Articles | Volume 11, issue 9
Research article
01 Sep 2011
Research article |  | 01 Sep 2011

A new approach to sensitivity climatologies: the DTS-MEDEX-2009 campaign

A. Jansa, P. Arbogast, A. Doerenbecher, L. Garcies, A. Genoves, V. Homar, S. Klink, D. Richardson, and C. Sahin

Abstract. Adaptive observation is an approach to improving the quality of numerical weather forecasts through the optimization of observing networks. It is sometimes referred to as Data Targeting (DT). This approach has been applied to high impact weather during specific field campaigns in the past decade. Adaptive observations may involve various types of observations, including either specific research observing platforms or routine observing platforms employed in an adaptive way. The North-Atlantic TReC 2003 and the EURORISK-PREVIEW 2008 exercises focused on the North-Atlantic and Western Europe areas using mainly routine observing systems. These campaigns also included Mediterranean cases.

The most recent campaign, DTS-MEDEX-2009, is the first campaign in which the DT method has been used to address exclusively Mediterranean high impact weather events. In this campaign, which is an important stage in the MEDEX development, only operational radiosonde stations and commercial aircraft data (AMDAR) have provided additional observations. Although specific diagnostic studies are needed to assess the impact of the extra-observations on forecast skill and demonstrate the effectiveness of DTS-MEDEX-2009, some preliminary findings can be deduced from a survey of this targeting exercise.

After a description of the data targeting system and some illustrations of particular cases, this paper attempts some comparisons of additional observation needs (through effectively deployed radio-soundings) with sensitivity climatologies in the Mediterranean. The first step towards a sensitivity climatology for Mediterranean cases of high impact weather is indirectly given by the frequency of extra-soundings launched from the network of radiosonde stations involved in the DTS-MEDEX-2009 campaign.