The Assimilation of GPS Radio Occultation Data and its Impact on Rainfall Prediction along the West Coast of India during Monsoon 2002
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- Huang, CY., Kuo, YH., Chen, SY. et al. Pure appl. geophys. (2007) 164: 1577. doi:10.1007/s00024-007-0246-z
In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-188.8.131.52) model with three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3DVAR) was utilized to study a heavy rainfall event along the west coast of India with and without the assimilation of GPS occultation refractivity soundings in the monsoon period of 2002. The WRF model is a next-generation mesoscale numerical weather prediction system designed to serve both operational forecasting and atmospheric research communities. The Global Positioning System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) refractivity data, processed by UCAR, were obtained from the CHAMP and SAC-C missions. This study investigates the impact of thirteen GPS occultation refractivity soundings only, as assimilated into the WRF model with 3DVAR, on the rainfall prediction over the western coastal mountain of India. The model simulation, with the finest resolution of 10 km, was in good agreement with rainfall observations, up to 72-h forecast. There are some subtle but important differences in predicted rainfalls between the control run CN (without the assimilation of refractivity soundings) and G13 (with the assimilation of thirteen GPS RO soundings). In general, the assimilation run G13 gives a better prediction in terms of both rainfall locations and amounts at later times. The moisture increments were analyzed at the initial and forecast times to assess the impact of GPS RO data assimilation. The results indicate that remote soundings in the forcing region could have significant impacts on distant downstream regions. It is anticipated, based on this study, that considerably occultation soundings available from the six-satellite constellation of FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC would have even more significant impacts on weather prediction in this region.