Operational implementation of the ATOVS processing procedure in KMA and its validation

Myoung Hwan Ahn, Mee Ja Kim, Chu Yong Chung, Ae Sook Suh

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14 Scopus citations


The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) has processed the data from the advanced TOVS (ATOVS) onboard NOAA-16 satellite since May 2001. The operational production utilizes the AAPP (ATOVS and AVHRR Processing Package) of EUMETSAT and IAPP (International ATOVS Processing Package) of the University of Wisconsin. For the initial guess profiles, the predicted fields (usually 6 to 12 hour forecasted fields) from the global aviation model of NOAA/NCEP are used. The average number of profiles retrieved from the ATOVS data is about 1,300 for each morning and afternoon orbit at about 18 and 06 UTC, respectively. The retrieved temperature and dew point temperatures are provided to forecasters in real time and used for initialization of prediction models. With the advanced microwave sensor (AMSU; Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit), accuracy of the ATOVS products is expected to be better than that of the TOVS products, especially in cloudy conditions. Indeed, the preliminary results from a validation study with the collocated radiosonde data during a 8-month period, from May to December 2001, for the East Asia region show an improved accuracy of the ATOVS products for cloudy skies versus the TOVS, especially for higher altitudes. The RMS (Root Mean Square) difference between the ATOVS products and radiosonde data is about 1.3°C for both clear and cloudy conditions, except for near the ground and at higher altitudes, at around 200 hPa. There is no significant temporal variation of the error statistics at all pressure levels. In case of the water vapor mixing ratio, the largest difference is shown at lower altitudes, while the accuracy is much better for the clear sky cases than the cloudy sky cases. The bias and RMSE at lower altitudes is about 0.557 g kg-1 and 2.5 g kg-1 and decrease significantly with increasing altitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-414
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. We wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their careful reviews. This work was supported by the project "Development of Monitoring and Prediction Technology for Severe Weather (Heavy Rainfall) over the Korean Peninsula" of the Korea Meteorological Administration.


  • ATOVS processing and validation
  • Temperature and humidity profiles


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