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Characterising the background errors for the boundary-layer capping inversion

By Alison M. Fowler, Ross N. Bannister and J. Eyre


The one-dimensional variational assimilation of vertical temperature information in the presence of a boundary-layer capping inversion is studied. For an optimal analysis of the vertical temperature profile, an accurate representation of the background error covariances is essential. The background error covariances are highly flow-dependent due to the variability in the presence, structure and height of the boundary-layer capping inversion. Flow-dependent estimates of the background error covariances are shown by studying the spread in an ensemble of forecasts. A forecast of the temperature profile (used as a background state) may have a significant error in the position of the capping inversion with respect to observations. It is shown that the assimilation of observations may weaken the inversion structure in the analysis if only magnitude errors are accounted for as is the case for traditional data assimilation methods used for operational weather prediction. The positional error is treated explicitly here in a new data assimilation scheme to reduce positional error, in addition to the traditional framework to reduce magnitude error. The distribution of the positional error of the background inversion is estimated for use with the new scheme

Publisher: Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.22499/2.5901.004
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