Assimilation of high-resolution tropical cyclone observations with an ensemble kalman filter using NOAA/AOML/HRD's HEDAS: Evaluation of the 2008-11 vortex-scale analyses

Altuĝ Aksoy, Sim D. Aberson, Tomislava Vukicevic, Kathryn J. Sellwood, Sylvie Lorsolo, Xuejin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) is developed to assimilate tropical cyclone inner-core observations for high-resolution vortex initialization. It is based on a serial implementation of the square root ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF). In this study, HWRF is used in an experimental configuration with horizontal grid spacing of 9 (3) km on the outer (inner) domain. HEDAS is applied to 83 cases from years 2008 to 2011. With the exception of two Hurricane Hilary (2011) cases in the eastern North Pacific basin, all cases are observed in the Atlantic basin. Observed storm intensity for these cases ranges from tropical depression to category-4 hurricane. Overall, it is found that high-resolution tropical cyclone observations, when assimilatedwith an advanced data assimilation technique such as the EnKF, result in analyses of the primary circulation that are realistic in terms of intensity, wavenumber-0 radial structure, as well as wavenumber-1 azimuthal structure. Representing the secondary circulation in the analyses is found to be more challenging with systematic errors in the magnitude and depth of the low-level radial inflow. This is believed to result from amodel bias in the experimentalHWRF caused by the overdiffusive nature of the planetary boundary layer parameterization utilized. Thermodynamic deviations from the observed structure are believed to be caused by both an imbalance between the number of the kinematic and thermodynamic observations in general and the suboptimal ensemble covariances between kinematic and thermodynamic fields. Future plans are discussed to address these challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1842-1865
Number of pages24
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume141
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • Aircraft observations
  • Data assimilation
  • Ensembles
  • Kalman filters
  • Mesoscale models
  • Tropical cyclones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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