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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-298
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-298
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: technical note 11 Jul 2019

Submitted as: technical note | 11 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Technical Note: Evaluation of the Skill in Monthly-to-Seasonal Soil Moisture Forecasting Based on SMAP Satellite Observations over the Southeast US

Amirhossein Mazrooei1, A. Sankarasubramanian1, and Venkat Lakshmi2 Amirhossein Mazrooei et al.
  • 1Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • 2Department of Engineering Systems and Environment, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Abstract. Providing accurate soil moisture (SM) conditions is a critical step in model initialization in weather forecasting, agricultural planning, and water resources management. This study develops monthly to seasonal (M2S) top layer SM forecasts by forcing 1–3 month ahead precipitation forecasts with Noah3.2 Land Surface Model. The SM forecasts are developed over the Southeast US (SEUS) and the SM forecasting skill is evaluated in comparison with the remotely sensed SM observations collected by Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. Our results indicate potential in developing real-time SM forecasts. The retrospective 18-months (April 2015–September 2016) comparison between SM forecasts and the SMAP observations shows statistically significant correlations of 0.62, 0.57, and 0.58 over 1–3 month lead times respectively. As a case study, the evaluation of the issued forecasts based on the drought indexes monitored during the 2007 historical drought over the SEUS also indicate promising skill in monthly SM forecasting to support agricultural planning and water management for such natural hazards.

Amirhossein Mazrooei et al.
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Amirhossein Mazrooei et al.
Amirhossein Mazrooei et al.
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Short summary
Reliable forecasts of soil moisture conditions helps water-related sectors to better prepare for drought and flooding events. This paper describes an approach in which monthly-to-seasonal soil moisture forecasts are developed and compared to remotely sensed observations from SMAP satellite. Our results reveal a promising skill in forecasting long-range soil moisture conditions, suggesting its great potential for real-time and practical applications.
Reliable forecasts of soil moisture conditions helps water-related sectors to better prepare for...
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