Assessing the performance of troposphere tomographic modeling using multi-source water vapor data during Hong Kong's rainy season from May to October 2013

Biyan Chen, Zhizhao Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


� Author(s) 2016. Acquiring accurate atmospheric water vapor spatial information remains one of the most challenging tasks in meteorology. The tomographic technique is a powerful tool for modeling atmospheric water vapor and monitoring the water vapor spatial and temporal distribution/variation information. This paper presents a study on the monitoring of water vapor variations using tomographic techniques based on multi-source water vapor data, including GPS (Global Positioning System), radiosonde,WVR(water vapor radiometer), NWP (numerical weather prediction), AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) sun photometer and synoptic station measurements. An extensive investigation has been carried out using multi-source data collected from May to October 2013 in Hong Kong. With the use of radiosonde observed profiles, five different vertical a priori information schemes were designed and examined. Analysis results revealed that the best vertical constraint is to employ the average radiosonde profiles over the 3 days prior to the tomographic time and that the assimilation of multi-source data can increase the tomography modeling accuracy. Based on the best vertical a priori information scheme, comparisons of slant wet delay (SWD) measurements between GPS data and multi-observational tomography showed that the root mean square error (RMSE) of their differences is 10.85 mm. Multi-observational tomography achieved an accuracy of 7.13 mm km-1when compared with radiosonde wet refractivity observations. The vertical layer tomographic modeling accuracy was also assessed using radiosonde water vapor profiles. An accuracy of 11.44 mm km-1at the lowest layer (0-0.4 km) and an RMSE of 3.30 mm km-1at the uppermost layer (7.5-8.5 km) were yielded. At last, a test of the tomographic modeling in a torrential storm occurring on 21-22 May 2013 in Hong Kong demonstrated that the tomographic modeling is very robust, even during severe precipitation conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5249-5263
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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