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Progress toward a Mesoscale Analysis of Record. Brad Colman 1,2 NOAA/National Weather Service -- Seattle John Horel 1 NOAA Cooperative Institute for Regional Prediction Department of Meteorology -- University of Utah and Lee Anderson 2

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progress toward a mesoscale analysis of record

Progress toward a Mesoscale Analysis of Record

Brad Colman1,2

NOAA/National Weather Service -- Seattle

John Horel1

NOAA Cooperative Institute for Regional Prediction

Department of Meteorology -- University of Utah


Lee Anderson2

Office of Science and Technology

NOAA/National Weather Service -- Silver Spring, MD

(1Co-Chair Mesoscale Analysis Committee; 2Co-Chair NWS Integrated Work Team)

analysis of record
Analysis of Record

A comprehensive set of the best possible analyses of the atmosphere at high spatial and temporal resolution with particular attention placed on weather and climate conditions near the surface

analysis of record1
Analysis of Record
  • Parameters: temperature (max, min, current), dew-point temperature, wind, sky, and precipitation (type, amount)…to start, but eventually expanding to contain full complement of environmental variables.
  • Resolution:
    • Nominal 5-km grid over contiguous 48 states
    • Extend to OCONUS areas as resources allow
    • Hourly
  • Three step process:
    • 30-m latency to meet real-time needs
    • ~1-day delay for improved analysis for verification, etc.
    • ~1-month delay for final “Analysis of Record” for archive
  • Re-analysis once state-of-the-science system obtained
    • Likely matching the North American Regional Reanalysis (1979 start, 32-km grid, 3-h)
context noaa nws
Context – NOAA/NWS
  • NOAA/NWS has a critical need to produce real-time and retrospective analyses at high resolution to help create and verify gridded forecasts as part of NWS Digital Services Program
national digital forecast database ndfd
National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD)
  • A national database of digital weather forecast information
  • 3 hour to 7 day lead time, but no analysis grids
  • Designed to meet the fundamental weather information needs of industry, media, commercial weather services, academia, and public
Concerns have been raised:
  • Cliff Mass (2003), Weather and Forecasting
  • WR SOO/DOH IFPS White Paper provided recommendations:
    • Develop a national real-time, gridded verification system
    • Provide full-resolution NCEP model grids
    • Produce objective, bias-corrected model grids for WFO use
    • Implement methods to objectively downscale forecast grids
    • Incorporate climatology grids into the GFE process
    • Deliver short and medium-range ensemble grids
    • Produce NDFD-matching gridded MOS
    • Modify the GFE software to ingest real-time data
    • Optimize ways to tap forecaster expertise
nws s integrated work team iwt
NWS’s Integrated Work Team (IWT)
  • Lee Anderson (co-chair), OST PMB
  • Brad Colman (co-chair), WFO  SEA
  • Fred Branski, OCIO
  • Geoff DiMego, NCEP EMC
  • Brian Gockel, OST MDL
  • Dave Kitzmiller, OHD
  • Chuck Kluepfel, OCWWS Performance Branch
  • Art Thomas, OCWWS
  • Al Wissman, OOS
aor context greater community
AOR Context – greater community
  • Admiral Lautenbacher
    • “Observations alone are often meaningless without the actions that provide economic and societal benefit.”
  • A comprehensive weather and climate observing system requires integration and synthesis of observations into gridded analyses of current and past states of the atmosphere

GEOSS --- Creating a “System of Systems”

Global Earth Observing System of Systems

Global Observing Systems





World Weather





National/Multinational Observing Systems


Surface Obs.



Ocean Observations


Private Sector Observing Systems




Commercial Aircraft

Proposed Ongoing Analysis of the Climate System/Analysis of Record

Climate Variability and Change




Ocean Resources



Water Resources

Societal Benefits

P. Arkin


diverse needs for an aor
Diverse needs for an AOR
  • NWS gridded forecast preparation and verification
  • Mesoscale modeling
  • Dispersion modeling for transport of hazardous materials and pollutants
  • Homeland defense
  • Aviation and surface transportation
  • Environmental issues from the coastal zone to fire management
  • Impacts of climate change on a regional scale
first steps toward an aor
First Steps Toward an AOR
  • A Community Meeting on Real-time and Retrospective Mesoscale Objective Analysis, June 2004
    • AOR program should develop and implement suite of consistent products using current and future technologies:
      • Provisional mesoscale analyses available within roughly 30 minutes of the valid time
      • Mesoscale analyses completed a day or so after the valid time
      • “Gold standard” AOR would be an archive-quality analysis/reanalysis
  • Mesoscale Analysis Committee established August 2004 by Director, NWS Office of Science and Technology
  • Committee meeting in October 2004 to define needs and development strategy for prototype AOR, the Real Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA)

Mesoscale Analysis Committee (MAC)

