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Project Highlights 2007 - Improving Hurricane Intensity Forecasts Using Caribbean GPS Stations

Improving Hurricane Intensity Forecasts Using Caribbean GPS Stations

  • Principal Investigators (PI): John Braun, UCAR
  • UNAVCO Engineers: Abe Morrison, Ellie Boyce
  • Dates: December 2007
  • Location: San Andres Island, Colombia

The COSMIC program has recently been funded by the National Science Foundation to expand Suominet into the Caribbean. The objective of this expansion is to improve the forecasts of hurricane track and intensity using continuous observations of integrated water vapor. In collaboration with UNAVCO, we will install and operate a network of up to 15 GPS stations in the Caribbean. They will all be equipped with meteorological sensors and the data will be analyzed to retrieve precipitable water vapor (PW). The derived PW data will then be assimilated into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to evaluate what impact they have on hurricane forecasts. We expect to significantly improve moisture fields within the model, leading to a better description of the water budget, and therefore improved hurricane intensity and track predictions.

Trimble NetRS receivers and Vaisala WXT-510 weather multi-sensors were installed at various location in the Carribean (see map). The data is downloaded every 30 or 60 minutes from the receiver and placed in the UNAVCO archive.

This Installation on San Andres Island was conducted in cooperation with several Colombian governmental agencies. They included the Center for Processing and Analysis of Geodetic Data Tectonic and Volcanic Deformation Group INGEOMINAS, Colombian Civil Aeronautics Administration, and the Institute of Hydrology Meteorology and Environmental Studies, IDEAM. These agencies worked directly with UNAVCO engineers to install a CGPS site with a short braced monument. The goal of this installation was to expand the Suominet system further into the Caribbean, but also to demonstrate to the Colombian officials the techniques used in building this type of system. This transfer of knowledge and experience will aid them as they prepare to implement their own CGPS system within Colombia.

Current results can be viewed at:
http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/data/suominet/loop/loop3/suomi_ani_zoom.html

The Trimble GPS Antenna and Vaisala WXT-510 Meteorological sensor installation location at the San Andres Airport.

Figure 1 - The Trimble GPS Antenna and Vaisala WXT-510 Meteorological sensor installation location at the San Andres Airport.

Caribbean map of current, planned and proposed COSMIC GPS/Meteorological station locations

Figure 2 - Caribbean map of current, planned and proposed COSMIC GPS/Meteorological station locations.

Black Dots: Current GPS stations operating in the Caribbean/Central America. San Andres Island highlighted with yellow star.
Purple dots: GPS stations to be installed in the near future.
Red dots: Possible GPS stations

Last modified: Sunday, 11-May-2014 18:01:05 UTC

 

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