Articles | Volume 8, issue 8
Development and technical paper
24 Aug 2015
Development and technical paper |  | 24 Aug 2015

Methods for automatized detection of rapid changes in lateral boundary condition fields for NWP limited area models

M. Tudor

Abstract. Three-hourly temporal resolution of lateral boundary data for limited area models (LAMs) can be too infrequent to resolve rapidly moving storms. This problem is expected to be worse with increasing horizontal resolution. In order to detect intensive disturbances in surface pressure moving rapidly through the model domain, a filtered surface pressure field (MCUF) is computed operationally in the ARPEGE global model of Météo France. The field is distributed in the coupling files along with conventional meteorological fields used for lateral boundary conditions (LBCs) for the operational forecast using limited area model ALADIN (Aire Limitée Adaptation dynamique Développement InterNational) in the Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia (DHMZ). Here an analysis is performed of the MCUF field for the LACE coupling domain for the period from 23 January 2006, when it became available, until 15 November 2014. The MCUF field is a good indicator of rapidly moving pressure disturbances (RMPDs). Its spatial and temporal distribution can be associated with the usual cyclone tracks and areas known to be supporting cyclogenesis. An alternative set of coupling files from the IFS operational run in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is also available operationally in DHMZ with 3-hourly temporal resolution, but the MCUF field is not available. Here, several methods are tested that detect RMPDs in surface pressure a posteriori from the IFS model fields provided in the coupling files. MCUF is computed by running ALADIN on the coupling files from IFS. The error function is computed using one-time-step integration of ALADIN on the coupling files without initialization, initialized with digital filter initialization (DFI) or scale-selective DFI (SSDFI). Finally, the amplitude of changes in the mean sea level pressure is computed from the fields in the coupling files. The results are compared to the MCUF field of ARPEGE and the results of same methods applied to the coupling files from ARPEGE. Most methods give a signal for the RMPDs, but DFI reduces the storms too much to be detected. The error functions without filtering and amplitude have more noise, but the signal of a RMPD is also stronger. The methods are tested for NWP LAM ALADIN, but could be applied to other LAMs and benefit the performance of climate LAMs.

Short summary
Limited area models (LAMs) require lateral boundary conditions that are usually available with an interval of several hours. Consequently, LAMs can miss a rapidly moving item that enters the LAM domain. Here we present how to detect a rapidly moving pressure disturbance in fields provided in the coupling files.