Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 13 items for

  • Author or Editor: Steven J. Greybush x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Seth Saslo
and
Steven J. Greybush

Abstract

Lake-effect snow (LES) is a cold-season mesoscale convective phenomenon that can lead to significant snowfall rates and accumulations in the Great Lakes region of the United States. While limited-area numerical weather prediction models have shown skill in prediction of warm-season convective storms, forecasting the sharp nature of LES precipitation timing, intensity, and location is difficult because of model error and initial and boundary condition uncertainties. Ensemble forecasting can incorporate and quantify some sources of forecast error, but ensemble design must be considered. This study examines the relative contributions of forecast uncertainties to LES forecast error using a regional convection-allowing data assimilation and ensemble prediction system. Ensembles are developed using various methods of perturbations to simulate a long-lived and high-precipitation LES event in December 2013, and forecast performance is evaluated using observations including those from the Ontario Winter Lake-Effect Systems (OWLeS) campaign. Model lateral boundary conditions corresponding to weather conditions beyond the Great Lakes region play an influential role in LES precipitation forecasts and their uncertainty, as evidenced by ensemble spread, particularly at lead times beyond one day. A strong forecast dependence on regional initial conditions was shown using data assimilation. This sensitivity impacts the timing and intensity of predicted precipitation, as well as band location and orientation assessed with an object-based verification approach, giving insight into the time scales of practical predictability of LES. Overall, an assimilation-cycling convection-allowing ensemble prediction system could improve future lake-effect snow precipitation forecasts and analyses and can help quantify and understand sources of forecast uncertainty.

Full access
Shunji Kotsuki
,
Steven J. Greybush
, and
Takemasa Miyoshi

Abstract

With the serial treatment of observations in the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF), the assimilation order of observations is usually assumed to have no significant impact on analysis accuracy. However, Nerger derived that analyses with different assimilation orders are different if covariance localization is applied in the observation space. This study explores whether the assimilation order can be optimized to systematically improve the filter estimates. A mathematical demonstration of a simple two-dimensional case indicates that different assimilation orders can cause different analyses, although the differences are two orders of magnitude smaller than the analysis increments if two identical observation error variances are the same size as the two identical state error variances. Numerical experiments using the Lorenz-96 40-variable model show that the small difference due to different assimilation orders could eventually result in a significant difference in analysis accuracy. Several ordering rules are tested, and the results show that an ordering rule that gives a better forecast relative to future observations improves the analysis accuracy. In addition, the analysis is improved significantly by ordering observations from worse to better impacts using the ensemble forecast sensitivity to observations (EFSO), which estimates how much each observation reduces or increases the forecast error. With the EFSO ordering rule, the change in error during the serial assimilation process is similar to that obtained by the experimentally found best sampled assimilation order. The ordering has more impact when the ensemble size is smaller relative to the degrees of freedom of the dynamical system.

Open access
Steven J. Greybush
,
Seth Saslo
, and
Richard Grumm

Abstract

The ensemble predictability of the January 2015 and 2016 East Coast winter storms is assessed, with model precipitation forecasts verified against observational datasets. Skill scores and reliability diagrams indicate that the large ensemble spread produced by operational forecasts was warranted given the actual forecast errors imposed by practical predictability limits. For the 2015 storm, uncertainties along the western edge’s sharp precipitation gradient are linked to position errors of the coastal low, which are traced to the positioning of the preceding 500-hPa wave pattern using the ensemble sensitivity technique. Predictability horizon diagrams indicate the forecast lead time in terms of initial detection, emergence of a signal, and convergence of solutions for an event. For the 2016 storm, the synoptic setup was detected at least 6 days in advance by global ensembles, whereas the predictability of mesoscale features is limited to hours. Convection-permitting WRF ensemble forecasts downscaled from the GEFS resolve mesoscale snowbands and demonstrate sensitivity to synoptic and mesoscale ensemble perturbations, as evidenced by changes in location and timing. Several perturbation techniques are compared, with stochastic techniques [the stochastic kinetic energy backscatter scheme (SKEBS) and stochastically perturbed parameterization tendency (SPPT)] and multiphysics configurations improving performance of both the ensemble mean and spread over the baseline initial conditions/boundary conditions (IC/BC) perturbation run. This study demonstrates the importance of ensembles and convective-allowing models for forecasting and decision support for east coast winter storms.

