Abstract

In this study, a hybrid En3DVar data assimilation (DA) scheme is compared with 3DVar, EnKF, and pure En3DVar for the assimilation of radar data in a real tornadic storm case. Results using hydrometer mixing ratios (CVq) or logarithmic mixing ratios (CVlogq) as the control variables are compared in the variational DA framework. To deal with the lack of radial velocity impact issues when using CVq, a procedure that assimilates reflectivity and radial velocity data in two separate analysis passes is adopted. Comparisons are made in terms of the root mean square innovations (RMSIs) as well as the intensity and structure of the analyzed and forecast storms. For pure En3DVar that uses 100% ensemble covariance, CVlogq and CVq have similar RMSIs in the velocity analyses, but errors grow faster during forecasts when using CVlogq. Introducing static background error covariance B at 5% in hybrid En3DVar (with CVlogq) significantly reduces the forecast error growth. Pure En3DVar produces more intense reflectivity analyses than EnKF that more closely match the observations. Hybrid En3DVar with 50% B outperforms other weights in terms of the RMSIs and forecasts of updraft helicity, and is thus used in the final comparison with 3DVar and EnKF. The hybrid En3DVar is found to outperform EnKF (3DVar) in better capturing the intensity and structure of the analyzed and forecast storms (intensity and evolution of the rotating updraft).

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