Assimilating Retrieved Water Vapor and Radar Data from NCAR S-PolKa: Performance and Validation Using Real Cases

Phuong Nghi Do, Kao Shen Chung, Pay Liam Lin, Ching Yin Ke, Scott M. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of the assimilation of the S- and Ka-band dual-wavelength-retrieved water vapor data with radial wind and reflectivity data. The vertical profile of humidity, which provides environmental information before precipitation occurs, was obtained at low levels and thinned into averaged and four-quadrant profiles. Additionally, the following two strategies were examined: 1) assimilation of water vapor data with radar data for the entire 2 h and 2) assimilation of water vapor data in the first hour, and radial velocity and reflectivity data in the second hour. By using the WRF local ensemble transform Kalman filter data assimilation system, three real cases of the Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation experiment were examined through a series of experiments. The analysis results revealed that assimilating additional water vapor data more markedly improved the analysis at the convective scale than assimilating radial wind and reflectivity data alone. In addition, the strategy of assimilating only retrieved water vapor data in the first hour and radial wind and reflectivity data in the second hour achieved the optimal analysis and subsequent very short-term forecast. The evaluation of quantitative precipitation forecasting demonstrated that assimilating additional retrieved water vapor data distinctly improved the rain forecast compared with assimilating radar data only. When moisture data were assimilated, improved nowcasting could be extended up to 4 h. Furthermore, assimilating moisture profiles into four quadrants achieved more accurate analysis and forecast. Overall, our study demonstrated that the humidify information in nonprecipitation areas is critical for further improving the analysis and forecast of convective weather systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1199
Number of pages23
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume150
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Data assimilation
  • Radars/Radar observations
  • Water vapor

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