Variational Correction of Aircraft Temperature Bias in the NCEP's GSI Analysis System

Yanqiu Zhu, John C. Derber, R. James Purser, Bradley A. Ballish, Jeffrey Whiting
2015 Monthly Weather Review  
Various studies have noted that aircraft temperature data have a generally warm bias relative to radiosonde data around 200 hPa. In this study, variational aircraft temperature bias correction is incorporated in the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation analysis system at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. Several bias models, some of which include information about aircraft ascent/descent rate, are investigated. The results show that the aircraft temperature bias correction cools
more » ... as correction cools down the atmosphere analysis around 200 hPa, and improves the analysis and forecast fits to the radiosonde data. Overall, the quadratic aircraft ascent/descent rate bias model performs better than other bias models tested here, followed closely by the aircraft ascent/descent rate bias model. Two other issues, undocumented in previous studies, are also discussed in this paper. One is the bias correction of aircraft report (AIREP) data. Unlike Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR) data, where unique corrections are applied for each aircraft, bias correction is applied indiscriminately (without regard to tail numbers) to all AIREP data. The second issue is the problem of too many aircraft not reporting time in seconds, or too infrequently, to be able to determine accurate vertical displacement rates. In addition to the finitedifference method employed to estimate aircraft ascent/descent rate, a tensioned-splines method is tested to obtain more continuously smooth aircraft ascent/descent rates and mitigate the missing time information.
doi:10.1175/mwr-d-14-00235.1 fatcat:qxpunbwbw5gxzathibkrtglmcy