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A Hybrid Ensemble Kalman Filter–3D Variational Analysis Scheme

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

A hybrid ensemble Kalman filter–three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) analysis scheme is demonstrated using a quasigeostrophic model under perfect-model assumptions. Four networks with differing observational densities are tested, including one network with a data void. The hybrid scheme operates by computing a set of parallel data assimilation cycles, with each member of the set receiving unique perturbed observations. The perturbed observations are generated by adding random noise consistent with observation error statistics to the control set of observations. Background error statistics for the data assimilation are estimated from a linear combination of time-invariant 3DVAR covariances and flow-dependent covariances developed from the ensemble of short-range forecasts. The hybrid scheme allows the user to weight the relative contributions of the 3DVAR and ensemble-based background covariances.

The analysis scheme was cycled for 90 days, with new observations assimilated every 12 h. Generally, it was found that the analysis performs best when background error covariances are estimated almost fully from the ensemble, especially when the ensemble size was large. When small-sized ensembles are used, some lessened weighting of ensemble-based covariances is desirable. The relative improvement over 3DVAR analyses was dependent upon the observational data density and norm; generally, there is less improvement for data-rich networks than for data-poor networks, with the largest improvement for the network with the data void. As expected, errors depend on the size of the ensemble, with errors decreasing as more ensemble members are added. The sets of initial conditions generated from the hybrid are generally well calibrated and provide an improved set of initial conditions for ensemble forecasts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Thomas M. Hamill, NCAR/MMM/ASP, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000.

Email: hamill@ucar.edu

Abstract

A hybrid ensemble Kalman filter–three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) analysis scheme is demonstrated using a quasigeostrophic model under perfect-model assumptions. Four networks with differing observational densities are tested, including one network with a data void. The hybrid scheme operates by computing a set of parallel data assimilation cycles, with each member of the set receiving unique perturbed observations. The perturbed observations are generated by adding random noise consistent with observation error statistics to the control set of observations. Background error statistics for the data assimilation are estimated from a linear combination of time-invariant 3DVAR covariances and flow-dependent covariances developed from the ensemble of short-range forecasts. The hybrid scheme allows the user to weight the relative contributions of the 3DVAR and ensemble-based background covariances.

The analysis scheme was cycled for 90 days, with new observations assimilated every 12 h. Generally, it was found that the analysis performs best when background error covariances are estimated almost fully from the ensemble, especially when the ensemble size was large. When small-sized ensembles are used, some lessened weighting of ensemble-based covariances is desirable. The relative improvement over 3DVAR analyses was dependent upon the observational data density and norm; generally, there is less improvement for data-rich networks than for data-poor networks, with the largest improvement for the network with the data void. As expected, errors depend on the size of the ensemble, with errors decreasing as more ensemble members are added. The sets of initial conditions generated from the hybrid are generally well calibrated and provide an improved set of initial conditions for ensemble forecasts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Thomas M. Hamill, NCAR/MMM/ASP, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000.

Email: hamill@ucar.edu

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