Full access
Steven J. Greybush
,
Sue Ellen Haupt
, and
George S. Young

Abstract

Previous methods for creating consensus forecasts weight individual ensemble members based upon their relative performance over the previous N days, implicitly making a short-term persistence assumption about the underlying flow regime. A postprocessing scheme in which model performance is linked to underlying weather regimes could improve the skill of deterministic ensemble model consensus forecasts. Here, principal component analysis of several synoptic- and mesoscale fields from the North American Regional Reanalysis dataset provides an objective means for characterizing atmospheric regimes. Clustering techniques, including K-means and a genetic algorithm, are developed that use the resulting principal components to distinguish among the weather regimes. This pilot study creates a weighted consensus from 48-h surface temperature predictions produced by the University of Washington Mesoscale Ensemble, a varied-model (differing physics and parameterization schemes) multianalysis ensemble with eight members. Different optimal weights are generated for each weather regime. A second regime-dependent consensus technique uses linear regression to predict the relative performance of the ensemble members based upon the principal components. Consensus forecasts obtained by the regime-dependent schemes are compared using cross validation with traditional N-day ensemble consensus forecasts for four locations in the Pacific Northwest, and show improvement over methods that rely on the short-term persistence assumption.

Full access
Robert G. Nystrom
,
Steven J. Greybush
,
Xingchao Chen
, and
Fuqing Zhang

Abstract

The tropical cyclone (TC) surface-exchange coefficients of enthalpy (C k ) and momentum (C d ) at high wind speeds have been notoriously challenging to estimate. This difficulty arises from many factors, including the difficulties in collecting observations within the turbulent TC boundary layer, and the complex coupled physical interactions between the TC boundary layer and ocean surface, which are challenging to accurately model. Motivated by recent studies highlighting the limited practical predictability of TC intensity as a result of uncertainty in the physical representation of the air–sea fluxes of momentum and enthalpy at high wind speeds, we investigate the potential to estimate the surface enthalpy and momentum exchange coefficients through ensemble data assimilation. Significant ensemble correlations between tangential wind, radial wind, and simulated infrared brightness temperatures with parameters controlling the enthalpy and momentum exchange coefficients suggest potential to use all-sky satellite and/or airborne radial velocity observations to estimate these unknown parameters. Using a series of observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs), simulated infrared brightness temperature observations, and a known truth, we demonstrate some potential for simultaneous state and parameter estimation with an ensemble-based data assimilation system to converge toward the correct known parameter values. In all OSSEs with either one or multiple unknown parameters, the initial parameter errors are reduced through simultaneous model state and parameter estimation. However, challenges still exist in converging to the precise true parameter values, as state errors during rapid intensification can project onto the parameter estimates.

Free access
Jonathan J. Seibert
,
Steven J. Greybush
,
Jia Li
,
Zhoumin Zhang
, and
Fuqing Zhang

Abstract

Ensembles of predictions are critical to modern weather forecasting. However, visualizing ensembles and their means in a useful way remains challenging. Existing methods of creating ensemble means do not recognize the physical structures that humans could identify within the ensemble members; therefore, visualizations for variables such as reflectivity lose important information and are difficult for human forecasters to interpret. In response, the authors create an improved ensemble mean that retains more structural information. The authors examine and expand upon the object-based Geometry-Sensitive Ensemble Mean (GEM) defined by Li and Zhang from a meteorological perspective. The authors apply low-intensity thresholding to WRF-simulated radar reflectivity images of lake-effect snowbands, tropical cyclones, and severe thunderstorms and then process them with the GEM system. Gaussian mixture model–based signatures retain the geometric structure of these phenomena and are used to compute a Wasserstein barycenter as the centroid for the ensemble; D2 clustering is employed to examine different scenarios among the ensemble members. Three types of ensemble mean image are created from the centroid of the ensemble or cluster, which each improve upon the traditional pixel-wise average in different ways, successfully capture aspects of the ensemble members’ structure, and have potential applications for future forecasting efforts. The adjusted best member is a better representative member, the Bayesian posterior mean is an improved structure-based weighted average, and the mixture density mean is an outline of the key structures in the ensemble. Each is shown to improve upon a simple arithmetic mean via quantitative comparison with observations.

