Geoscientific Model Development (May 2024)

Incremental analysis update (IAU) in the Model for Prediction Across Scales coupled with the Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration (MPAS–JEDI 2.0.0)

  • S. Ha,
  • J. J. Guerrette,
  • J. J. Guerrette,
  • I. Hernández Baños,
  • W. C. Skamarock,
  • M. G. Duda

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17
pp. 4199 – 4211


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In a cycling system where data assimilation (DA) and model simulation are executed consecutively, the model forecasts initialized from the analysis (or data assimilation) can be systematically affected by dynamic imbalances generated during the analysis process. The high-frequency noise arising from the imbalances in the initial conditions can impose constraints on computational stability and efficiency during subsequent model simulations and can potentially become the low-frequency waves of physical significance. To mitigate these initial imbalances, the incremental analysis update (IAU) has long been utilized in the cycling context. This study introduces our recent implementation of the IAU in the Model for Prediction Across Scales – Atmospheric (MPAS-A) coupled with the Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration (JEDI) through the cycling system called MPAS-Workflow. During the integration of the compressible nonhydrostatic equations in MPAS-A, analysis increments are distributed over a predefined time window (e.g., 6 h) as fractional forcing at each time step. In a real case study with the assimilation of all conventional and satellite radiance observations every 6 h for 1 month, starting from mid-April 2018, model forecasts with the IAU show that the initial noise illustrated by surface pressure tendency becomes well constrained throughout the forecast lead times, enhancing the system reliability. The month-long cycling with the assimilation of real observations demonstrates the successful implementation of the IAU capability in the MPAS–JEDI cycling system. Along with the comparison between the forecasts with and without the IAU, several aspects regarding the implementation in MPAS–JEDI are discussed. Corresponding updates have been incorporated into the MPAS-A model (originally based on version 7.1), which is now publicly available in MPAS–JEDI and MPAS-Workflow version 2.0.0.