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Quality of Reanalyses in the Tropics

Quality of Reanalyses in the Tropics Broad vertical layer-averaged temperatures from the microwave sounder unit (MSU) are used as a quasi-independent validation of temperature fields from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction––National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP––NCAR) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalyses. While the MSU and NCEP––NCAR temperatures show fairly good agreement overall, large discrepancies with ECMWF temperatures indicate that changes in the satellite observing system may have adversely affected the ECMWF reanalyses, especially in the Tropics. Two spurious discontinuities are present in tropical temperatures with jumps to warmer values throughout the Tropics below 500 mb in late 1986 and early 1989, and further spurious interannual variability is also present. These features are also reflected in the specific humidity fields. The temperature discrepancies have a complex vertical structure with height that is not fully understood, although it seems that the problems partly arise from positive reinforcement of biases in satellite radiances with those of the assimilating model first guess. Changes in the observing system provide a limit to the usefulness of the reanalyses in some climate studies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Climate American Meteorological Society

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References (23)

Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0442
DOI
10.1175/1520-0442(2001)014<1499:QORITT>2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Broad vertical layer-averaged temperatures from the microwave sounder unit (MSU) are used as a quasi-independent validation of temperature fields from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction––National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP––NCAR) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalyses. While the MSU and NCEP––NCAR temperatures show fairly good agreement overall, large discrepancies with ECMWF temperatures indicate that changes in the satellite observing system may have adversely affected the ECMWF reanalyses, especially in the Tropics. Two spurious discontinuities are present in tropical temperatures with jumps to warmer values throughout the Tropics below 500 mb in late 1986 and early 1989, and further spurious interannual variability is also present. These features are also reflected in the specific humidity fields. The temperature discrepancies have a complex vertical structure with height that is not fully understood, although it seems that the problems partly arise from positive reinforcement of biases in satellite radiances with those of the assimilating model first guess. Changes in the observing system provide a limit to the usefulness of the reanalyses in some climate studies.

Journal

Journal of ClimateAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Feb 4, 2000

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