OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper Awards 2008

This year, two papers co-authored by members of ESRL's Global Systems Division (GSD) were among those selected for the NOAA/OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper Award.

GSD joins Dr. Rick Spinrad, Assistant Administrator, OAR, in congratulating co-authors Tracy Lorraine Smith, Stanley G. Benjamin, Seth I. Gutman, and Susan Sahm on this significant achievement. The award-winning paper titled, "Short-Range Forecast Impact from Assimilation of GPS-IPW Observations into the Rapid Update Cycle" was published in the Monthly Weather Review, 135, C03S90, doi: 10.1175/MWR3436.1.

This paper describes the results of experiments on the improvement of weather model forecasts using a new observing system, GPS integrated precipitable water (GPS-IPW). It uses an innovative evaluation technique, and is particularly broad in the duration of the study. The Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) hourly data assimilation has already had huge operational significance, and this paper clearly shows that RUC forecasts are improved by assimilation of GPS-IPW observations. This impact of GPS-IPW observations in the RUC is extensive, affecting guidance for forecasters from the National Weather Service forecast offices who use the RUC routinely for short-range guidance, and also for forecasters from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center producing severe weather watches and NOAA Aviation Weather Center for making aviation weather advisories. The published results of this paper have been instrumental in considering NOAA adoption of GPS-IPW observations.

Additionally, GSD congratulates Seth Gutman and coauthors on another OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper of 2008 entitled "Radiosonde humidity corrections and potential Atmospheric Infrared Sounder moisture accuracy," work of Larry M. McMillin, Jiang Zhao, M. K. Rama Varma Raja, Seth I. Gutman, and James G. Yoe. This paper was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, D13S90, doi: 10.1029/2005JD006109, 2007.

This study describes an innovative application of GPS data that is not only highly relevant to satellite missions in NOAA, but to other activities that could potentially extend to areas of climate research including monitoring the effects of climate change and even Radiosonde Observation QC. Better quality satellite data and moreover improved knowledge of satellite error information have the far reaching potential of improving long-range global weather forecasts.

The annual NOAA/OAR Outstanding Paper Awards recognize papers having exceptional originality, scientific significance, technological importance, longevity in value, quality of writing, and relevance to the NOAA mission.

Contact information
Name: Ann M Reiser
Tel: 303-497-6634