Southern High-Latitude Ensemble Data Assimilation in the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System

Barker, D. M.
December 2005
Monthly Weather Review;Dec2005, Vol. 133 Issue 12, p3431
Academic Journal
Ensemble data assimilation systems incorporate observations into numerical models via solution of the Kalman filter update equations, and estimates of forecast error covariances derived from ensembles of model integrations. In this paper, a particular algorithm, the ensemble square root filter (EnSRF), is tested in a limited-area, polar numerical weather prediction (NWP) model: the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS). For application in the real-time AMPS, the number of model integrations that can be run to provide forecast error covariances is limited, resulting in an ensemble sampling error that degrades the analysis fit to observations. In this work, multivariate, climatologically plausible forecast error covariances are specified via averaged forecast difference statistics. Ensemble representations of the “true” forecast errors, created using randomized control variables of the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU–NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5) three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation system, are then used to assess the dependence of sampling error on ensemble size, data density, and localization of covariances using simulated observation networks. Results highlight the detrimental impact of ensemble sampling error on the analysis increment structure of correlated, but unobserved fields—an issue not addressed by the spatial covariance localization techniques used to date. A 12-hourly cycling EnSRF/AMPS assimilation/forecast system is tested for a two-week period in December 2002 using real, conventional (surface, rawinsonde, satellite retrieval) observations. The dependence of forecast scores on methods used to maintain ensemble spread and the inclusion of perturbations to lateral boundary conditions are studied.


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