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Test results for new OI operational analysis
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    The optimum interpolation (OI) method for objective analysis has been used for five years in the NMC global data assimilation system. In this note, we review the results of a test of the OI method in which it was applied to the production of global, medium-range numerical weather predictions. The test was conducted to gain assurance that the method would produce satisfactory depictions of the meteorological state of the atmosphere and also provide suitable initial conditions for the production of global numerical forecasts. The test results supported the decision to implement the method as the new operational analysis system on July 18, 1984, in place of the Hough analysis method. The test was conducted during the period May 1 to June 8, 1984. It involved the daily production of analyses and forecasts based on the OI analysis method. All tests were made for the 0000 GMT synoptic cycle, since that initial time permitted the experimental runs to proceed without affecting the routine operational production. The forecasts were produced daily to 60 hours; every other day, the forecast was extended to 240 hours. Some few test runs were incomplete due to computer difficulties that were unrelated to the analysis or forecast programs. Objective comparisons were made with radiosonde and aircraft observational data for the analysis, 24 hour and 48 hour forecasts. Medium-range forecasts were evaluated subjectively by meteorologists in NMC's Forecast Division. The shorter range output was also examined by NMC's Forecast and Development Division staff. The 204 hour 500 mb forecasts for North America were evaluated objectively.

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