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Richard Swinbank and Alan O'Neill


A data assimilation system has been developed at the UK Meteorological Office to analyze the mix of observations available in the troposphere and stratosphere. The data assimilation system is based on the analysis correction scheme used at the UK Meteorological Office for operational weather forecasting.

The assimilation system is currently being used to supply near real-time analyses of meteorological fields from the troposphere and stratosphere to the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) Science Team. At this stage, these analyses are based on a similar set of observations to the operational analyses, so they provide an independent check of the UARS observations. In the stratosphere they are largely based on soundings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration polar orbiters.

Some results from the assimilation system are presented for periods in January and August 1992. They are compared with equivalent products from the National Meteorological Center. A particular study is made of the Arctic polar vortex in late January.

Future developments of the assimilation system are also described. First, the vertical domain of the model will be extended into the middle mesosphere, with some improvement in vertical resolution. Second, the system will he extended to assimilate data from UARS instruments in addition to the other observation types; these UARS data will include observations of temperatures, winds, and long-lived chemical species.

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Gloria L. Manney, Douglas R. Allen, Kirstin Krüger, Barbara Naujokat, Michelle L. Santee, Joseph L. Sabutis, Steven Pawson, Richard Swinbank, Cora E. Randall, Adrian J. Simmons, and Craig Long


Several meteorological datasets, including U.K. Met Office (MetO), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and NASA’s Goddard Earth Observation System (GEOS-4) analyses, are being used in studies of the 2002 Southern Hemisphere (SH) stratospheric winter and Antarctic major warming. Diagnostics are compared to assess how these studies may be affected by the meteorological data used. While the overall structure and evolution of temperatures, winds, and wave diagnostics in the different analyses provide a consistent picture of the large-scale dynamics of the SH 2002 winter, several significant differences may affect detailed studies. The NCEP–NCAR reanalysis (REAN) and NCEP–Department of Energy (DOE) reanalysis-2 (REAN-2) datasets are not recommended for detailed studies, especially those related to polar processing, because of lower-stratospheric temperature biases that result in underestimates of polar processing potential, and because their winds and wave diagnostics show increasing differences from other analyses between ∼30 and 10 hPa (their top level). Southern Hemisphere polar stratospheric temperatures in the ECMWF 40-Yr Re-analysis (ERA-40) show unrealistic vertical structure, so this long-term reanalysis is also unsuited for quantitative studies. The NCEP/Climate Prediction Center (CPC) objective analyses give an inferior representation of the upper-stratospheric vortex. Polar vortex transport barriers are similar in all analyses, but there is large variation in the amount, patterns, and timing of mixing, even among the operational assimilated datasets (ECMWF, MetO, and GEOS-4). The higher-resolution GEOS-4 and ECMWF assimilations provide significantly better representation of filamentation and small-scale structure than the other analyses, even when fields gridded at reduced resolution are studied. The choice of which analysis to use is most critical for detailed transport studies (including polar process modeling) and studies involving synoptic evolution in the upper stratosphere. The operational assimilated datasets are better suited for most applications than the NCEP/CPC objective analyses and the reanalysis datasets (REAN/REAN-2 and ERA-40).

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