The incorporation of high resolution retrievals of temperature and moisture profiles from the GOES-8 sounder and the derived products generated from these retrievals into numerical prediction models should result in improved weather analysis and forecasting. The thermodynamic quantities generated by the GOES-8 sounder will be blended with currently existing data sources to achieve a more realistic initialization of numerical prediction models, particularly in remote areas where observations are sparse. During the model forecast period, GOES-8 sounder data may be assimilated to guide the model towards a more accurate solution. The use of GOES-8 sounder data should lead to forecasting improvements for both regional and global scale prediction models.
In January of 1995 an investigation at the NMC will commence to quantify the impact of using GOES-8 sounder data in the ETA model. At CIMSS, a similar effort will begin to assess the assimilation of GOES-8 sounder data into the CIMSS Regional Assimilation System. However, until the results are in from these two efforts we will only be able to anticipate positive impact. In this spirit, we present fields of total water vapor derived from the GOES-8 sounder and the NGM with radiosonde values superimposed. The GOES-8 total water vapor is displayed with white contours while the NGM contours are dashed green. The GOES-8 total water vapor contours conform more closely to the radiosonde values in southern Illinois and Mississippi and Alabama than the NGM contours do. In these two regions, GOES-8 sounder data could be used to bring NGM quantities more into line with observed values.