Application of altimeter observation to El Nino prediction.


The usability of altimeter sea level data (TOPEX/POSEIDON) and scatterometer wind data (QuikSCAT) in ENSO prediction is investigated with the latest version of the Lamont forecast model. The emphasis of this study is on the effectiveness of these data sets in initializing the model to forecast the 1999-2000 La Nina conditions. Both the altimeter and scatterometer observations helped to improve the model, with the former being more effective for this period. It is possible and extremely useful to apply these data to real-time ENSO forecasting. In principle, it is advisable to assimilate multiple data sets so that they can complement one another in providing the correct initial conditions for the model.

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