Data assimilation improves model forecast for cold air aloft in Alaska region

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Monday, 5 January 2015
Jiang Zhu, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK; and E. Stevens, E. Weisz, K. Nelson, and T. Heinrichs

Forecasting cold air aloft is critical for Alaska aviation industry. Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) of University of Alaska uses WRF model to do short-time cold air aloft forecast. Prediction result is displayed in 2D and 3D. AIRS and CrIS satellite sounder data are assimilated every 6 hours to provide improved initial condition for WRF model. One case study shows the agreement on cold air detection among upper air observation, satellite retrieval, and the model outputs. Forecast results for the month of Feb. 2014 are evaluated against point observations in term of three statistical analysis methods. The study indicates that data assimilation improves the short-time cold air forecast for some extent.