Assimilation of Simulated Polarimetric Radar Data for a Convective Storm Using the Ensemble Kalman Filter. Part II: Impact of Polarimetric Data on Storm Analysis

Jung, Youngsun; Xue, Ming; Zhang, Guifu; Straka, Jerry M.
June 2008
Monthly Weather Review;Jun2008, Vol. 136 Issue 6, p2246
Academic Journal
A data assimilation system based on the ensemble square-root Kalman filter (EnSRF) is extended to include the additional capability of assimilating polarimetric radar variables. It is used to assess the impact of assimilating additional polarimetric observations on convective storm analysis in the Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) framework. The polarimetric variables considered include differential reflectivity ZDR, reflectivity difference Zdp, and specific differential phase KDP. To simulate the observational data more realistically, a new error model is introduced for characterizing the errors of the nonpolarimetric and polarimetric radar variables. The error model includes both correlated and uncorrelated error components for reflectivities at horizontal and vertical polarizations (ZH and ZV, respectively). It is shown that the storm analysis is improved when polarimetric variables are assimilated in addition to ZH or in addition to both ZH and radial velocity Vr. Positive impact is largest when ZDR, Zdp, and KDP are assimilated all together. Improvement is generally larger in vertical velocity, water vapor, and rainwater mixing ratios. The rainwater field benefits the most while the impacts on horizontal wind components and snow mixing ratio are smaller. Improvement is found at all model levels even though the polarimetric data, after the application of thresholds, are mostly limited to the lower levels. Among ZDR, Zdp, and KDP,ZDR is found to produce the largest positive impact on the analysis. It is suggested that ZDR provides more independent information than the other variables. The impact of polarimetric data is also expected to be larger when they are used to retrieve drop size distribution parameters. The polarimetric radar data thresholding prior to assimilation is found to be necessary to minimize the impact of noise. This study is believed to be the first to directly assimilate (simulated) polarimetric data into a numerical model.


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