Articles | Volume 11, issue 7
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 4239–4260, 2018
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 4239–4260, 2018

Research article 19 Jul 2018

Research article | 19 Jul 2018

Estimating observation and model error variances using multiple data sets

Richard Anthes and Therese Rieckh

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Evaluating two methods of estimating error variances using simulated data sets with known errors
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Evaluating tropospheric humidity from GPS radio occultation, radiosonde, and AIRS from high-resolution time series
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Cited articles

Chen, S.-Y., Huang, C.-Y., Kuo, Y.-H., and Sokolovskiy, S.: Observational Error Estimation of FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC GPS Radio Occultation Data, Mon. Weather Rev., 139, 853–865,, 2011. a, b, c, d, e, f, g
Cucurull, L. and Derber, J. C.: Operational Implementation of COSMIC Observations into NCEP's Global Data Assimilation System, Weather Forecast., 23, 702–711,, 2008. a
Dee, D. P., Uppala, S. M., Simmons, A. J., Berrisford, P., Poli, P., Kobayashi, S., Andrae, U., Balmaseda, M. A., Balsamo, G., Bauer, P., Bechtold, P., Beljaars, A. C. M., van de Berg, L., Bidlot, J., Bormann, N., Delsol, C., Dragani, R., Fuentes, M., Geer, A. J., Haimberger, L., Healy, S. B., Hersbach, H., Hólm, E. V., Isaksen, L., Kållberg, P., Köhler, M., Matricardi, M., McNally, A. P., Monge-Sanz, B. M., Morcrette, J.-J., Park, B.-K., Peubey, C., de Rosnay, P., Tavolato, C., Thépaut, J.-N., and Vitart, F.: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 553–597,, 2011. a
Desroziers, G. and Ivanov, S.: Diagnosing and adaptive tuning of observation-error parameters in a variational assimilation, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 127, 1433–1452,, 2001. a
Ekstrom, C. R. and Koppang, P. A.: Error Bars for Three-Cornered Hats, IEEE T. Ultrason. Ferr., 53, 876–879,, 2006. a
Short summary
We show how multiple data sets, including observations and models, can be combined using the "N-cornered hat method" to estimate vertical profiles of the errors of each system. Using data from 2007, we estimate the error variances of radio occultation, radiosondes, ERA-Interim, and GFS model data sets at four radiosonde locations in the tropics and subtropics. A key assumption is the neglect of error correlations among the different data sets, and we examine the consequences of this assumption.