Assimilation of Precipitation-Affected Radiances in a Cloud-Resolving WRF Ensemble Data Assimilation System

Sara Q. Zhang, Milija Zupanski, Arthur Y. Hou, Xin Lin, Samson H. Cheung
2013 Monthly Weather Review  
Assimilation of remotely sensed precipitation observations into numerical weather prediction models can improve precipitation forecasts and extend prediction capabilities in hydrological applications. This paper presents a new regional ensemble data assimilation system that assimilates precipitation-affected microwave radiances into the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). To meet the challenges in satellite data assimilation involving cloud and precipitation processes, hydrometeors
more » ... es, hydrometeors produced by the cloud-resolving model are included as control variables and ensemble forecasts are used to estimate flow-dependent background error covariance. Two assimilation experiments have been conducted using precipitation-affected radiances from passive microwave sensors: one for a tropical storm after landfall and the other for a heavy rain event in the southeastern United States. The experiments examined the propagation of information in observed radiances via flow-dependent background error auto-and cross covariance, as well as the error statistics of observational radiance. The results show that ensemble assimilation of precipitation-affected radiances improves the quality of precipitation analyses in terms of spatial distribution and intensity in accumulated surface rainfall, as verified by independent ground-based precipitation observations.
doi:10.1175/mwr-d-12-00055.1 fatcat:n2n45uwmyjdbjhuimkg4jkyyoi