The use of GNSS zenith total delays in operational AROME/Hungary 3D-Var over a central European domain

Mile, Máté; Benáček, Patrik; Rózsa, Szabolcs

The delay of satellite signals broadcasted by Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) provides unique atmospheric observations which endorse numerical weather prediction from global to limited-area models. Due to the possibility of its frequent and near-real-time estimation, the zenith total delays (ZTDs) are valuable information for any state-of-the-art data assimilation system. This article introduces the data assimilation of ZTDs in a Hungarian numerical weather prediction system, which was carried out by taking into account observations from central European GNSS analysis and processing centres. The importance of ZTD observations is described and shown by a diagnostic tool in the 3-hourly updated 3D-Var assimilation scheme. Furthermore, observing system experiments are done to evaluate the impact of GNSS ZTDs on mesoscale limited-area forecasts. The results of the use of GNSS ZTDs showed a clear added value to improve screen-level temperature and humidity forecasts when the bias is accurately estimated and corrected in the data assimilation scheme. The importance of variational, i.e. adaptive bias correction, is highlighted by verification scores compared to static bias correction. Moreover, this paper reviews the quality control of GNSS ground-based stations inside the central European domain, the calculation of optimal thinning distance and the preparation of the two above-mentioned bias correction methods. Finally, conclusions are drawn on different settings of the forecast and analysis experiments with a brief future outlook.

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Mile, Máté / Benáček, Patrik / Rózsa, Szabolcs: The use of GNSS zenith total delays in operational AROME/Hungary 3D-Var over a central European domain. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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