Study of the Lateral Boundary Condition Temporal Resolution Problem and a Proposed Solution by Means of Boundary Error Restarts

Termonia, Piet; Deckmyn, Alex; Hamdi, Rafiq
October 2009
Monthly Weather Review;Oct2009, Vol. 137 Issue 10, p3551
Academic Journal
To properly utilize coupled limited-area models (LAMs), the time scales of the cross-boundary fluxes in the available lateral boundary data must be assessed. In current operational practice, the update frequencies of these data are usually determined by common sense guesswork and by technical constraints. This paper quantifies the required temporal resolution of the lateral boundary conditions. For a mesoscale LAM it is concluded that in standard forecast cases, coupling updates of about 3 h are sufficient. However, in rare cases of severe storms, this can lead to errors in the coupling data of about 10 hPa. To avoid such errors, it is found that one should update the coupling fields with the period given by the time step of the model that provides the coupling data. However, in most existing operational applications this is not feasible. For those cases, it is shown that the forecast can be substantially improved by restarting the model run at a forecast range when the storm has entered the domain. The proper restart time can be detected in an operational suite by an existing strategy of monitoring the coupling update frequency. Additionally, it is argued that the forecast should then be initialized by a scale-selective digital filter.


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