Impact of increasing horizontal and vertical resolution during the HWRF hybrid EnVar data assimilation on the analysis and prediction of Hurricane Patricia (2015)

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  • 1 School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
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Abstract

Although numerous studies have demonstrated that increasing model spatial resolution in free forecasts can potentially improve tropical cyclone (TC) intensity forecasts, studies on the impact of model resolution during data assimilation (DA) on TC prediction are lacking. In this study, using the ensemble-variational DA system for Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model, we investigated the individual impact of increasing the model resolution of first guess (FG) and background ensemble (BE) forecasts during DA on initial analyses and subsequent forecasts of Hurricane Patricia (2015). The impacts were compared between horizontal and vertical resolutions and also between the tropical storm (TS) and hurricane assimilation during Patricia.

The results show that increasing the horizontal or vertical resolution in FG has a larger impact than increasing the resolution in BE on improving the analyzed TC intensity and structure for the hurricane stage. The result is reversed for the TS stage. These results are attributed to the effectiveness of increasing the FG resolution in intensifying the background vortex for the hurricane stage relative to the TS stage. Increasing the BE resolution contributes to improving the analyzed intensity through the better-resolved background correlation structure for both the hurricane and TS stages. Increasing horizontal resolution has an overall larger effect than increasing vertical resolution in improving the analysis at the hurricane stage and their effects are close for the analysis at the TS stage. Additionally, the more accurately analyzed primary, secondary circulation, and warm core structures via the increased resolution in DA lead to improved TC intensity forecasts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xuguang Wang, Address: School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 120 David Boren Blvd. Norman, OK, 73072. E-mail: xuguang.wang@ou.edu

This article is included in the Tropical Cyclone Intensity Experiment (TCI) Special Collection.

Abstract

Although numerous studies have demonstrated that increasing model spatial resolution in free forecasts can potentially improve tropical cyclone (TC) intensity forecasts, studies on the impact of model resolution during data assimilation (DA) on TC prediction are lacking. In this study, using the ensemble-variational DA system for Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model, we investigated the individual impact of increasing the model resolution of first guess (FG) and background ensemble (BE) forecasts during DA on initial analyses and subsequent forecasts of Hurricane Patricia (2015). The impacts were compared between horizontal and vertical resolutions and also between the tropical storm (TS) and hurricane assimilation during Patricia.

The results show that increasing the horizontal or vertical resolution in FG has a larger impact than increasing the resolution in BE on improving the analyzed TC intensity and structure for the hurricane stage. The result is reversed for the TS stage. These results are attributed to the effectiveness of increasing the FG resolution in intensifying the background vortex for the hurricane stage relative to the TS stage. Increasing the BE resolution contributes to improving the analyzed intensity through the better-resolved background correlation structure for both the hurricane and TS stages. Increasing horizontal resolution has an overall larger effect than increasing vertical resolution in improving the analysis at the hurricane stage and their effects are close for the analysis at the TS stage. Additionally, the more accurately analyzed primary, secondary circulation, and warm core structures via the increased resolution in DA lead to improved TC intensity forecasts.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Xuguang Wang, Address: School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, 120 David Boren Blvd. Norman, OK, 73072. E-mail: xuguang.wang@ou.edu

This article is included in the Tropical Cyclone Intensity Experiment (TCI) Special Collection.

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