed using a statistical bias correction prior to assimilation. The impact of INSAT-3D imager WV channel CSBTs is investigated through different approaches: (i) single observation experiments and (ii) global assimilation experiments using the hybrid-four-dimensional variational technique. Single observation experiments of channels of the same frequency from different instruments like the INSAT-3D imager and sounder, and the Meteosat visible and infrared imager (MVIRI) onboard Meteosat-7, show the INSAT-3D imager and MVIRI WV channels have a similar impact on the analysis increment. Global assimilation clearly shows the positive impact of the INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs on the humidity and upper tropospheric wind fields, whereas the impact on the temperature field, particularly over the tropics, is neutral. Validation of model forecasted parameters with the in situ radio sonde observations also showed the positive impact of assimilation on the humidity and wind fields. INSAT-3D imager WV CSBTs have been assimilated operationally in NCUM since August 2018.

    • Impact of SAPHIR radiances on the simulation of tropical cyclones over the Bay of Bengal using NCMRWF hybrid-4DVAR assimilation and forecast system

      DEVANIL CHOUDHURY ANKUR GUPTA S INDIRA RANI JOHN P GEORGE

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      Observing System Experiments (OSEs) were conducted to analyze the impact of assimilation of Megha-Tropique’s (MT) Sounder for Probing Vertical Profiles of Humidity (SAPHIR) radiances on the simulation of tracks and intensity of three tropical cyclones (Kyant, Vardah, and Maarutha) formed over the Bay of Bengal during 2016–2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone period. National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF) Unified Model (NCUM) Hybrid-4DVAR assimilation and forecast system was used for the OSEs. Assimilation of SAPHIR radiances produced an improvement of 9% and 12%, respectively, in the cyclones’ central sea level pressure (CSLP) and the maximum sustained wind (MSW), while an improvement of 38% was seen in the cyclone tracks within the forecast lead time of 120 hrs. Initial assessment shows that the improvement in the cyclone intensity is due to the assimilation of the unique surface peaking channel of SAPHIR (channel-6), whereas the improvement in the cyclone track is due to the assimilation remaining five channels of SAPHIR. Thus, the assimilation of SAPHIR radiances in the NCUM system showed improvement in both intensity and track of the cyclones over the Bay of Bengal; however, more cyclone cases over different ocean basins have to be analyzed to make a robust conclusion. This study specifies the importance of similar microwave humidity instruments in the same frequency range for the detailed exploration of cyclone track and structure.

      $\bf{Highlights}$

      $\bullet$ Impact of SAPHIR humidity channel information in the NCMRWF Hybrid-4DVar assimilation and forecast system is analysed through Observing system experiments (OSEs)

      $\bullet$ Assimilation of SAPHIR humidity information improved both track and intensity of the cyclones compared to the control experiment, and the improvement is visible upto a lead time of 5 days

      $\bullet$ It is noted that the improvement in the cyclone intensity simulation is due to the assimilation of the lowest peaking channel of the SAPHIR, while the track improvement is contributed by other channels as well.

      $\bullet$ This study underlines the importance of SAPHIR like instruments in the low earth orbiting satellites with frequent revisit time to explore the features of cyclones.

    • Assimilation of individual components of radiosonde winds: An investigation to assess the impact of single-component winds from space-borne measurements on NWP

      S INDIRA RANI PRITI SHARMA JOHN P GEORGE M DAS GUPTA

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      Wind observations are critical for the better atmospheric analysis for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), particularly over the tropics. High-resolution direct wind observations are essential for defining smaller scales and deeper atmospheric structures. Recently launched Aeolus satellite delivers wind profiles that mostly satisfy these requirements, suitable for NWP assimilation. The main product from Aeolus is the horizontally projected Line of Sight wind component, a single component of wind, approximately zonal in nature over the tropics and more meridional over the Polar region, and the main limitation of this observation. Observing system experiments are conducted with the assimilation of individual components of radiosonde and pilot balloon winds to assess the impact of a single component of wind compared to the assimilation of full wind vector in the NCMRWF global assimilation and forecast system. Denial of the zonal component of wind in the assimilation system produced a larger observation increment (observation – model background) in the meridional wind than the full vector assimilation. In contrast, the observation increment of the zonal wind remains nearly the same, even after removing the meridional wind component from the assimilation system. Assimilation of both zonal and meridional components produced changes in the analysis fields of various meteorological variables; however, the zonal component plays a significant role in the tropics. Both wind components play an important role in controlling the humidity field, whereas only zonal components of wind impact the temperature field in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Though the full vector wind assimilation produces a larger impact in the forecast fields of various meteorological variables, the zonal component has more impact than the meridional component. Verification of analysis and forecast wind against the satellite-derived atmospheric motion vectors clearly show the importance of both the horizontal components of winds in the lower troposphere. In contrast, the zonal component of wind alone has a high impact on the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

    • Impact of locally modified cloud microphysics over Tibetan plateau on the Indian summer monsoon

      A JAYAKUMAR SAJI MOHANDAS JOHN P GEORGE A K MITRA E N RAJAGOPAL

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      Tibetan Plateau (TP), a high elevation region in the Asian subcontinent, play an influential role in the Indian summer monsoon. In this numerical model study, sensitivity to the local changes in the microphysics over Tibet on the model forecast of circulation and precipitation over Indian monsoon regions is assessed. The local modification of the cloud microphysical parameters, riming, over TP is attempted. The simulation experiments have been carried out for different synoptic situations during the summer monsoon season. The riming gave differing responses in the two synoptic cases with the ice to rain conversion displaying a uniform distribution throughout the atmospheric column for the active monsoon case, whereas it is restricted up to an altitude of 8000 m in pre-monsoon case. The experiment over TP gives a 1.97% increase (0.54% reduction) in the all India rainfall for the pre-monsoon (active monsoon) case, which are mainly driven by the changes in the monsoon core zone. The maximum impact is found in Western Ghats rainfall with a 3.74% reduction (10.49% increases) for the pre-monsoon (active monsoon) case. Modulations in Tropical Easterly Jet and surface circulations in the experiments have substantial effect over the head Bay and the Western Ghats.

      $\bf{Highlights}$

      $\bullet$ Tibet Plateau (TP) played a significant role in the circulation and precipitation over Indian monsoon region. In this study, the impact of locally modified microphysics parameters (riming) over TP is estimated through NCMRWF Unified Model sensitivity experiments.

      $\bullet$ Precipitation distribution in both pre-monsoon and active monsoon synoptic situation shows a different response with the riming modification.

      $\bullet$ The experiment gives a 1.97% increase (0.54% reduction) in the all India rainfall for the pre-monsoon (active monsoon) case, with maximum impact in Western Ghat region.

      $\bullet$ Current modelling approach may be useful for the different cloud observation projects.

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