Numerical simulation of rainfall with assimilation of conventional and GPS observations over north of Iran

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Mohammad Ali Sharifi
Majid Azadi
Ali Sam Khaniani


In this work, the effect of assimilation of synoptic, radiosonde and ground-based GPS precipitable water vapor (PWV) data has been investigated on the short-term prediction of precipitation, vertical relative humidity and PWV fields over north of Iran. We selected two rainfall events (i.e. February 1, 2014, and September 17, 2014) caused by synoptic systems affecting the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea. These systems are often associated with a shallow and cold high pressure located over Russia that extends towards the southern Caspian Sea. The three dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation system of the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model is used in two rainfall cases. In each case, three numerical experiments, namely CTRL, CONVDA and GPSCONVDA, are performed. The CTRL experiment uses the global analysis as the initial and boundary conditions of the model. In the second experiment, surface and radiosonde observations are inserted into the model. Finally, the GPSCONVDA experiment uses the GPS PWV data in the assimilation process in addition to the conventional observations. It is found that in CONVDA experiment, the mean absolute error (MAE) of the accumulated precipitation is reduced about 5 and 13 percent in 24h model simulation of February and September cases, respectively, when compared to CTRL. Also, the results in both cases suggest that the assimilation of GPS data has the greatest impact on model PWV simulations, with maximum root mean squares error (RMSE) reduction of 0.7 mm. In the GPSCONVDA experiment, comparison of the vertical profiles of 12h simulated relative humidity with the corresponding radiosonde observations shows a slight improvement in the lower levels.

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Sharifi MA, Azadi M, Sam Khaniani A. Numerical simulation of rainfall with assimilation of conventional and GPS observations over north of Iran. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2016Jul.12 [cited 2022Aug.15];59(3):P0322. Available from:
Oceanography and Climatology