Diagnosing observation error correlations for Doppler radar radial winds in the Met Office UKV model using observation-minus-background and observation-minus-analysis statistics
Waller, J. A., Siminon, D., Dance, S. L. , Nichols, N. K. and Ballard, S. P., (2015) Diagnosing observation error correlations for Doppler radar radial winds in the Met Office UKV model using observation-minus-background and observation-minus-analysis statistics. Technical Report. Dept of Mathematics & Statistics, University of Reading pp29.
With the development of convection-permitting numerical weather prediction the efficient use of high resolution observations in data assimilation is becoming increasingly important. The operational assimilation of these observations, such as Dopplerradar radial winds, is now common, though to avoid violating the assumption of un- correlated observation errors the observation density is severely reduced. To improve the quantity of observations used and the impact that they have on the forecast will require the introduction of the full, potentially correlated, error statistics. In this work, observation error statistics are calculated for the Doppler radar radial winds that are assimilated into the Met Office high resolution UK model using a diagnostic that makes use of statistical averages of observation-minus-background and observation-minus-analysis residuals. This is the first in-depth study using the diagnostic to estimate both horizontal and along-beam correlated observation errors. By considering the new results obtained it is found that the Doppler radar radial wind error standard deviations are similar to those used operationally and increase as the observation height increases. Surprisingly the estimated observation error correlation length scales are longer than the operational thinning distance. They are dependent on both the height of the observation and on the distance of the observation away from the radar. Further tests show that the long correlations cannot be attributed to the use of superobservations or the background error covariance matrix used in the assimilation. The large horizontal correlation length scales are, however, in part, a result of using a simplified observation operator.