Accelerating the EnKF spinup for typhoon assimilation and prediction

Shu Chih Yang, Eugenia Kalnay, Takemasa Miyoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A mesoscale ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) for a regional model is often initialized from global analysis products and with initial ensemble perturbations constructed based on the background error covariance used in the three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVar) system. Because of the lack of proper mesoscale information, a long spinup period of typically a few days is required for the regional EnKF to reach its asymptotic level of accuracy, and thus, the impact of observations is limited during the EnKF spinup. For the case of typhoon assimilation, such spinup usually corresponds to the stages of generation and development of tropical cyclones, when observations are important but limited over open waters. To improve the analysis quality during the spinup, the "running in place"(RIP) method is implemented within the framework of the local ensemble transform Kalman filter (LETKF) coupled with the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). Results from observing system simulation experiments (OSSEs) for a specific typhoon show that the RIP method is able to accelerate the analysis adjustment of the dynamical structures of the typhoon during the LETKF spinup, and improves both the accuracy of the mean state and the structure of the ensemble-based error covariance. These advantages of the RIP method are found not only in the inner-core structure of the typhoon but also identified in the environmental conditions. As a result, the LETKF-RIP analysis leads to better typhoon prediction, particularly in terms of both track and intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-897
Number of pages20
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Data assimilation
  • Kalman filters
  • Mesoscale forecasting
  • Numerical weather prediction/forecasting
  • Tropical cyclones


Dive into the research topics of 'Accelerating the EnKF spinup for typhoon assimilation and prediction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this