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Daryl T. Kleist and Kayo Ide

Abstract

An observing system simulation experiment (OSSE) has been carried out to evaluate the impact of a hybrid ensemble–variational data assimilation algorithm for use with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) global data assimilation system. An OSSE provides a controlled framework for evaluating analysis and forecast errors since a truth is known. In this case, the nature run was generated and provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts as part of the international Joint OSSE project. The assimilation and forecast impact studies are carried out using a model that is different than the nature run model, thereby accounting for model error and avoiding issues with the so-called identical-twin experiments.

It is found that the quality of analysis is improved substantially when going from three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVar) to a hybrid 3D ensemble–variational (EnVar)-based algorithm. This is especially true in terms of the analysis error reduction for wind and moisture, most notably in the tropics. Forecast impact experiments show that the hybrid-initialized forecasts improve upon the 3DVar-based forecasts for most metrics, lead times, variables, and levels. An additional experiment that utilizes 3DEnVar (100% ensemble) demonstrates that the use of a 25% static error covariance contribution does not alter the quality of hybrid analysis when utilizing the tangent-linear normal mode constraint on the total hybrid increment.

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Daryl T. Kleist and Kayo Ide

Abstract

This work describes the formulation of a hybrid four-dimensional ensemble--variational (4DEnVar) algorithm and initialization options utilized within the National Centers for Environmental Prediction global data assimilation system. Initialization schemes that are proposed for use are the tangent-linear normal mode constraint, weak constraint digital filter, and a combination thereof.

An observing system simulation experiment is carried out to evaluate the impact of utilizing hybrid 4DEnVar with various initialization techniques. The experiments utilize a dual-resolution configuration, where the ensemble is run at roughly half the resolution of the deterministic component. It is found that by going from 3D to 4D, analysis error is reduced for most variables and levels. The inclusion of a time-invariant static covariance when used without a normal mode–based strong constraint is found to have a small, positive impact on the analysis. The experiments show that the weak constraint digital filter degrades the quality of analysis, due to the use of hourly states to prescribe high-frequency noise. It is found that going from 3D to 4D ensemble covariances has a relatively larger impact in the extratropics, whereas the original inclusion of ensemble-based covariances was found to have the largest impact in the tropics. The improvements found in going from 3D to 4D covariances in the hybrid EnVar formulation are not as large as was found in Part I from the original introduction of the hybrid algorithm. The analyses generated by the 4D hybrid scheme are found to yield slightly improved extratropical height and wind forecasts, with smaller impacts on other variables and in general in the tropics.

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Zhijin Li, James C. McWilliams, Kayo Ide, and John D. Farrara

Abstract

A multiscale data assimilation (MS-DA) scheme is formulated for fine-resolution models. A decomposition of the cost function is derived for a set of distinct spatial scales. The decomposed cost function allows for the background error covariance to be estimated separately for the distinct spatial scales, and multi-decorrelation scales to be explicitly incorporated in the background error covariance. MS-DA minimizes the partitioned cost functions sequentially from large to small scales. The multi-decorrelation length scale background error covariance enhances the spreading of sparse observations and prevents fine structures in high-resolution observations from being overly smoothed. The decomposition of the cost function also provides an avenue for mitigating the effects of scale aliasing and representativeness errors that inherently exist in a multiscale system, thus further improving the effectiveness of the assimilation of high-resolution observations. A set of one-dimensional experiments is performed to examine the properties of the MS-DA scheme. Emphasis is placed on the assimilation of patchy high-resolution observations representing radar and satellite measurements, alongside sparse observations representing those from conventional in situ platforms. The results illustrate how MS-DA improves the effectiveness of the assimilation of both these types of observations simultaneously.

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Steven J. Greybush, Eugenia Kalnay, Takemasa Miyoshi, Kayo Ide, and Brian R. Hunt

Abstract

In ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) data assimilation, localization modifies the error covariance matrices to suppress the influence of distant observations, removing spurious long-distance correlations. In addition to allowing efficient parallel implementation, this takes advantage of the atmosphere’s lower dimensionality in local regions. There are two primary methods for localization. In B localization, the background error covariance matrix elements are reduced by a Schur product so that correlations between grid points that are far apart are removed. In R localization, the observation error covariance matrix is multiplied by a distance-dependent function, so that far away observations are considered to have infinite error. Successful numerical weather prediction depends upon well-balanced initial conditions to avoid spurious propagation of inertial-gravity waves. Previous studies note that B localization can disrupt the relationship between the height gradient and the wind speed of the analysis increments, resulting in an analysis that can be significantly ageostrophic.

This study begins with a comparison of the accuracy and geostrophic balance of EnKF analyses using no localization, B localization, and R localization with simple one-dimensional balanced waves derived from the shallow-water equations, indicating that the optimal length scale for R localization is shorter than for B localization, and that for the same length scale R localization is more balanced. The comparison of localization techniques is then expanded to the Simplified Parameterizations, Primitive Equation Dynamics (SPEEDY) global atmospheric model. Here, natural imbalance of the slow manifold must be contrasted with undesired imbalance introduced by data assimilation. Performance of the two techniques is comparable, also with a shorter optimal localization distance for R localization than for B localization.

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