An Examination of Background Error Correlations between Mass and Rotational Wind over Precipitation Regions

Caron, Jean-Fran├žois; Fillion, Luc
February 2010
Monthly Weather Review;Feb2010, Vol. 138 Issue 2, p563
Academic Journal
The differences in the balance characteristics between dry and precipitation areas in estimated short-term forecast error fields are investigated. The motivation is to see if dry and precipitation areas need to be treated differently in atmospheric data assimilation systems. Using an ensemble of lagged forecast differences, it is shown that perturbations are, on average, farther away from geostrophic balance over precipitation areas than over dry areas and that the deviation from geostrophic balance is proportional to the intensity of precipitation. Following these results, the authors investigate whether some improvements in the coupling between mass and rotational wind increments over precipitation areas can be achieved by using only the precipitation points within an ensemble of estimated forecast errors to construct a so-called diabatic balance operator by linear regression. Comparisons with a traditional approach to construct balance operators by linear regression show that the new approach leads to a gradually significant improvement (related to the intensity of the diabatic processes) of the accuracy of the coupling over precipitation areas as judged from an ensemble of lagged forecast differences. Results from a series of simplified data assimilation experiments show that the new balance operators can produce analysis increments that are substantially different from those associated with the traditional balance operator, particularly for observations located in the lower atmosphere. Issues concerning the implementation of this new approach in a full-fledged analysis system are briefly discussed but their investigations are left for a following study.


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