An impact study of GPS radio occultation observations on frontal rainfall prediction with a local bending angle operator

Ching Yuang Huang, Shu Ya Chen, S. K.A.V. Prasad Rao Anisetty, Shu Chih Yang, Ling Feng Hsiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The impact of global positioning system (GPS) radio occultation (RO) soundings on the prediction of severe mei-yu frontal rainfall near Taiwan in June 2012 was investigated in this study using a developed local bending angle (LBA) operator. Two operators for local refractivity (REF) and nonlocal refractivity [excess phase (EPH)] were also used for comparisons. The devised LBA simplifies the calculation of the Abel transform in inverting model local refractivity without a loss of accuracy. These operators have been implemented into the three-dimensional variational data assimilation system of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model to assimilate GPS RO soundings available from the Formosa Satellite Mission 3/Constellation Observing Systems for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC). The RO data are found to be beneficial to the WRF forecast of local severe rainfall in Taiwan. Characteristics of assimilation performance and innovation for the three operators are discussed. Both of the local operators performing assimilation at observation levels appear to produce mostly larger positive moisture increments than do the current nonlocal operators performing assimilation on the mean height of each model vertical level. As the information of the initial increments has propagated farther south with the frontal flow, the simulation for LBA shows better prediction of rainfall peaks in Taiwan on the second day than both REF and EPH, with a maximum improvement of about 25%. The positive impact of the RO data results partially from several RO observations near Mongolia and north China. This study provides an intercomparison among the three RO operators, and shows the feasibility of regional assimilation with LBA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages22
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Forecasting
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • Observational techniques and algorithms
  • Occultation


Dive into the research topics of 'An impact study of GPS radio occultation observations on frontal rainfall prediction with a local bending angle operator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this