Interpreting estimated observation error statistics of weather radar measurements using the ICON-LAM-KENDA system

Zeng, Yuefei; Janjic, Tijana; Feng, Yuxuan; Blahak, Ulrich; de Lozar, Alberto; Bauernschubert, Elisabeth; Stephan, Klaus; Min, Jinzhong

Assimilation of weather radar measurements including radar reflectivity and radial wind data has been operational at the Deutscher Wetterdienst, with a diagonal observation error (OE) covariance matrix. For an implementation of a full OE covariance matrix, the statistics of the OE have to be a priori estimated, for which the Desroziers method has been often used. However, the resulted statistics consists of contributions from different error sources and are difficult to interpret. In this work, we use an approach that is based on samples for truncation error in radar observation space to approximate the representation error due to unresolved scales and processes (RE) and compare its statistics with the OE statistics estimated by the Desroziers method. It is found that the statistics of the RE help the understanding of several important features in the variances and correlation length scales of the OE for both reflectivity and radial wind data and the other error sources from the microphysical scheme, radar observation operator and the superobbing technique may also contribute, for instance, to differences among different elevations and observation types. The statistics presented here can serve as a guideline for selecting which observations are assimilated and for assignment of the OE covariance matrix that can be diagonal or full and correlated.

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Zeng, Yuefei / Janjic, Tijana / Feng, Yuxuan / et al: Interpreting estimated observation error statistics of weather radar measurements using the ICON-LAM-KENDA system. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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