7B.6 Hybrid Ensemble-Variational Data Assimilation for Cloud Hydrometeors in GSI

Tuesday, 5 June 2018: 2:45 PM
Colorado B (Grand Hyatt Denver)
Therese T. Ladwig, NOAA/ESRL/GSD and CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and M. Hu, C. R. Alexander, S. S. Weygandt, D. C. Dowell, S. G. Benjamin, and J. M. Brown

Successful data assimilation is of paramount importance for initializing numerical models, and Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) is the data assimilation system used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to assimilate observations in operational models. NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL) Global Systems Division (GSD) developed an option within GSI for a non-variational cloud and precipitation hydrometeor (HM) analysis (hereafter referred to as the HM-analysis) to incorporate cloud/precipitation hydrometeor observations. This unique data assimilation approach improves analyses and forecasts of clouds and precipitation. In order to further improve prediction of clouds and precipitation, a transition of the HM-analysis to a hybrid ensemble-variational framework within GSI is now underway.

The new hybrid HM-analysis is applied to the hourly updating 13-km Rapid Refresh (RAP) and 3-km convective-allowing High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR). Single analysis case study experiments examining the impact of cloud assimilation will be presented. The cloud observations can be used to update cloud state variables directly and/or to update water vapor mixing ratio. The sensitivity to observation errors and the balance between cloud and other observations types will be discussed. In addition, cycled retrospective experiments with the RAP will be shown. Initial results indicate a moist bias is present when cloud observations are assimilated, however qualitative comparisons with satellite observations show an improved representation of cloud fields and additional retrospective experiments indicate the potential benefits. The assessment focuses on low-level cloud increments via ceiling analysis verification, moisture bias compared to aircraft and sounding observations, and cloud retention in the forecasts.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner