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Yujie Pan
,
Ming Xue
, and
Guoqing Ge

Abstract

In this study, a new set of reflectivity equations are introduced into the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) cloud analysis system. This set of equations incorporates double-moment microphysics information in the analysis by adopting a set of diagnostic relationships between the intercept parameters and the corresponding mass mixing ratios. A reflectivity- and temperature-based graupel classification scheme is also implemented according to a hydrometeor identification (HID) diagram. A squall line that occurred on 23 April 2007 over southern China containing a pronounced trailing stratiform precipitation region is used as a test case to evaluate the impacts of the enhanced cloud analysis scheme.

The results show that using the enhanced cloud analysis scheme is able to better capture the characteristics of the squall line in the forecast. The predicted squall line exhibits a wider stratiform region and a more clearly defined transition zone between the leading convection and the trailing stratiform precipitation region agreeing better with observations in general, when using the enhanced cloud analysis together with the two-moment microphysics scheme. The quantitative precipitation forecast skill score is also improved.

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Yujie Pan
,
Kefeng Zhu
,
Ming Xue
,
Xuguang Wang
,
Ming Hu
,
Stanley G. Benjamin
,
Stephen S. Weygandt
, and
Jeffrey S. Whitaker

Abstract

A coupled ensemble square root filter–three-dimensional ensemble-variational hybrid (EnSRF–En3DVar) data assimilation (DA) system is developed for the operational Rapid Refresh (RAP) forecasting system. The En3DVar hybrid system employs the extended control variable method, and is built on the NCEP operational gridpoint statistical interpolation (GSI) three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVar) framework. It is coupled with an EnSRF system for RAP, which provides ensemble perturbations. Recursive filters (RF) are used to localize ensemble covariance in both horizontal and vertical within the En3DVar. The coupled En3DVar hybrid system is evaluated with 3-h cycles over a 9-day period with active convection. All conventional observations used by operational RAP are included. The En3DVar hybrid system is run at ⅓ of the operational RAP horizontal resolution or about 40-km grid spacing, and its performance is compared to parallel GSI 3DVar and EnSRF runs using the same datasets and resolution. Short-term forecasts initialized from the 3-hourly analyses are verified against sounding and surface observations. When using equally weighted static and ensemble background error covariances and 40 ensemble members, the En3DVar hybrid system outperforms the corresponding GSI 3DVar and EnSRF. When the recursive filter coefficients are tuned to achieve a similar height-dependent localization as in the EnSRF, the En3DVar results using pure ensemble covariance are close to EnSRF. Two-way coupling between EnSRF and En3DVar did not produce noticeable improvement over one-way coupling. Downscaled precipitation forecast skill on the 13-km RAP grid from the En3DVar hybrid is better than those from GSI 3DVar analyses.

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Kefeng Zhu
,
Yujie Pan
,
Ming Xue
,
Xuguang Wang
,
Jeffrey S. Whitaker
,
Stanley G. Benjamin
,
Stephen S. Weygandt
, and
Ming Hu

Abstract

A regional ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) system is established for potential Rapid Refresh (RAP) operational application. The system borrows data processing and observation operators from the gridpoint statistical interpolation (GSI), and precalculates observation priors using the GSI. The ensemble square root Kalman filter (EnSRF) algorithm is used, which updates both the state vector and observation priors. All conventional observations that are used in the operational RAP GSI are assimilated. To minimize computational costs, the EnKF is run at ⅓ of the operational RAP resolution or about 40-km grid spacing, and its performance is compared to the GSI using the same datasets and resolution. Short-range (up to 18 h, the RAP forecast length) forecasts are verified against soundings, surface observations, and precipitation data. Experiments are run with 3-hourly assimilation cycles over a 9-day convectively active retrospective period from spring 2010. The EnKF performance was improved by extensive tuning, including the use of height-dependent covariance localization scales and adaptive covariance inflation. When multiple physics parameterization schemes are employed by the EnKF, forecast errors are further reduced, especially for relative humidity and temperature at the upper levels and for surface variables. The best EnKF configuration produces lower forecast errors than the parallel GSI run. Gilbert skill scores of precipitation forecasts on the 13-km RAP grid initialized from the 3-hourly EnKF analyses are consistently better than those from GSI analyses.

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