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Kathryn M. Newman, Craig S. Schwartz, Zhiquan Liu, Hui Shao, and Xiang-Yu Huang


This study examines the impact of assimilating Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS) radiances in a limited-area ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) data assimilation system. Two experiments spanning 11 August–13 September 2008 were run over a domain featuring the Atlantic basin using a 6-h full cycling analysis and forecast system. Deterministic 72-h forecasts were initialized at 0000 and 1200 UTC for a comparison of forecast impact. The two experiments were configured identically with the exception of the inclusion of the MHS radiances (AMHS) in the second to isolate the impacts of the MHS radiance data. The results were verified against several sources, and statistical significance tests indicate the most notable differences are in the midlevel moisture fields. Both configurations were characterized by high moisture biases when compared to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts interim reanalysis (ERA-Interim, also known as ERA-I) specific humidity fields, as well as precipitable water vapor from an observationally based product. However, the AMHS experiment has midlevel moisture fields closer to the ERA-I and observation datasets. When reducing the verification domain to focus on the subtropical and easterly wave regions of the North Atlantic Ocean, larger improvements in midlevel moisture at nearly all lead times is seen in the AMHS simulation. Finally, when considering tropical cyclone forecasts, the AMHS configuration shows improvement in intensity forecasts at several lead times as well as improvements at early to intermediate lead times for minimum sea level pressure forecasts.

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Mrinal K. Biswas, Jun A. Zhang, Evelyn Grell, Evan Kalina, Kathryn Newman, Ligia Bernardet, Laurie Carson, James Frimel, and Georg Grell


The Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) tested two convective parameterization schemes in the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Model and compared them in terms of performance of forecasting tropical cyclones (TCs). Several TC forecasts were conducted with the scale-aware Simplified Arakawa Schubert (SAS) and Grell–Freitas (GF) convective schemes over the Atlantic basin. For this sample of over 100 cases, the storm track and intensity forecasts were superior for the GF scheme compared to SAS. A case study showed improved storm structure for GF when compared with radar observations. The GF run had increased inflow in the boundary layer, which resulted in higher angular momentum. An angular momentum budget analysis shows that the difference in the contribution of the eddy transport to the total angular momentum tendency is small between the two forecasts. The main difference is in the mean transport term, especially in the boundary layer. The temperature tendencies indicate higher contribution from the microphysics and cumulus heating above the boundary layer in the GF run. A temperature budget analysis indicated that both the temperature advection and diabatic heating were the dominant terms and they were larger near the storm center in the GF run than in the SAS run. The above results support the superior performance of the GF scheme for TC intensity forecast.

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Hui Shao, John Derber, Xiang-Yu Huang, Ming Hu, Kathryn Newman, Donald Stark, Michael Lueken, Chunhua Zhou, Louisa Nance, Ying-Hwa Kuo, and Barbara Brown


With a goal of improving operational numerical weather prediction (NWP), the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) has been working with operational centers, including, among others, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Air Force, to support numerical models/systems and their research, perform objective testing and evaluation of NWP methods, and facilitate research-to-operations transitions. This article introduces the first attempt of the DTC in the data assimilation area to help achieve this goal. Since 2009, the DTC, NCEP’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), and other developers have made significant progress in transitioning the operational Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system into a community-based code management framework. Currently, GSI is provided to the public with user support and is open for contributions from internal developers as well as the broader research community, following the same code transition procedures. This article introduces measures and steps taken during this community GSI effort followed by discussions of encountered challenges and issues. The purpose of this article is to promote contributions from the research community to operational data assimilation capabilities and, furthermore, to seek potential solutions to stimulate such a transition and, eventually, improve the NWP capabilities in the United States.

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Barbara Brown, Tara Jensen, John Halley Gotway, Randy Bullock, Eric Gilleland, Tressa Fowler, Kathryn Newman, Dan Adriaansen, Lindsay Blank, Tatiana Burek, Michelle Harrold, Tracy Hertneky, Christina Kalb, Paul Kucera, Louisa Nance, John Opatz, Jonathan Vigh, and Jamie Wolff

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MET is a community-based package of state-of-the-art tools to evaluate predictions of weather, climate, and other phenomena, with capabilities to display and analyze verification results via the METplus system.

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