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Folger, Kathrin and Weissmann, Martin (2016): Lidar-Based Height Correction for the Assimilation of Atmospheric Motion Vectors. In: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Vol. 55, No. 10: pp. 2211-2227

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This study uses lidar observations from the polar-orbiting Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite to correct operational atmospheric motion vector (AMV) pressure heights. This intends to reduce the height assignment error of AMVs for their use in data assimilation. Additionally, AMVs are treated as winds in a vertical layer as proposed by several recent studies. Corrected and uncorrected AMV winds are evaluated using short-term forecasts of the global forecasting system of the German Weather Service. First, a direct lidar-based height reassignment of AMVs with collocated CALIPSO observations is evaluated. Assigning AMV winds from Meteosat-10 to similar to 120-hPa-deep layers below the lidar cloud top reduces the vector root-mean-square (VRMS) differences of AMVs from Meteosat-10 by 8%-15%. However, such a direct reassignment can only be applied to collocated AMV-CALIPSO observations that compose a comparably small subset of all AMVs. Second, CALIPSO observations are used to derive statistical height bias correction functions for a general height correction of all operational AMVs from Meteosat-10. Such a height bias correction achieves on average about 50% of the reduction of VRMS differences of the direct height reassignment. Results for other satellites are more ambiguous but still encouraging. Given that such a height bias correction can be applied to all AMVs from a geostationary satellite, the method exhibits a promising approach for the assimilation of AMVs in numerical weather prediction models in the future.

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