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Analogs on the Lorenz Attractor and Ensemble Spread

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Abstract

Intrinsic predictability is defined as the uncertainty in a forecast due to small errors in the initial conditions. In fact, not only the amplitude but also the structure of these initial errors plays a key role in the evolution of the forecast. Several methodologies have been developed to create an ensemble of forecasts from a feasible set of initial conditions, such as bred vectors or singular vectors. However, these methodologies consider only the fastest growth direction globally, which is represented by the Lyapunov vector.

In this paper, the simple Lorenz 63 model is used to compare bred vectors, random perturbations, and normal modes against analogs. The concept of analogs is based on the ergodicity theory to select compatible states for a given initial condition. These analogs have a complex structure in the phase space of the Lorenz attractor that is compatible with the properties of the nonlinear chaotic system.

It is shown that the initial averaged growth rate of errors of the analogs is similar to the one obtained with bred vectors or normal modes (fastest growth), but they do not share other properties or statistics, such as the spread of these growth rates. An in-depth study of different properties of the analogs and the previous existing perturbation methodologies is carried out to shed light on the consequences of forecasting the choice of the perturbations.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Aitor Atencia, aitor.atencia@zamg.ac.at

Abstract

Intrinsic predictability is defined as the uncertainty in a forecast due to small errors in the initial conditions. In fact, not only the amplitude but also the structure of these initial errors plays a key role in the evolution of the forecast. Several methodologies have been developed to create an ensemble of forecasts from a feasible set of initial conditions, such as bred vectors or singular vectors. However, these methodologies consider only the fastest growth direction globally, which is represented by the Lyapunov vector.

In this paper, the simple Lorenz 63 model is used to compare bred vectors, random perturbations, and normal modes against analogs. The concept of analogs is based on the ergodicity theory to select compatible states for a given initial condition. These analogs have a complex structure in the phase space of the Lorenz attractor that is compatible with the properties of the nonlinear chaotic system.

It is shown that the initial averaged growth rate of errors of the analogs is similar to the one obtained with bred vectors or normal modes (fastest growth), but they do not share other properties or statistics, such as the spread of these growth rates. An in-depth study of different properties of the analogs and the previous existing perturbation methodologies is carried out to shed light on the consequences of forecasting the choice of the perturbations.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Aitor Atencia, aitor.atencia@zamg.ac.at
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