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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 947874, 12 pages
Research Article

Impact of a Diagnostic Pressure Equation Constraint on Tornadic Supercell Thunderstorm Forecasts Initialized Using 3DVAR Radar Data Assimilation

1Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma, 120 David L. Boren Boulevard, Norman, OK 73072, USA
2National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, OK 73072, USA
3School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73072, USA

Received 9 April 2013; Revised 25 July 2013; Accepted 13 September 2013

Academic Editor: Louis Wicker

Copyright © 2013 Guoqing Ge 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.


A diagnostic pressure equation constraint has been incorporated into a storm-scale three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation system. This diagnostic pressure equation constraint (DPEC) is aimed to improve dynamic consistency among different model variables so as to produce better data assimilation results and improve the subsequent forecasts. Ge et al. (2012) described the development of DPEC and testing of it with idealized experiments. DPEC was also applied to a real supercell case, but only radial velocity was assimilated. In this paper, DPEC is further applied to two real tornadic supercell thunderstorm cases, where both radial velocity and radar reflectivity data are assimilated. The impact of DPEC on radar data assimilation is examined mainly based on the storm forecasts. It is found that the experiments using DPEC generally predict higher low-level vertical vorticity than the experiments not using DPEC near the time of observed tornadoes. Therefore, it is concluded that the use of DPEC improves the forecast of mesocyclone rotation within supercell thunderstorms. The experiments using different weighting coefficients generate similar results. This suggests that DPEC is not very sensitive to the weighting coefficients.