The ensemble kalman filter analyses and forecasts of the 8 may 2003 oklahoma city tornadic supercell storm using single- and double-moment microphysics schemes

Nusrat Yussouf, Edward R. Mansell, Louis J. Wicker, Dustan M. Wheatley, David J. Stensrud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

A combined mesoscale and storm-scale ensemble data-assimilation and prediction system is developed using the Advanced Research core of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF-ARW) and the ensemble adjustment Kalman filter (EAKF) from the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) software package for a short-range ensemble forecast of an 8 May 2003 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, tornadic supercell storm. Traditional atmospheric observations are assimilated into a 45-member mesoscale ensemble over a continental U.S. domain starting 3 days prior to the event. A one-way-nested 45-member storm-scale ensemble is initialized centered on the tornadic event at 2100 UTC on the day of the event. Three radar observation assimilation and forecast experiments are conducted at storm scale using a single-moment, a semidouble- moment, and a full double-moment bulkmicrophysics scheme. Results indicate that theEAKF initializes the supercell storm into the model with good accuracy after a 1-h-long radar observation assimilation window. The ensemble forecasts capture the movement of the main supercell storm that matches reasonably well with radar observations. The reflectivity structure of the supercell stormusing a double-momentmicrophysics scheme appears to compare better to the observations than that using a single-moment scheme. In addition, the ensemble system predicts the probability of a strong low-level vorticity track of the tornadic supercell that correlates well with the observed rotation track. The rapid 3-min update cycle of the storm-scale ensemble from the radar observations seems to enhance the skill of the ensemble and the confidence of an imminent tornado threat. The encouraging results obtained from this study show promise for a short-range probabilistic storm-scale forecast of supercell thunderstorms, which is the main goal of NOAAr's Warn-on-Forecast initiative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3388-3412
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume141
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 8 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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