The influence of erroneous background, beam-blocking and microphysical non-linearity on the application of a four-dimensional variational Doppler radar data assimilation system for quantitative precipitation forecasts

Shao Fan Chang, Juanzhen Sun, Yu Chieng Liou, Sheng Lun Tai, Ching Yu Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

A series of observation system simulation experiments (OSSEs) and a real case study are conducted to investigate the application of the Doppler radar data assimilation technique for numerical model quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs). A four-dimensional variational Doppler radar analysis system (VDRAS) is adopted for all experiments. The first set of OSSEs demonstrates that when the background field contains the imperfect information predicted from a mesoscale model, the incorrect convective-scale perturbations in the background can result in spurious scattered precipitation. However, a smoothing procedure can be used to remove the fine structures from the primitive model output in order to avoid this over-prediction. Results from the second set of OSSEs indicate that the lack of low-elevation data owing to radar scan and/or beam blockage could significantly alter the retrieved low-level thermal and dynamical structures when a different number of data assimilation cycles is applied. These impacts could lower the rainfall forecast capability of the model. The third set of OSSEs shows that, when the rainwater is assimilated over a long assimilation window, the non-linearity embedded in the microphysical process could lead the minimization algorithm in a wrong direction, causing a further degradation of the rainfall prediction. However, using multiple short assimilation cycles produces better minimization and forecast results than those obtained with a single long cycle. A real case experiment based on data collected during Intensive Operation Period (IOP) #8 of the 2008 Southwest Monsoon Experiment (SoWMEX) is conducted to provide a verification of the conclusions obtained from OSSEs under a realistic framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-458
Number of pages15
JournalMeteorological Applications
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Forecasting
  • Modelling
  • Remote sensing

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