This study explores the structures of the correlations between infrared (IR) brightness temperatures (BTs) from the three water vapor channels of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) onboard the GOES-16 satellite and the atmospheric state. Ensemble-based data assimilation techniques such as the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) rely on correlations to propagate innovations of BTs to increments of model state variables. Because the three water vapor channels are sensitive to moisture in different layers of the troposphere, the heights of the strongest correlations between these channels and moisture in clear-sky regions are closely related to the peaks of their respective weighting functions. In cloudy regions, the strongest correlations appear at the cloud tops of deep clouds, and ice hydrometeors generally have stronger correlations with BT than liquid hydrometeors. The magnitudes of the correlations decrease from the peak value in a column with both vertical and horizontal distance. Just how the correlations decrease depend on both the cloud scenes and the cloud structures, as well as the model variables. Horizontal correlations between BTs and moisture, as well as hydrometeors, in fully cloudy regions decrease to almost 0 at about 30 km. The horizontal correlations with atmospheric state variables in clear-sky regions are broader, maintaining non-zero values out to ∼100 km. The results in this study provide information on the proper choice of cut-off radii in horizontal and vertical localization schemes for the assimilation of BTs. They also provide insights on the most efficient and effective use of the different water vapor channels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science