In recent years, the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed a space and time mesoscale analysis system (STMAS), which is currently a sequential three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) system and is developing into a sequential 4DVAR in the near future. It is implemented by using a multigrid method based on a variational approach to generate grid analyses. This study is to test how STMAS deals with 2D Doppler radar radial velocity and to what degree the 2D Doppler radar radial velocity can improve the conventional (in situ) observation analysis. Two idealized experiments and one experiment with real Doppler radar radial velocity data, handled by STMAS, demonstrated significant improvement of the conventional observation analysis. Because the radar radial wind data can provide additional wind information (even it is incomplete: e.g., missing tangential wind vector), the analyses by assimilating both radial wind data and conventional data showed better results than those by assimilating only conventional data. Especially in the case of sparse conventional data, radar radial wind data can provide significant information and improve the analyses considerably.
Corresponding author address: Wei Li, 93 Liuwei Road, Hedong District, Tianjin 300171, China. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org