Information flow in an atmospheric model and data assimilation
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Weather forecasting consists of two processes, model integration and analysis (data assimilation). During the model integration, the state estimate produced by the analysis evolves to the next cycle time according to the atmospheric model to become the background estimate. The analysis then produces a new state estimate by combining the background state estimate with new observations, and the cycle repeats. In an ensemble Kalman filter, the probability distribution of the state estimate is represented by an ensemble of sample states, and the covariance matrix is calculated using the ensemble of sample states. We perform numerical experiments on toy atmospheric models introduced by Lorenz in 2005 to study the information flow in an atmospheric model in conjunction with ensemble Kalman filtering for data assimilation. This dissertation consists of two parts. The first part of this dissertation is about the propagation of information and the use of localization in ensemble Kalman filtering. If we can perform data assimilation locally by considering the observations and the state variables only near each grid point, then we can reduce the number of ensemble members necessary to cover the probability distribution of the state estimate, reducing the computational cost for the data assimilation and the model integration. Several localized versions of the ensemble Kalman filter have been proposed. Although tests applying such schemes have proven them to be extremely promising, a full basic understanding of the rationale and limitations of localization is currently lacking. We address these issues and elucidate the role played by chaotic wave dynamics in the propagation of information and the resulting impact on forecasts. The second part of this dissertation is about ensemble regional data assimilation using joint states. Assuming that we have a global model and a regional model of higher accuracy defined in a subregion inside the global region, we propose a data assimilation scheme that produces the analyses for the global and the regional model simultaneously, considering forecast information from both models. We show that our new data assimilation scheme produces better results both in the subregion and the global region than the data assimilation scheme that produces the analyses for the global and the regional model separately.