Impact of GPS radio occultation measurements in the ECMWF system using adjoint based diagnostics

TitleImpact of GPS radio occultation measurements in the ECMWF system using adjoint based diagnostics
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCardinali, C, Healy, S
Secondary TitleTechnical Memorandum
Date PublishedNovember
Type of WorkTechnical Memorandum

In this paper, a comprehensive assessment of the impact of radio occultation observations in the operational ECMWF assimilation and forecast system is presented using different diagnostic tools. In particular, the observation influence in the assimilation process and the related contribution on the short-range forecast error of radio occultation observations is evaluated with recently developed diagnostic tools based on the adjoint version of the assimilation and forecast model. The sensitivity with respect to observation error variances is also evaluated for the assimilated observations. GPS-RO results to have the largest mean influence among satellite observations in the analysis. It is the 4th satellite system for analysis information content and the 2nd largest satellite contributor together with IASI and AIRS to decrease the 24-hour forecast error. For the whole observing system, with the exception of radiosondes and polar atmospheric motion vectors, the forecast error sensitivity to the observation error variance indicates that a deflation of the assumed observation errors would improve the forecast skill. For radio occultation observations at all vertical levels, but predominantly between 10 and 20 km, a deflation of the observation error variance is suggested. Interestingly, the sensitivity computation recommends reducing the assumed errors mostly in layers where the weight given to GPS-RO data is quite large.