Forecast sensitivity observation impact in the 4DVAR and hybrid-4DVAR data assimilation systems

Sung Min Kim, Hyun Mee Kim

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the observation impacts on 24-h forecast error reduction (FER), based on the adjoint method in the four-dimensional variational (4DVAR) data assimilation (DA) and hybrid-4DVAR DA systems coupled with the Unified Model, were evaluated from 0000 UTC 5 August to 1800 UTC 26 August 2014. The nonlinear FER in hybrid-4DVAR was 12.2% greater than that in 4DVAR due to the use of flow-dependent background error covariance (BEC), which was a weighted combination of the static BEC and the ensemble BEC based on ensemble forecasts. In hybrid-4DVAR, the observation impacts (i.e., the approximated nonlinear FER) for most observation types increase compared to those in 4DVAR. The increased observation impact from using hybrid-4DVAR instead of 4DVAR changes depending on the analysis time and regions. To calculate the ensemble BEC in hybrid-4DVAR, analyses at 0600 and 1800 UTC (0000 and 1200 UTC) used 3-h (9-h) ensemble forecasts. Greater observation impact was obtained when 3-h ensemble forecasts were used for the ensemble BEC at 0600 and 1800 UTC, than with 9-h ensemble forecasts at 0000 and 1200 UTC. Different from other observations, the atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) deduced from geostationary satellite are more frequently ob-served in the same area. When the ensemble forecasts with longer integration times were used for the ensemble BEC in hybrid-4DVAR, the observation impact of the AMVs decreased the most in East Asia. This implies that the observation impact of AMVs in East Asia shows the highest sensitivity to the integration time of the ensemble members used for deducing the flow-dependent BEC in hybrid-4DVAR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1563-1575
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments. The authors appreciate reviewers for their valuable comments. This study was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the South Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT; Grant 2017R1E1A1A03070968). The authors extend appreciation to the Numerical Modeling Center of the Korea Meteorological Administration and the U.K. Met Office for providing computer facility support and resources for this study.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science

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