Verification and Assessment of the SDSM&T Real-time WRF Forecasting System under Different Initialization and Data Assimilation Schemes

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Brianne M. Gerber, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, SD; and W. J. Capehart

Handout (2.0 MB)

Forecast verification, or evaluation, is used to identify model strengths and weaknesses in order to improve forecast accuracy. This is done by comparing model output to actual observations. The Model Evaluation Tools (MET) verification package was developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) using output from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) modeling system. It was developed to encourage consistent verification among WRF users. The package consists of a set of highly configurable tools used to create statistical based model verification system.

The MET package will be used to evaluate output from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) real-time WRF forecasting system over the Rapid City, South Dakota, county warning area. The current WRF system uses recycling, 3DVAR data assimilation, and nudging; however, in scenarios requiring short-term forecasts over new regions or under limited computational resources, these options are not always available or economical to our user base. As such, our goal is to compare various initialization and data assimilation methods for the same cases to determine the cost-benefit of these methods.

The current WRF configuration, along with four other WRF configurations using different initialization and data assimilation schemes, will be evaluated using the MET package and other traditional verification processes. The configurations will be assessed with both a warm season case and a cold season case.