The Impact of Mesoscale Environmental Uncertainty on the Prediction of a Tornadic Supercell Storm Using Ensemble Data Assimilation Approach

  • Yussouf N
  • Gao J
  • Stensrud D
  • et al.
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Abstract

Numerical experiments over the past years indicate that incorporating environmental variability is crucial for successful very short-range convective-scale forecasts. To explore the impact of model physics on the creation of environmental variability and its uncertainty, combined mesoscale-convective scale data assimilation experiments are conducted for a tornadic supercell storm. Two 36-member WRF-ARW model-based mesoscale EAKF experiments are conducted to provide background environments using either fixed or multiple physics schemes across the ensemble members. Two 36-member convective-scale ensembles are initialized using background fields from either fixed physics or multiple physics mesoscale ensemble analyses. Radar observations from four operational WSR-88Ds are assimilated into convective-scale ensembles using ARPS model-based 3DVAR system and ensemble forecasts are launched. Results show that the ensemble with background fields from multiple physics ensemble provides more realistic forecasts of significant tornado parameter, dryline structure, and near surface variables than ensemble from fixed physics background fields. The probabilities of strong low-level updraft helicity from multiple physics ensemble correlate better with observed tornado and rotation tracks than probabilities from fixed physics ensemble. This suggests that incorporating physics diversity across the ensemble can be important to successful probabilistic convective-scale forecast of supercell thunderstorms, which is the main goal of NOAA’s Warn-on-Forecast initiative.

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Yussouf, N., Gao, J., Stensrud, D. J., & Ge, G. (2013). The Impact of Mesoscale Environmental Uncertainty on the Prediction of a Tornadic Supercell Storm Using Ensemble Data Assimilation Approach. Advances in Meteorology, 2013, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/731647

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