S112 Intercomparison of reanalyses over Africa

Sunday, 6 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Zachary T. Zobel, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, West Lafayette, IN

A reanalysis data set is a collection of observation from in-situ and satellite measurements assimilated into a model based environment; which provides homogenous, continuous data. Continuous data is important in forming climatology over a specific region. In an effort to form an effective climatology over Africa, a comparison will be done between observational data and reanalysis projects to determine the reanalysis data set with the lowest error. A LINUX based computer script will be run in an effort to seek out reliable observational stations in western and southern Africa. Reliable stations will be chosen based on which show consistency as well as high percentages of recorded data from 1978 through 2011. Upon finding these reliable stations, a comparison will be performed on six different reanalysis projects to determine the most accurate reanalyses. This will show that NCEP/DOE reanalysis (R2) and the ECMWF Re-Analysis Interim (ERAI) reanalyses will have the lowest error, and that R2 will have the highest correlation, in terms of measuring temperature and wind at seven different pressure levels throughout the atmosphere. Finally, using these reanalyses, atmospheric dynamics will be viewed in years of anomalous precipitation to better understand what conditions lead to abnormally wet or dry years in southern Africa. R2 reanalysis will then show that during years of above average rainfall during the summer a trough will be present; whereas, a ridge will be present over South Africa during drier years. Finally, a comparison between the six reanalyses will also be performed to determine potential differences in predicting these atmospheric dynamics.
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