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James Correia Jr.
,
Raymond W. Arritt
, and
Christopher J. Anderson

Abstract

The development and propagation of mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) was examined within the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model using the Kain–Fritsch (KF) cumulus parameterization scheme and a modified version of this scheme. Mechanisms that led to propagation in the parameterized MCS are evaluated and compared between the versions of the KF scheme. Sensitivity to the convective time step is identified and explored for its role in scheme behavior. The sensitivity of parameterized convection propagation to microphysical feedback and to the shape and magnitude of the convective heating profile is also explored.

Each version of the KF scheme has a favored calling frequency that alters the scheme’s initiation frequency despite using the same convective trigger function. The authors propose that this behavior results in part from interaction with computational damping in WRF. A propagating convective system develops in simulations with both versions, but the typical flow structures are distorted (elevated ascending rear inflow as opposed to a descending rear inflow jet as is typically observed). The shape and magnitude of the heating profile is found to alter the propagation speed appreciably, even more so than the microphysical feedback. Microphysical feedback has a secondary role in producing realistic flow features via the resolvable-scale model microphysics. Deficiencies associated with the schemes are discussed and improvements are proposed.

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V. J. OLIVER
,
R. K. ANDERSON
, and
E. W. FERGUSON

Abstract

TIROS photographs of cloud patterns in the vicinity of the jet stream are examined and compared with surface, upper air, and pilot-report data. It is found that with certain conditions of lighting and satellite attitude the northern edge of the cirrus cloud shield, which lies immediately south of the jet, can be easily identified by a shadow cast by the higher cloud deck on the lower underlying surface. This shadow identifies the cloud structure associated with the jet stream. Differences in texture and pattern also help to identify the northern limits of the high-level cirrus and thus aid in positioning the jet stream.

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David Anderson
,
Kevin I. Hodges
, and
Brian J. Hoskins

Abstract

For the tracking of extrema associated with weather systems to be applied to a broad range of fields it is necessary to remove a background field that represents the slowly varying, large spatial scales. The sensitivity of the tracking analysis to the form of background field removed is explored for the Northern Hemisphere winter storm tracks for three contrasting fields from an integration of the U.K. Met Office's (UKMO) Hadley Centre Climate Model (HadAM3). Several methods are explored for the removal of a background field from the simple subtraction of the climatology, to the more sophisticated removal of the planetary scales. Two temporal filters are also considered in the form of a 2–6-day Lanczos filter and a 20-day high-pass Fourier filter. The analysis indicates that the simple subtraction of the climatology tends to change the nature of the systems to the extent that there is a redistribution of the systems relative to the climatological background resulting in very similar statistical distributions for both positive and negative anomalies. The optimal planetary wave filter removes total wavenumbers less than or equal to a number in the range 5–7, resulting in distributions more easily related to particular types of weather system. For the temporal filters the 2–6-day bandpass filter is found to have a detrimental impact on the individual weather systems, resulting in the storm tracks having a weak waveguide type of behavior. The 20-day high-pass temporal filter is less aggressive than the 2–6-day filter and produces results falling between those of the climatological and 2–6-day filters.

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S. Zhang
,
M. J. Harrison
,
A. T. Wittenberg
,
A. Rosati
,
J. L. Anderson
, and
V. Balaji

Abstract

As a first step toward coupled ocean–atmosphere data assimilation, a parallelized ensemble filter is implemented in a new stochastic hybrid coupled model. The model consists of a global version of the GFDL Modular Ocean Model Version 4 (MOM4), coupled to a statistical atmosphere based on a regression of National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis surface wind stress, heat, and water flux anomalies onto analyzed tropical Pacific SST anomalies from 1979 to 2002. The residual part of the NCEP fluxes not captured by the regression is then treated as stochastic forcing, with different ensemble members feeling the residual fluxes from different years. The model provides a convenient test bed for coupled data assimilation, as well as a prototype for representing uncertainties in the surface forcing.

A parallel ensemble adjustment Kalman filter (EAKF) has been designed and implemented in the hybrid model, using a local least squares framework. Comparison experiments demonstrate that the massively parallel processing EAKF (MPPEAKF) produces assimilation results with essentially the same quality as a global sequential analysis. Observed subsurface temperature profiles from expendable bathythermographs (XBTs), Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) buoys, and Argo floats, along with analyzed SSTs from NCEP, are assimilated into the hybrid model over 1980–2002 using the MPPEAKF. The filtered ensemble of SSTs, ocean heat contents, and thermal structures converge well to the observations, in spite of the imposed stochastic forcings. Several facets of the EAKF algorithm used here have been designed to facilitate comparison to a traditional three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) algorithm, for instance, the use of a univariate filter in which observations of temperature only directly impact temperature state variables. Despite these choices that may limit the power of the EAKF, the MPPEAKF solution appears to improve upon an earlier 3DVAR solution, producing a smoother, more physically reasonable analysis that better fits the observational data and produces, to some degree, a self-consistent estimate of analysis uncertainties. Hybrid model ENSO forecasts initialized from the MPPEAKF ensemble mean also appear to outperform those initialized from the 3DVAR analysis. This improvement stems from the EAKF’s utilization of anisotropic background error covariances that may vary in time.

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J. Vialard
,
A. T. Weaver
,
D. L. T. Anderson
, and
P. Delecluse

Abstract

Three- and four-dimensional variational assimilation (3DVAR and 4DVAR) systems have been developed for the Océan Parallélisé (OPA) ocean general circulation model of the Laboratoire d'Océanographie Dynamique et de Climatologie. They have been applied to a tropical Pacific version of OPA and cycled over the period 1993–98 using in situ temperature observations from the Global Temperature and Salinity Pilot Programme. The assimilation system is described in detail in Part I of this paper. In this paper, an evaluation of the physical properties of the analyses is undertaken. Experiments performed with a univariate optimal interpolation (OI) scheme give similar results to those obtained with the univariate 3DVAR and are thus not discussed in detail. For the 3DVAR and 4DVAR, it is shown that both the mean state and interannual variability of the thermal field are improved by the assimilation. The fit to the assimilated data in 4DVAR is also very good at timescales comparable to or shorter than the 30-day assimilation window (e.g., at the timescale of tropical instability waves), which demonstrates the effectiveness of the linearized ocean dynamics in carrying information through time. Comparisons with data that are not assimilated are also presented. The intensity of the North Equatorial Counter Current is increased (and improved) in both assimilation experiments. A large eastward bias in the surface currents appears in the eastern Pacific in the 3DVAR analyses, but not in those of 4DVAR. The large current bias is related to a spurious vertical circulation cell that develops along the equatorial strip in 3DVAR. In 4DVAR, the surface current variability is moderately improved. The salinity displays a drift in both experiments but is less accentuated in 4DVAR than in 3DVAR. The better performance of 4DVAR is attributed to multivariate aspects of the 4DVAR analysis coming from the use of the linearized ocean dynamics as a constraint. Even in 4DVAR, however, additional constraints seem necessary to provide better control of the analysis of currents and salinity when observations of those variables are not directly assimilated. Improvements to the analysis can be expected in the future with the inclusion of a multivariate background-error covariance matrix. This and other possible ways of improving the analysis system are discussed.

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Ting-Chi Wu
,
Hui Liu
,
Sharanya J. Majumdar
,
Christopher S. Velden
, and
Jeffrey L. Anderson

Abstract

The influence of assimilating enhanced atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) on mesoscale analyses and forecasts of tropical cyclones (TC) is investigated. AMVs from the geostationary Multifunctional Transport Satellite (MTSAT) are processed by the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS, University of Wisconsin–Madison) for the duration of Typhoon Sinlaku (2008), which included a rapid intensification phase and a slow, meandering track. The ensemble Kalman filter and the Weather Research and Forecasting Model are utilized within the Data Assimilation Research Testbed. In addition to conventional observations, three different groups of AMVs are assimilated in parallel experiments: CTL, the same dataset assimilated in the NCEP operational analysis; CIMSS(h), hourly datasets processed by CIMSS; and CIMSS(h+RS), the dataset including AMVs from the rapid-scan mode. With an order of magnitude more AMV data assimilated, the CIMSS(h) analyses exhibit a superior track, intensity, and structure to CTL analyses. The corresponding 3-day ensemble forecasts initialized with CIMSS(h) yield smaller track and intensity errors than those initialized with CTL. During the period when rapid-scan AMVs are available, the CIMSS(h+RS) analyses offer additional modifications to the TC and its environment. In contrast to many members in the ensemble forecasts initialized from the CTL and CIMSS(h) analyses that predict an erroneous landfall in China, the CIMSS(h+RS) members capture recurvature, albeit prematurely. The results demonstrate the promise of assimilating enhanced AMV data into regional TC models. Further studies to identify optimal strategies for assimilating integrated full-resolution multivariate data from satellites are under way.

