Press Releases

DATE2022.08.23 #Press Releases

Towards Better and Sustainable Weather Forecasting in the Southern Hemisphere

--Data from a radar at the Japanese Syowa Station in Antarctic improved forecasting of atmospheric circulation and mid-latitude cyclones--


Overview of the press release

The mid- and high-latitude region of the Southern Hemisphere suffers from erroneous weather forecasting owing to insufficient observation networks, particularly in the Antarctic. While radiosonde observations are an option, they are costly and environmentally hazardous. Now, researchers from Japan have addressed this gap, showing that the forecasting accuracy can be continuously improved and made sustainable through the implementation of observation data from the PANSY radar at  Syowa Station in the Antarctic.


Studying atmospheric circulations is essential for predicting weather conditions and preparing for future weather disturbances. In the Southern Hemisphere, meteorological observing stations have been implemented for analyzing the weather conditions. However, owing to their scattered distribution over the Antarctic, the observational data is often riddled with errors and uncertainties that hamper the reproducibility of atmospheric circulations in the region.


One way to improve the forecasting accuracy is by using observation data from a radiosonde, a battery-powered telemetry instrument carried into the atmosphere by a weather balloon. While this reduces uncertainty and error in weather forecasts, radiosondes are expensive, logistically limited, and environmentally hazardous since they leave waste over the land and ocean. This raises an important question: is it possible to improve weather forecasting predictions in the Southern Hemisphere in a sustainable manner?


In a new study published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, a team of researchers from Japan led by Assistant Professor Kazutoshi Sato from Kitami Institute of Technology may now have an answer. In their work, they have demonstrated, using an observing system experiment, that incorporating radar data observations from the Japanese Syowa Station in the Antarctic enhances the reproducibility of atmospheric parameters in the troposphere and lower stratosphere. These are the parameters that serve as the initial conditions for forecasting. The work included contributions from Jun Inoue and Yoshihiro Tomikawa from National Institute of Polar Research, Akira Yamazaki from Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Kaoru Sato from The University of Tokyo, all in Japan.


Image title: Improving Predictions of Atmospheric Circulation and Cyclone Activity in the Southern Hemisphere.
Image caption: In a new study, researchers from Japan propose a sustainable approach to improving forecasting skills of observing stations in the Southern Hemisphere by implementing data from the PANSY radar located at Syowa Station in the Antarctic region.
Image credit: Kazutoshi Sato from Kitami Institute of Technology


Professor kaoru Sato (Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo) contributed to this research.


To read the full press release, please visit the website of the Kitami Institute of Technology.


Publication details

Journal Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Title  Reduced error and uncertainty in analysis and forecasting in the Southern Hemisphere through assimilation of PANSY radar observations from Syowa Station: a mid-latitude extreme cyclone case