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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Short summary
The assimilation of airborne-based 3-dimensional winds into a mesoscale weather forecast model resulted in better agreement with airborne radar-derived precipitation 3-D structure at later model time steps. More importantly, there was also a discernible impact to the resultant wind and moisture structure, in accord with independent analysis of the wind structure and external satellite observations.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-503
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-503

  23 Dec 2020

23 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Assimilation of DAWN Doppler Wind Lidar Data During the 2017 Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX): Impact on the Precipitation and Flow Structure

Svetla Hristova-Veleva1, Sara Q. Zhang2,3, F. Joseph Turk1, Ziad S. Haddad1, and Randy C. Sawaya4 Svetla Hristova-Veleva et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA 91107 USA
  • 2National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD 20771 USA
  • 3Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, VA 22101 USA
  • 4University of California-Irvine, Irvine CA 92697 USA

Abstract. An improved representation of the 3-D air motion and precipitation structure through forecast models and assimilation of observations is vital for improvements in weather forecasting capabilities. However, there is little independent data to properly validate a model forecast of precipitation structure when the underlying dynamics are evolving on short convective times scales. Using data from the JPL Ku/Ka-band Airborne Precipitation Radar (APR-2) and the 2-um Doppler Aerosol Wind (DAWN) lidar collected during the 2017 Convective Processes Experiment (CPEX), the NASA Unified Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Ensemble Data Assimilation System (EDAS) modeling system was used to quantify the impact of the high resolution, sparsely-sampled DAWN measurements on the analyzed variables and on the forecast when the DAWN winds were assimilated. Overall, the assimilation of the DAWN wind profiles had a discernible impact to the wind field and the evolution and timing of the 3-D precipitation structure. Analysis of individual variables revealed that the assimilation of the DAWN winds resulted in important and coherent modifications of the environment. It led to increase of the near surface convergence, temperature and water vapor, creating more favorable conditions for the development of convection exactly where it was observed (but not present in the control run). Comparison to APR-2 and observations by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite shows a much-improved forecast after the assimilation of the DAWN winds – development of precipitation where there was none, more organized precipitation where there was some, and a much more intense and organized cold pool, similar to the analysis of the dropsonde data. Onset of the vertical evolution of the precipitation showed similar radar-derived cloud top heights, but delayed in time. While this investigation was limited to a single CPEX flight date, the investigation design is appropriate for further investigation of the impact of airborne Doppler wind lidar observations upon short-term convective precipitation forecasts.

Svetla Hristova-Veleva et al.

 
Status: open (until 17 Feb 2021)
Status: open (until 17 Feb 2021)
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Svetla Hristova-Veleva et al.

Svetla Hristova-Veleva et al.

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Short summary
The assimilation of airborne-based 3-dimensional winds into a mesoscale weather forecast model resulted in better agreement with airborne radar-derived precipitation 3-D structure at later model time steps. More importantly, there was also a discernible impact to the resultant wind and moisture structure, in accord with independent analysis of the wind structure and external satellite observations.
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