Tracking Jet Stream Winds (MSO Project)

Tracking jet stream winds using ground-based pressure signals

In this project, we aim to measure tropospheric jet stream winds using pressure signals that are measured on ground-based microbarometers. Enhanced monitoring of the jet stream is needed for a better understanding of the role of the jet stream in climate change and extreme weather, which is relevant for Early Warning Centre (EWC) goals.

Global Jet Streams
General configuration of the polar and subtropical jet streams.
Project Structure
Overall structure of this project. Using micro-barometer observations, methods are advanced to derive jet-stream wind data products. The data products are cross validated against existing data and model values.

The goal is to adapt two existing measurement techniques for jetstream sensing. One of the methods relies on the detection of gravity waves while the other technique is based on interferometry of acoustic-gravity waves, i.e., very low frequency sound waves. Both methods are to be applied to global microbarometer networks for which multiple decades of data are available. This allows for both nowcasting and climatological analyses. The resulting dataset will be compared to existing observations (aircraft-based, satellite-based, radiosonde) and weather forecast models.

The project has been jointly defined by a team of KNMI researchers with expertise in seismo-acoustics, meteorology, as well as aircraft and satellite-based observation systems from multiple KNMI R&D departments.

This project will focus on:

  • Development of methods to extract jetstream wind parameters from mesoscale pressure fluctuations measured on ground-based microbarometer arrays using state-of-the-art instrumentation and high-resolution beam-forming techniques.
  • Development of an interferometric method to extract jetstream wind speed parameters from cross-correlations of acoustic-gravity waves that are detected on station pairs.
  • Building of a jetstream data database by application of both methods on global microbarometer array networks.
  • Cross-validation: microbarometer-derived jetstream data products will be compared to innovative wind-measurements that include radiosonde, aircraft-based and satellite-based observation systems as well as numerical weather prediction models.