Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability by Eugenia Kalnay

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By Eugenia Kalnay


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1(a) includes the forecast scores for 500 hPa from 1954 until the present, as well as the scores for the 72-h forecasts. It is clear that the forecast skill has improved substantially over the years, and that the current 36-h 500-hPa forecasts are close to a level that in the 1950s would have been considered “perfect” (Shuman, 1989). The 72-h forecasts have also improved, and are now as accurate as the 36-h forecasts were about 15 years ago. This doubling of the skill over 10–20 years can be observed in other types of forecasts verifications as well.

Jp/), Australia (http://www. ca/) also have similar global and regional models, whose details can be obtained at their web sites. More recently the resolution of some regional models has been increased to just a few kilometers in order to resolve better storm-scale phenomena. Storm-resolving models such as the Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) cannot use the hydrostatic approximation which ceases to be accurate for horizontal scales of the order of 10 km or smaller. Several major nonhydrostatic models have been developed and are routinely used for mesoscale forecasting.

They include in their solution fast gravity and sound waves, and therefore in their space and time discretization they require the use of smaller time steps, or alternative techniques that slow them down (Chapter 3). For models with a horizontal grid size larger than 10 km, it is customary to replace the vertical component of the equation of motion with its hydrostatic approximation, in which the vertical acceleration is considered negligible compared with the gravitational acceleration (buoyancy).

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