The Contribution of Aeolus Wind Observations to ECMWF Sea Surface Wind Forecasts

Haichen Zuo*, Ad Stoffelen, Michael Rennie, Charlotte Bay Hasager

*Corresponding author for this work

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Aeolus is the first satellite mission focusing on wind profile detection from near the surface to about 30 km in height on a global scale. This study evaluates the contribution of Aeolus winds to sea surface wind forecasts geographically by further analyzing the Observing System Experiments from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) with scatterometer winds from the meteorological operational satellites (assimilated into the model) and the Haiyang-2B satellite (not assimilated into the model). The findings indicate that Aeolus has the ability to reduce the root-mean-square difference between scatterometer winds and background forecasts (short-range) by about 0.05%–0.16% on average for climatic regions, except for the meridional wind component in the tropics. Also, Aeolus can generally reduce zonal biases of the background forecasts, while its beneficial impact on meridional biases mainly occurs in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics and tropics. For medium-range forecast assessments, as the forecast step extends up to day 5, the positive impact of Aeolus on sea surface wind forecasts becomes more evident and is even greater than 3%, especially for extratropical ocean regions in the Southern Hemisphere. Furthermore, the impact of Aeolus shows seasonal variation, with a substantial positive impact from September 2019 to February 2020 and a negative impact mainly in March, April, and May 2020.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023JD039555
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number6
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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