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Koji Terasaki
and
Takemasa Miyoshi

Abstract

Densely observed remote sensing data such as radars and satellites generally contain significant spatial error correlations. In data assimilation, the observation error covariance matrix is usually assumed to be diagonal, and the dense data are thinned or spatially averaged to compensate for neglecting the spatial observation error correlation. However, in theory, including the spatial observation error correlation in data assimilation can make better use of the dense data. This study performs perfect model observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) using the nonhydrostatic icosahedral atmospheric model (NICAM) and the local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF) to assess the impact of assimilating horizontally dense and error-correlated observations. The condition number of the observation error covariance matrix, defined as the ratio of the largest to smallest eigenvalues, is important for the numerical stability of the LETKF computation. A large condition number makes it difficult to compute the ensemble transform matrix correctly. Reducing the condition number by reconditioning is found effective for stable computation. The results show that including the horizontal observation error correlation with reconditioning makes the analysis more accurate but requires 6 times more computations than the case with the diagonal observation error covariance matrix.

Significance Statement

It is important to effectively utilize observations in data assimilation for more accurate weather prediction. Spatially dense observations are known to have an error correlation that is ignored in the data assimilation. This study explores assimilating dense observations by explicitly including observation error correlations with an idealized experiment. The results shows that the analysis is improved by including the observation error correlations. Also, the condition number of the observation error covariance matrix is essential for stable computations.

Open access
Nedjeljka Žagar
,
Koji Terasaki
, and
Hiroshi L. Tanaka

Abstract

This paper deals with the large-scale inertio-gravity (IG) wave energy in the operational ECMWF analyses in July 2007. Energy percentages of the IG waves obtained from the standard-pressure-level data are compared to those derived from various discretizations of the model-level data. The results show a small albeit systematic increase of the IG energy percentage as the vertical level density increases from the standard-pressure levels toward the model-level density; the small relative change is explained by the sufficient vertical resolution to resolve the large-scale IG waves in the tropics that make the majority of the global IG energy on large scales. A relatively larger increase of the IG energy is obtained when the mesospheric model levels are included; however, the analyses at these levels in July 2007 are less reliable. Furthermore, two numerical methods for the normal-mode function (NMF) decomposition are shown to provide similar results. The decomposition of atmospheric analyses into the NMF series is proposed as a tool to analyze the spatial and temporal variations of the large-scale equatorial waves and their role in global energetics.

Full access
Akira Yamazaki
,
Koji Terasaki
,
Takemasa Miyoshi
, and
Shunsuke Noguchi

Abstract

This work assesses the contribution of assimilating AMSU-A satellite-based radiance measurements to a global data assimilation system based on an atmospheric general circulation model and the local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF). The radiance measurements were from three channels that are sensitive to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The contribution of these measurements, or AMSU-A observation impact, was estimated both through ensemble-based forecast sensitivity to observations (EFSO) and observing system experiments (OSEs). Two streams of data-denial experiments for the AMSU-A observations were performed for about one month during winter in each hemisphere. The OSEs quantified the accumulated observation impact by cycling (repeating) data denials: including AMSU-A observations reduced the total observation impact for all observations of each data assimilation cycle. In contrast, EFSO estimated AMSU-A to increase the total observation impact. The opposing effects were attributed to the accumulated observation impact in the OSEs; the accumulation could stabilize the data assimilation cycles. In both experiments, the accumulated observation impact of AMSU-A was strongest in the upper troposphere, particularly in the austral midlatitudes where westerly jets exist and observations of other types are sparse. EFSO also assessed AMSU-A to have the most beneficial observation impact in similar locations. The AMSU-A observation impact tended to accumulate just downstream of where EFSO estimated the beneficial observation impact signals. The accumulated AMSU-A observation impact was tied to dynamic processes in the upper-tropospheric and general stratospheric circulation. Therefore, EFSO helps estimate the beneficial distributions of AMSU-A accumulated observation impact by considering their dynamical propagation.

Significance Statement

The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) satellite radiance assimilation technique was successfully integrated into the Atmospheric General Circulation Model for the Earth Simulator (AFES)–LETKF data assimilation system. We conducted OSEs and used EFSO to assess the AMSU-A observation impact. The two estimation methods identified opposite observation impacts due to the cycling (repeating) OSEs of the AMSU-A observations. We interpreted the causes of the opposite estimations. However, even for the cycling OSEs, EFSO appeared to help estimate distributions of the accumulated observation impact. It is important to consider the dynamical propagation of accumulated observation impact in general circulation.

Open access
Shunji Kotsuki
,
Kenta Kurosawa
,
Shigenori Otsuka
,
Koji Terasaki
, and
Takemasa Miyoshi

Abstract

Over the past few decades, precipitation forecasts by numerical weather prediction (NWP) models have been remarkably improved. Yet, precipitation nowcasting based on spatiotemporal extrapolation tends to provide a better precipitation forecast at shorter lead times with much less computation. Therefore, merging the precipitation forecasts from the NWP and extrapolation systems would be a viable approach to quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF). Although the optimal weights between the NWP and extrapolation systems are usually defined as a global constant, the weights would vary in space, particularly for global QPF. This study proposes a method to find the optimal weights at each location using the local threat score (LTS), a spatially localized version of the threat score. We test the locally optimal weighting with a global NWP system composed of the local ensemble transform Kalman filter and the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM-LETKF). For the extrapolation system, the RIKEN’s global precipitation nowcasting system called GSMaP_RNC is used. GSMaP_RNC extrapolates precipitation patterns from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP). The benefit of merging in global precipitation forecast lasts longer compared to regional precipitation forecast. The results show that the locally optimal weighting is beneficial.

Open access
Takumi Honda
,
Takemasa Miyoshi
,
Guo-Yuan Lien
,
Seiya Nishizawa
,
Ryuji Yoshida
,
Sachiho A. Adachi
,
Koji Terasaki
,
Kozo Okamoto
,
Hirofumi Tomita
, and
Kotaro Bessho

Abstract

Japan’s new geostationary satellite Himawari-8, the first of a series of the third-generation geostationary meteorological satellites including GOES-16, has been operational since July 2015. Himawari-8 produces high-resolution observations with 16 frequency bands every 10 min for full disk, and every 2.5 min for local regions. This study aims to assimilate all-sky every-10-min infrared (IR) radiances from Himawari-8 with a regional numerical weather prediction model and to investigate its impact on real-world tropical cyclone (TC) analyses and forecasts for the first time. The results show that the assimilation of Himawari-8 IR radiances improves the analyzed TC structure in both inner-core and outer-rainband regions. The TC intensity forecasts are also improved due to Himawari-8 data because of the improved TC structure analysis.

Open access