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Analyses of Orissa Super Cyclone using TRMM (TMI), DMSP (SSM/I) and OceanSat-I (MSMR) Derived Data

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The super cyclone in October 1999 was the most intense tropical cyclone in the last century in Orissa, a coastal state in India. This state was battered for more than two days by strong winds and intense rain killing thousands of people. The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of total precipitable water content (TPWC) and surface wind speed data from sensors on board the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), Defense Meteorological Satellite Project (DMSP), and Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (OceanSat-I) satellites on the data assimilation system at NCMRWF, New Delhi during the Orissa cyclone period. Comparison of various assimilation experiments suggests that the utilization of TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) data in the assimilation produced the best analyses. However, in all the forecasts, the storm was predicted to weaken and did not have a reasonably good track. Assimilation experiments with the other two satellite data showed the cyclone track much to the south of the observed track and also it was a weak storm. Biases in the data, when compared with each other, are evident in the analyses also. Better analyses are obtained when the satellite data are used in the originally obtained resolution than when reduced by averaging. A forecast experiment with assimilated data, utilizing the Cloud Motion Vectors (CMVs) from METEOSAT along with TMI data, produced the best forecast among all the experiments. However, the forecast quality was poor. A high-resolution data assimilation experiment was carried out to see the impact of model resolution on the analyses of the cyclone. The strength of the cyclone further increased when higher resolution TMI data were included. The study highlights the need for more satellite data over the Indian Ocean, where conventional data coverage is too poor to define the vertical structure of the atmosphere.
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Keywords: DMSP; OceanSat-I; Super cyclone; TRMM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-03-01

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