Assimilating C-Band Radar Data for High-Resolution Simulations of Precipitation: Case Studies over Western Sumatra
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Assimilating C-Band Radar Data for High-Resolution Simulations of Precipitation: Case Studies over Western Sumatra

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  • Journal Title:
    Remote Sensing
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    Accurate high-resolution precipitation forecasts are critical yet challenging for weather prediction under complex topography or severe synoptic forcing. Data fusion and assimilation aimed at improving model forecasts, as one possible approach, has gained increasing attention in past decades. This study investigates the influence of the observations from a C-band Doppler radar over the west coast of Sumatra on high-resolution numerical simulations of precipitation around its vicinity under the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) in January and February 2018. Cases during various MJO phases were selected for simulations with an advanced research version of the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model at a cloud-permitting scale (~3 km). A 3-dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation method and a hybrid three-dimensional ensemble–variational data assimilation (3DEnVAR) method, based on the NCEP Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) assimilation system, were used to assimilate the radar reflectivity and the radial velocity data. The WRF-simulated precipitation was validated with the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) precipitation data, and the fractions skill score (FSS) was calculated in order to evaluate the radar data impacts objectively. The results show improvements in the simulated precipitation with hourly radar data assimilation 6 h prior to the simulations. The modifications with assimilation were validated through the observation departure and moist convection. It was found that forecast improvements are relatively significant when precipitation is more related to local-scale convection but rather small when the background westerly wind is strong under the MJO active phase. The additional simulation experiments, under a 1- or 2-day assimilation cycle, indicate better improvements in the precipitation simulation with 3DEnVAR radar assimilation than those with the 3DVAR method.
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    Remote Sensing, 14(1), 42
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    CC BY
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