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The Impact of Satellite Radiance Data Assimilation within a Frequently Updated Regional Forecast System Using a GSI-based Ensemble Kalman Filter

Abstract

A regional ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) data assimilation (DA) and forecast system was recently established based on the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) analysis system. The EnKF DA system was tested with continuous three-hourly updated cycles followed by 18-h deterministic forecasts from every three-hourly ensemble mean analysis. Initial tests showed negative to neutral impacts of assimilating satellite radiance data due to the improper bias correction procedure. In this study, two bias correction schemes within the established EnKF DA system are investigated and the impact of assimilating additional polar-orbiting satellite radiance is also investigated. Two group experiments are conducted. The purpose of the first group is to evaluate the bias correction procedure. Two online bias correction methods based on GSI 3DVar and EnKF algorithms are used to assimilate AMSU-A radiance data. Results show that both variational and EnKF-based bias correction procedures effectively reduce the observation and background radiance differences, achieving positive impacts on forecasts. With proper bias correction, we assimilate full radiance observations including AMSU-A, AMSU-B, AIRS, HIRS3/4, and MHS in the second group. The relative percentage improvements (RPIs) for all forecast variables compared to those without radiance data assimilation are mostly positive, with the RPI of upper-air relative humidity being the largest. Additionally, precipitation forecasts on a downscaled 13-km grid from 40-km EnKF analyses are also improved by radiance assimilation for almost all forecast hours.

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