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Yong Song
,
Christopher K. Wikle
,
Christopher J. Anderson
, and
Steven A. Lack

Abstract

Parameterizations in numerical models account for unresolved processes. These parameterizations are inherently difficult to construct and as such typically have notable imperfections. One approach to account for this uncertainty is through stochastic parameterizations. This paper describes a methodological approach whereby existing parameterizations provide the basis for a simple stochastic approach. More importantly, this paper describes systematically how one can “train” such parameterizations with observations. In particular, a stochastic trigger function has been implemented for convective initiation in the Kain–Fritsch (KF) convective parameterization scheme within the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (Penn State–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5). In this approach, convective initiation within MM5 is modeled by a binary random process. The probability of initiation is then modeled through a transformation in terms of the standard KF trigger variables, but with random parameters. The distribution of these random parameters is obtained through a Bayesian Monte Carlo procedure informed by radar reflectivities. Estimates of these distributions are then incorporated into the KF trigger function, giving a meaningful stochastic (distributional) parameterization. The approach is applied to cases from the International H2O project (IHOP). The results suggest the stochastic parameterization/Bayesian learning approach has potential to improve forecasts of convective precipitation in mesoscale models.

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Ting-Chi Wu
,
Christopher S. Velden
,
Sharanya J. Majumdar
,
Hui Liu
, and
Jeffrey L. Anderson

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that assimilating enhanced satellite-derived atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) has improved mesoscale forecast of tropical cyclones (TC) track and intensity. The authors conduct data-denial experiments to understand where the TC analyses and forecasts benefit the most from the enhanced AMV information using an ensemble Kalman filter and the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin provides enhanced AMV datasets with higher density and temporal resolution using shorter-interval image triplets for the duration of Typhoon Sinlaku and Hurricane Ike (both 2008). These AMV datasets are then spatially and vertically subsetted to create six parallel cycled assimilation-forecast experiments for each TC: all AMVs; AMVs withheld between 100 and 350 hPa (upper layer), between 350 and 700 hPa (middle layer), and between 700 and 999 hPa (lower layer); and only AMVs within (interior) and outside (exterior) 1000-km radius of the TC center. All AMV subsets are found to be useful in some capacity. The interior and upper-layer AMVs are particularly crucial for improving initial TC position, intensity, and the three-dimensional wind structure along with their forecasts. Compared with denying interior or exterior AMVs, withholding AMVs in different tropospheric layers had less impact on TC intensity and size forecasts. The ensemble forecast is less certain (larger spread) in providing accurate TC track, intensity, and size when upper-layer AMVs or interior AMVs are withheld. This information could be useful to potential targeting scenarios, such as activating and focusing satellite rapid-scan operations, and decisions regarding observing system assessments and deployments.

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Robert Pincus
,
Robert J. Patrick Hofmann
,
Jeffrey L. Anderson
,
Kevin Raeder
,
Nancy Collins
, and
Jeffrey S. Whitaker

Abstract

This paper explores the degree to which short-term forecasts with global models might be improved if clouds were fully included in a data assimilation system, so that observations of clouds affected all parts of the model state and cloud variables were adjusted during assimilation. The question is examined using a single ensemble data assimilation system coupled to two present-generation climate models with different treatments of clouds. “Perfect-model” experiments using synthetic observations, taken from a free run of the model used in subsequent assimilations, are used to circumvent complications associated with systematic model errors and observational challenges; these provide a rough upper bound on the utility of cloud observations with these models. A series of experiments is performed in which direct observations of the model’s cloud variables are added to the suite of observations being assimilated. In both models, observations of clouds reduce the 6-h forecast error, with much greater reductions in one model than in the other. Improvements are largest in regions where other observations are sparse. The two cloud schemes differ in their complexity and number of degrees of freedom; the model using the simpler scheme makes better use of the cloud observations because of the stronger correlations between cloud-related and dynamical variables (particularly temperature). This implies that the impact of real cloud observations will depend on both the strength of the instantaneous, linear relationships between clouds and other fields in the natural world, and how well each assimilating model’s cloud scheme represents those relationships.

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