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ECMWF-JCSDA Workshop on
Assimilating Satellite Observations of Clouds and Precipitation
into NWP Models

June 15-17, 2010



Peter Bauer and George Ohring

Committee members:

  • Lars-Peter Riishojgaard
  • Christian Kummerow
  • Greg Tripoli
  • Min-Jeong Kim
  • Ron Errico
  • Fuzhong Weng
  • Phillipe Lopez


European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, UK


15-17 June 2010, 2 days for presentations, 1 day for working groups followed by a plenary session


By invitation

The Problem:

To date, assimilation of satellite measurements has focused on the clear atmosphere. But satellite observations in the visible, infrared, and microwave provide a great deal of information on clouds and precipitation as well as the clear regions above the clouds. The issue is how to use this information to improve the initialization of cloudy and precipitating atmospheric regions in NWP models. Since clouds and precipitation often occur in sensitive regions for forecast impacts, such improvements are likely necessary for continuing significant gains in weather forecasting.


In 2005, the JCSDA sponsored an international workshop that covered the three main topics related to assimilating observations in cloudy/precipitating regions: satellite observing capabilities, modelling radiative transfer and cloud/precipitation formation, and data assimilation. The papers presented at the 2005 workshop were published as a Special Section of the Nov. 2007 issue of JAS.


Document developments since the 2005 workshop and make recommendations to ECMWF, JCSDA, and other NWP centres and scientific communities for future research developments and collaboration. Note the focus on operational application.


Workshop set-up:

  • Introduction will include brief summary of 2005 workshop.
  • Workshop sessions will cover current status of cloud/precipitation assimilation in NWP, observations, radiative transfer modelling, cloud and precipitation modelling, and special issues related to data assimilation of cloud/precipitation-affected observations.
  • Presenters will be tasked to present status and issues/solutions that can be addressed in working groups and not to present well-known results.
  • Working groups run in parallel and each group comprises experts in observation, modelling, and data assimilation. Each group should devise an implementation plan across disciplines. Final report will merge individual reports into one consistent document.
  • Selected papers will be submitted for a special issue of the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society; publication in ECMWF Proceedings (and online) in any case. A short workshop summary will be submitted to AGU's EOS.
Modified April 5, 2010 3:04 PM
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