Improving Hurricane Analyses and Predictions with TCI, IFEX Field Campaign Observations, and CIMSS AMVs Using the Advanced Hybrid Data Assimilation System for HWRF. Part I: What is Missing to Capture the Rapid Intensification of Hurricane Patricia (2015) when HWRF is already Initialized with a More Realistic Analysis?
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Improving Hurricane Analyses and Predictions with TCI, IFEX Field Campaign Observations, and CIMSS AMVs Using the Advanced Hybrid Data Assimilation System for HWRF. Part I: What is Missing to Capture the Rapid Intensification of Hurricane Patricia (2015) when HWRF is already Initialized with a More Realistic Analysis?

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  • Journal Title:
    Monthly Weather Review
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    Assimilating inner-core observations collected from recent field campaign programs such as Tropical Cyclone Intensity (TCI) and Intensity Forecasting Experiment (IFEX) together with the enhanced atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) produce realistic three-dimensional (3D) analyses using the newly developed GSI-based, continuously cycled, dual-resolution hybrid ensemble–variational data assimilation (DA) system for the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Model for Hurricane Patricia (2015). However, more persistent surface wind maximum spindown is found in the intensity forecast initialized from the realistic analyses produced by the DA system but not from the unrealistic initial conditions produced through vortex modification. Diagnostics in this study reveal that the spindown issue is likely attributed to the deficient HWRF Model physics that are unable to maintain the realistic 3D structures from the DA analysis. The horizontal diffusion is too strong to maintain the realistically observed vertical oscillation of radial wind near the eyewall region. The vertical diffusion profile cannot produce a sufficiently strong secondary circulation connecting the realistically elevated upper-level outflow produced in the DA analysis. Further investigations with different model physics parameterizations demonstrate that spindown can be alleviated by modifying model physics parameterizations. In particular, a modified turbulent mixing parameterization scheme together with a reduced horizontal diffusion is found to significantly alleviate the spindown issue and to improve the intensity forecast. Additional experiments show that the peak-simulated intensity and rapid intensification rate can be further improved by increasing the model resolution. But the model resolution is not as important as model physics in the spindown alleviation.
  • Source:
    Monthly Weather Review, 147(4), 1351-1373
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