  • Robert Aune, NOAA/NESDIS University of Wisconsin Space Sciences and Engineering Center
  • Stanley Benjamin, Forecast Systems Laboratory
  • Craig Bishop, Naval Research Laboratory
  • Keith A. Brewster, Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms The University of Oklahoma
  • Brad Colman (Committee Co-chair), NOAA/National Weather Service -- Seattle
  • Christopher Daly, Spatial Climate Analysis Climate Service Oregon State University
  • Geoff DiMego, NOAA/ National Weather Service National Centers for Environmental Prediction
  • Joshua P. Hacker, National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • John Horel (Committee Co-chair), Department of Meteorology, University of Utah
  • Dongsoo Kim, National Climatic Data Center
  • Steven Koch, Forecast Systems Laboratory
  • Steven Lazarus, Florida Institute of Technology
  • Jennifer Mahoney, Aviation Division Forecast Systems Laboratory
  • Tim Owen, National Climatic Data Center
  • John Roads, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • David Sharp, NOAA/National Weather Service -- Melbourne

Ex Officio:

  • Andy Edman, Science & Technology Committee representative
  • LeRoy Spayd, Meteorological Services Division representative
  • Gary Carter, Office of Hydrology representative
  • Kenneth Crawford, COOP/ISOS representative
real time mesoscale analysis rtma
Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA)

The RTMA is a fast-track, proof-of-concept effort intended to:

  • leverage and enhance existing analysis capabilities in order to generate experimental CONUS-scale hourly NDFD-matching analyses (OCONUS extension ASAP)
  • establish a real-time process that delivers a sub-set of fields to allow preliminary comparisons to NDFD forecast grids
  • begin to establish analysis uncertainty estimates and identify deficiencies with RTMA methodology – essentially establish a benchmark for future efforts
  • build a strong constituency for subsequent AOR development activities
real time mesoscale analysis rtma1
Real Time Mesoscale Analysis (RTMA)
  • Hourly RUC analysis is downscaled to 5 km NDFD grid (NOAA/FSL developed these procedures)
  • NCEP/EMC has developed and will implement GSI 2DVAR for temperature, moisture and wind
  • Separate univariate analyses for precipitation and sky cover are being evaluated (EMC and NESDIS)
  • Where feasible, quality assurance efforts will include cross validation and estimates of analysis uncertainty
rtma status
RTMA Status
  • Hourly 13-km RUC analysis downscaled to 5 km
  • GSI 2DVAR analysis system (T, Td, V)
  • Stage II precipitation analysis
  • Effective cloud amount sky-cover product
  • Distribution to NWS field offices
downscaling the 13km ruc to 5km ndfd grid
Downscaling the 13km RUC to 5km NDFD Grid
  • Primary contacts: Stan Benjamin (FSL) and Geoff Mannikin (EMC/NCEP)
  • Fields: surface pressure, elevation, temperature, dew point, specific humidity, wind, gust, cloud base, visibility
5 km ndfd matching analyses
5 km NDFD-matching Analyses

RUC13 post

-outputs on

NDFD 5km


- 10 fields

gridded statistical interpolation 2dvar analysis
Gridded Statistical Interpolation - 2DVAR Analysis
  • Contacts: Manuel Pondeca & Geoff DiMego (EMC/NCEP)
  • Analyze temperature, moisture, and wind on 5 km NDFD grid
  • RUC 5 km analyses used as background fields
  • Analyses with isotropic and anisotropic error covariances are being tested
  • Access to mesonet observations via MADIS in place
  • Test runs available within a few weeks and preliminary evaluation underway by end of summer
ncep rtma precipitation analysis
NCEP RTMA Precipitation Analysis
  • Primary contact: Ying Lin, NCEP/EMC
  • Both the NCEP Stage II (real-time) and Stage IV (delayed) precipitation analyses are produced on the 4-km Hydrologic Rainfall Analysis Project grid
  • The existing multi-sensor (gauge and radar) Stage II precipitation analysis available 35 minutes past the hour has been mapped to the 5 km NDFD grid
  • Processing procedure in place and preliminary graphics available

Sky Cover: Effective Cloud Amount


  • Contact: Robert Aune, Advanced Satellite Products Branch, NESDIS
  • Effective Cloud Amount (ECA, %) from GOES sounders mapped onto the 5-km NDFD grid
  • ECA intended to be incorporated into the National Digital Guidance Database (NDGD)

GOES-12 IR image (11um)



ECA from grib2 file – 5km grid

Derived ECA from GOES-12

analysis of record moving beyond the prototype rtma
Analysis of Record: Moving Beyond the Prototype RTMA
  • Needs exist for a consistent suite of high-resolution analysis products
    • RTMA available in near-real time for nowcasts and to initialize forecasts
    • Mesoscale Analysis (MA) available 1-2 days later after more data assets are available
    • Archive-quality AOR patterned after global and regional reanalysis efforts with ongoing updates
  • Support for this suite of mesoscale analyses needs to be broadened
  • RTMA/MA/AOR could evolve into critical component of GEOSS
  • Prototype RTMA relies upon current technologies to address critical needs of NWS for real-time analyses
  • Considerable research, development, and operational infrastructure required for complete suite of analysis products including the “gold standard” AOR
  • Initial steps underway to address NWS AOR funding requirements for FY 2008 and beyond emphasizing critical role played by EMC/NCEP and partners (OSIP, PPBES, etc.)
  • Additional funding sources for broader community efforts to develop next-generation AOR need to be identified