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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013, Article ID 259052, 9 pages
Research Article

Prediction of Convective Storms at Convection-Resolving 1 km Resolution over Continental United States with Radar Data Assimilation: An Example Case of 26 May 2008 and Precipitation Forecasts from Spring 2009

Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma, 120 David Boren Boulevard, Norman, OK 73072, USA

Received 31 May 2013; Revised 2 November 2013; Accepted 3 November 2013

Academic Editor: Kun Zhao

Copyright © 2013 Ming Xue et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For the first time ever, convection-resolving forecasts at 1 km grid spacing were produced in realtime in spring 2009 by the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) at the University of Oklahoma. The forecasts assimilated both radial velocity and reflectivity data from all operational WSR-88D radars within a domain covering most of the continental United States. In preparation for the realtime forecasts, 1 km forecast tests were carried out using a case from spring 2008 and the forecasts with and without assimilating radar data are compared with corresponding 4 km forecasts produced in realtime. Significant positive impact of radar data assimilation is found to last at least 24 hours. The 1 km grid produced a more accurate forecast of organized convection, especially in structure and intensity details. It successfully predicted an isolated severe-weather-producing storm nearly 24 hours into the forecast, which all ten members of the 4 km real time ensemble forecasts failed to predict. This case, together with all available forecasts from 2009 CAPS realtime forecasts, provides evidence of the value of both convection-resolving 1 km grid and radar data assimilation for severe weather prediction for up to 24 hours.