Restricted access
Da Fan
,
Steven J. Greybush
,
Xingchao Chen
,
Yinghui Lu
,
Fuqing Zhang
, and
George S. Young

Abstract

Through a series of global convection-permitting simulations and geostationary satellite observations, this study investigates the role of deep moist convection in atmospheric kinetic energy (KE) and brightness temperature (BT) spectra in a realistic framework. The control simulation was produced on a quasi-uniform 3-km global mesh, which allowed the explicit representation of deep convection. To assess the impact of deep moist convection, a fake-dry simulation was performed with latent heating–cooling feedback in the microphysics removed for comparison. The impacts of deep moist convection on mesoscale KE spectrum are concentrated on energizing the mesoscale at the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere through buoyancy production. BT spectra for the control simulation have a similar shallow slope in the mesoscale as that for the observations. The greater spectral power of BT for the control simulation compared to the observed is attributed to the dislocation and higher intensity of simulated convection. The observed BT spectra exhibit a large diurnal variability due to the diurnal variation of the intensity of convection. The simulated BT spectrum is dependent on convective systems at different scales. Deep convection in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and shallow convection in the North Pacific storm-track region play an important role in energizing the convective scale of the BT spectrum. In the mesoscale, the BT spectrum is mainly energized by mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) in the ITCZ. Tropical equatorial waves and baroclinic waves in the southern midlatitudes are critical in producing the shallow slope near −5/3 and providing energy in the BT spectrum at the synoptic scale.

Significance Statement

We further explore the role of deep moist convection in kinetic energy and brightness temperature spectra through high-resolution radiance observations and convection-permitting simulations. Moist processes can energize the mesoscale of kinetic energy. Brightness temperature spectra show dependence on convective systems at different scales. These results point the way toward a new approach to evaluate the predictability of convective systems, and future development of model dynamics and parameterization.

Restricted access
Xingchen Yang
,
Sanjib Sharma
,
Ridwan Siddique
,
Steven J. Greybush
, and
Alfonso Mejia

Abstract

The potential of Bayesian model averaging (BMA) and heteroscedastic censored logistic regression (HCLR) to postprocess precipitation ensembles is investigated. For this, outputs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) 11-member Global Ensemble Forecast System Reforecast, version 2 (GEFSRv2), dataset are used. As part of the experimental setting, 24-h precipitation accumulations and forecast lead times of 24 to 120 h are used, over the mid-Atlantic region (MAR) of the United States. In contrast with previous postprocessing studies, a wider range of forecasting conditions is considered here when evaluating BMA and HCLR. Additionally, BMA and HCLR have not yet been compared against each other under a common and consistent experimental setting. To compare and verify the postprocessors, different metrics are used (e.g., skills scores and reliability diagrams) conditioned upon the forecast lead time, precipitation threshold, and season. Overall, HCLR tends to slightly outperform BMA but the differences among the postprocessors are not as significant. In the future, an alternative approach could be to combine HCLR with BMA to take advantage of their relative strengths.

Full access
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.

Full access
Keenan C. Eure
,
Paul D. Mykolajtchuk
,
Yunji Zhang
,
David J. Stensrud
,
Fuqing Zhang
,
Steven J. Greybush
, and
Matthew R. Kumjian

Abstract

Accurate predictions of the location and timing of convection initiation (CI) remain a challenge, even in high-resolution convection allowing models (CAMs). Many of the processes necessary for daytime CI are rooted in the planetary boundary layer (PBL), which numerical models struggle to accurately predict. To improve ensemble forecasts of the PBL and subsequent CI forecasts in CAM ensembles, we explore the use of underused data from both the GOES-16 satellite and the national network of WSR-88D radars. The GOES-16 satellite provides observations of brightness temperature (BT) to better analyze cloud structures, while the WSR-88D radars provide PBL height estimates and clear-air radial wind velocity observations to better analyze PBL structures. The CAM uses the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model at 3-km horizontal grid spacing. The ensemble consists of 40 members and observations are assimilated using the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) system. To evaluate the influence of each observation type on CI, conventional, WSR-88D, and GOES-16 observations are assimilated separately and jointly over a 4-h period and the resulting ensemble analyses and forecasts are compared with available observations for a CI event on 18 May 2018. Results show that the addition of the WSR-88D and GOES-16 observations improves the CI forecasts out several hours in terms of timing and location for this case.

Restricted access