Comparison of Local and Nonlocal Observation Operators for the Assimilation of GPS RO Data with the NCEP GSI System: An OSSE Study

Zaizhong Ma; Ying-Hwa Kuo; Bin Wang; Wan-Shu Wu; Sokolovskiy, Sergey
October 2009
Monthly Weather Review;Oct2009, Vol. 137 Issue 10, p3575
Academic Journal
In this study, an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) is performed to evaluate the performance of a nonlocal excess phase operator and a local refractivity operator for a GPS radio occultation (RO) sounding that passes through the eye of Hurricane Katrina as simulated by a high-resolution model, with significant horizontal refractivity gradients. Both observation operators are tested on the NCEP gridpoint statistical interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system at 12- and 36-km horizontal resolution. It is shown that the shape and magnitude of the analysis increments for sea level pressure, temperature, and water vapor mixing ratio exhibit significant differences between the use of local and nonlocal operators. The nonlocal operator produces more accurate analyses when verified against the “truth” derived from the ground truth run. It is found that the improvements of the analysis with the use of the nonlocal operator over that of the local operator are essentially the same at 12- and 36-km horizontal resolution. An additional experiment is performed over a region with small horizontal gradients. As expected, the use of both nonlocal and local operators produces similar results over such a region.


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