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Evaluation of WRF-DART (ARW v3.9.1.1 and DART Manhattan release) multiphase cloud water path assimilation for short-term solar irradiance forecasting in a tropical environment

Abstract : Numerical weather prediction models tend to underestimate cloud presence and therefore often overestimate global horizontal irradiance (GHI). The assimilation of cloud water path (CWP) retrievals from geostationary satellites using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) led to improved short-term GHI forecasts of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model in midlatitudes in case studies. An evaluation of the method under tropical conditions and a quantification of this improvement for study periods of more than a few days are still missing. This paper focuses on the assimilation of CWP retrievals in three phases (ice, supercooled, and liquid) in a 6-hourly cycling procedure and on the impact of this method on short-term forecasts of GHI for Réunion Island, a tropical island in the southwest Indian Ocean. The multilayer gridded cloud properties of NASA Langley's Satellite ClOud and Radiation Property retrieval System (SatCORPS) are assimilated using the EnKF of the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART) Manhattan release (revision 12002) and the advanced research WRF (ARW) v3.9.1.1. The ability of the method to improve cloud analyses and GHI forecasts is demonstrated, and a comparison using independent radiosoundings shows a reduction of specific humidity bias in the WRF analyses, especially in the low and middle troposphere. Ground-based GHI observations at 12 sites on Réunion Island are used to quantify the impact of CWP DA. Over a total of 44 d during austral summertime, when averaged over all sites, CWP data assimilation has a positive impact on GHI forecasts for all lead times between 5 and 14 h. Root mean square error and mean absolute error are reduced by 4 % and 3 %, respectively.
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Frederik Kurzrock, Hannah Nguyen, Jérôme Sauer, Fabrice Chane-Ming, Sylvain Cros, et al.. Evaluation of WRF-DART (ARW v3.9.1.1 and DART Manhattan release) multiphase cloud water path assimilation for short-term solar irradiance forecasting in a tropical environment. Geoscientific Model Development, European Geosciences Union, 2019, pp.3939-3954. ⟨10.5194/gmd-12-3939-2019⟩. ⟨hal-02986969⟩

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