706 Using Analysis Increments to Estimate and Correct Systematic Model Errors in GFS

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Kriti Bhargava, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD; and E. Kalnay and J. Carton

Systematic forecast errors, arising from model deficiencies, form a significant portion of the total forecast error in weather prediction models like the Global Forecast System (GFS). While much effort has been expended to improve models, substantial model error remains. The aim here is to (i) estimate the model deficiencies in the GFS that lead to systematic forecast errors, (ii) implement an online correction (i.e., within the model) scheme to correct GFS following the methodology of Danforth et al. [2007] and Danforth and Kalnay [2008, GRL].

Analysis Increments represent the corrections that new observations make on, in this case, the 6-hr forecast in the analysis cycle. Model bias corrections are estimated from the time average of the analysis increments divided by 6-hr, assuming that initial model errors grow linearly and first ignoring the impact of observation bias. During 2012-2016, seasonal means of the 6-hr model bias are generally robust despite changes in model resolution and data assimilation systems, and their broad continental scales explain their insensitivity to model resolution. The daily bias dominates the sub-monthly analysis increments and consists primarily of diurnal and semidiurnal components, also requiring a low dimensional correction. Analysis increments in 2015 and 2016 are reduced over oceans, which is attributed to improvements in the specification of the SSTs.

These results encourage application of online correction, as suggested by Danforth and Kalnay, for mean, seasonal and diurnal and semidiurnal model biases in GFS to reduce both systematic and random errors. As the error growth in the short-term is still linear, estimated model bias corrections can be added as a forcing term in the model tendency equation to correct online. Preliminary experiments with GFS, correcting temperature and specific humidity online show reduction in model bias in 6-hr forecast.

This approach can then be used to guide and optimize the design of sub-grid scale physical parameterizations, more accurate discretization of the model dynamics, boundary conditions, radiative transfer codes, and other potential model improvements which can then replace the empirical correction scheme. The analysis increments also provide guidance in testing new physical parameterizations.

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