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Kazumasa Aonashi, Kozo Okamoto, Tomoko Tashima, Takuji Kubota, and Kosuke Ito


In ensemble-based assimilation schemes for cloud-resolving models (CRMs), the precipitation-related variables have serious sampling errors. The purpose of the present study is to examine the sampling error properties and the forecast error characteristics of the operational CRM of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMANHM) and to develop a sampling error damping method based on the CRM forecast error characteristics.

The CRM forecast error was analyzed for meteorological disturbance cases using 100-member ensemble forecasts of the JMANHM. The ensemble forecast perturbation correlation had a significant noise associated with the precipitation-related variables, because of sampling errors. The precipitation-related variables were likely to suffer this sampling error in most precipitating areas. An examination of the forecast error characteristics revealed that the CRM forecast error satisfied the assumption of the spectral localization, while the spatial localization with constant scales, or variable localization, were not applicable to the CRM.

A neighboring ensemble (NE) method was developed, which was based on the spectral localization that estimated the forecast error correlation at the target grid point, using ensemble members for neighboring grid points. To introduce this method into an ensemble-based variational assimilation scheme, the present study horizontally divided the NE forecast error into large-scale portions and deviations. As single observation assimilation experiments showed, this “dual-scale NE” method was more successful in damping the sampling error and generating plausible, deep vertical profile of precipitation analysis increments, compared to a simple spatial localization method or a variable localization method.

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Kozo Okamoto, Kazumasa Aonashi, Takuji Kubota, and Tomoko Tashima


Space-based precipitation radar data have been underused in data assimilation studies and operations despite their valuable information on vertically resolved hydrometeor profiles around the globe. The authors developed direct assimilation of reflectivities (Ze) from the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on board the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory to improve mesoscale predictions. Based on comparisons with Ze observations, this cloud resolving model mostly reproduced Ze but produced overestimations of Ze induced by excessive snow with large diameter particles. With an ensemble-based variational scheme and preprocessing steps to properly treat reflectivity observations including conservative quality control and superobbing procedures, the authors assimilated DPR Ze and/or rain-affected radiances of GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) for the case of Typhoon Halong in July 2014. With the vertically resolving capability of DPR, the authors effectively selected Ze observations most suited to data assimilation, for example, by removing Ze above the melting layer to avoid contamination due to model bias. While the GMI radiance had large impacts on various control variables, the DPR made a fine delicate analysis of the rain mixing ratio and updraft. This difference arose from the observation characteristics (coverage width and spatial resolution), sensitivities represented in the observation operators, and structures of the background error covariance. Because the DPR assimilation corrected excessive increases in rain and clouds due to the radiance assimilation, the combined use of DPR and GMI generated more accurate analysis and forecast than separate use of them with respect to the agreement of observations and tropical cyclone position errors.

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