Reducing tc position uncertainty in an ensemble data assimilation and prediction system: A case study of typhoon fanapi (2010)

Kuan Jen Lin, Shu Chih Yang, Shuyi S. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ensemble-based data assimilation (EDA) has been used for tropical cyclone (TC) analysis and prediction with some success. However, the TC position spread determines the structure of the TC-related background error covariance and affects the performance of EDA. With an idealized experiment and a real TC case study, it is demonstrated that observations in the core region cannot be optimally assimilated when the TC position spread is large. To minimize the negative impact from large position uncertainty, a TC-centered EDA approach is implemented in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model–local ensemble transform Kalman filter (WRF-LETKF) assimilation system. The impact of TC-centered EDA on TC analysis and prediction of Typhoon Fanapi (2010) is evaluated. Using WRF Model nested grids with 4-km grid spacing in the innermost domain, the focus is on EDA using dropsonde data from the Impact of Typhoons on the Ocean in the Pacific field campaign. The results show that the TC structure in the background mean state is improved and that unrealistically large ensemble spread can be alleviated. The characteristic horizontal scale in the background error covariance is smaller and narrower compared to those derived from the conventional EDA approach. Storm-scale corrections are improved using dropsonde data, which is more favorable for TC de-velopment. The analysis using the TC-centered EDA is in better agreement with independent observations. The improved analysis ameliorates model shock and improves the track forecast during the first 12 h and landfall at 72 h. The impact on intensity prediction is mixed with a better minimum sea level pressure and overestimated peak winds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-582
Number of pages22
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


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