Diagnostics for Imbalance on the Convective Scale

Theresa Diefenbach aMeteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

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Leonhard Scheck bHans-Ertel Centre for Weather Research, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Munich, Germany

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Martin Weissmann cInstitut für Meteorologie und Geophysik, Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria

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George Craig aMeteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

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Abstract

The analyses produced by a data assimilation system may be unbalanced, that is dynamically inconsistent with the forecasting model, leading to noisy forecasts and reduced skill. While there are effective procedures to reduce synoptic-scale imbalance, the situation on the convective scale is less clear because the flowon this scale is strongly divergent and non-hydrostatic. In this studywe compare three measures of imbalance relevant to convective-scale data assimilation: (i) surface pressure tendencies, (ii) vertical velocity variance in the vicinity of convective clouds, and (iii) departures from the vertical velocity prescribed by the weak temperature gradient (WTG) approximation. These are applied in a numerical weather prediction system, with three different data assimilation algorithms: 1. Latent Heat Nudging (LHN), 2. Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (LETKF), and 3. LETKF in combination with incremental analysis updates (IAU). Results indicate that surface pressure tendency diagnoses a different type of imbalance than the vertical velocity variance and theWTG departure. The LETKF induces a spike in surface pressure tendencies, with a large-scale spatial pattern that is not clearly related to the precipitation pattern. This anomaly is notably reduced by the IAU. LHN does not generate a pronounced signal in the surface pressure, but produces the most imbalance in the other two measures. The imbalances measured by the partitioned vertical velocity variance andWTG departures are similar, and closely coupled to the convective precipitation. Between these two measures, the WTG departure has the advantage of being simpler and more economical to compute.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Theresa Diefenbach, theresa.diefenbach@lmu.de

Abstract

The analyses produced by a data assimilation system may be unbalanced, that is dynamically inconsistent with the forecasting model, leading to noisy forecasts and reduced skill. While there are effective procedures to reduce synoptic-scale imbalance, the situation on the convective scale is less clear because the flowon this scale is strongly divergent and non-hydrostatic. In this studywe compare three measures of imbalance relevant to convective-scale data assimilation: (i) surface pressure tendencies, (ii) vertical velocity variance in the vicinity of convective clouds, and (iii) departures from the vertical velocity prescribed by the weak temperature gradient (WTG) approximation. These are applied in a numerical weather prediction system, with three different data assimilation algorithms: 1. Latent Heat Nudging (LHN), 2. Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (LETKF), and 3. LETKF in combination with incremental analysis updates (IAU). Results indicate that surface pressure tendency diagnoses a different type of imbalance than the vertical velocity variance and theWTG departure. The LETKF induces a spike in surface pressure tendencies, with a large-scale spatial pattern that is not clearly related to the precipitation pattern. This anomaly is notably reduced by the IAU. LHN does not generate a pronounced signal in the surface pressure, but produces the most imbalance in the other two measures. The imbalances measured by the partitioned vertical velocity variance andWTG departures are similar, and closely coupled to the convective precipitation. Between these two measures, the WTG departure has the advantage of being simpler and more economical to compute.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Theresa Diefenbach, theresa.diefenbach@lmu.de
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