Can wavelets improve the representation of forecast error covariances in variational data assimilation?
Bannister, R.N. (2007) Can wavelets improve the representation of forecast error covariances in variational data assimilation? Monthly Weather Review, 135 (2). pp. 387-408. ISSN 0027-0644
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/MWR3279.1
Two wavelet-based control variable transform schemes are described and are used to model some important features of forecast error statistics for use in variational data assimilation. The first is a conventional wavelet scheme and the other is an approximation of it. Their ability to capture the position and scale-dependent aspects of covariance structures is tested in a two-dimensional latitude-height context. This is done by comparing the covariance structures implied by the wavelet schemes with those found from the explicit forecast error covariance matrix, and with a non-wavelet- based covariance scheme used currently in an operational assimilation scheme. Qualitatively, the wavelet-based schemes show potential at modeling forecast error statistics well without giving preference to either position or scale-dependent aspects. The degree of spectral representation can be controlled by changing the number of spectral bands in the schemes, and the least number of bands that achieves adequate results is found for the model domain used. Evidence is found of a trade-off between the localization of features in positional and spectral spaces when the number of bands is changed. By examining implied covariance diagnostics, the wavelet-based schemes are found, on the whole, to give results that are closer to diagnostics found from the explicit matrix than from the nonwavelet scheme. Even though the nature of the covariances has the right qualities in spectral space, variances are found to be too low at some wavenumbers and vertical correlation length scales are found to be too long at most scales. The wavelet schemes are found to be good at resolving variations in position and scale-dependent horizontal length scales, although the length scales reproduced are usually too short. The second of the wavelet-based schemes is often found to be better than the first in some important respects, but, unlike the first, it has no exact inverse transform.