Principal Investigator: John F. Gamache
Collaborating scientist(s):
Frank D. Marks, Jr.
Wen-Chau Lee (NCAR)
Objective: To employ a variational analysis scheme to improve Doppler wind analyses and to incorporate all data without numerical instability.
Rationale: Most former analyses of three-dimensional wind fields from Doppler observation have begun by assuming the vertical wind in the region of analysis was zero. Then by vertically integrating horizontal divergence, a new vertical wind was estimated. That vertical wind was then used to correct the horizontal winds. This process was iterated to convergence. Unfortunately the analyses do not converge when nearly vertical Doppler observations are included. Much of the upper-level Doppler data in small hurricane eyewalls are nearly vertical. The three-dimensional analysis developed recently allows us to include all Doppler data and thus to improve our analyses of upper-level hurricane winds.
Method: Doppler observations from two or more independent directions are interpolated to a three dimensional grid. A cost function is developed that places a high weight upon the difference between the projection of the analysis upon the Doppler radials and the Doppler radial velocities themselves, and also a high weight upon the solution of the continuity equation. These become virtually strong constraints. Much lower weights are given to minimizing the difference between the Doppler radials of the analysis and the Doppler radial velocities actually observed, and between the precipitation terminal fallspeeds of the analysis and those estimated from radar reflectivity. The difference between the vertical wind analyzed at the surface and the value zero is also added to the cost function at a fairly low weight. Finally, the Laplacian of the three wind components are also added to the cost function with a weight much smaller than all the above cost functions.
Accomplishment: The variational scheme has been applied to airborne Doppler data obtained both in and out of hurricanes. The application to two cases in TOGA-COARE has resulted in many recent improvements to the code. Analyses in Hurricane Olivia of 25 September 1994 have allowed the detailed observation of changes in the upper-level wind structure as the hurricane was being sheared and was filling (increased minimum surface pressure). Before this new scheme was developed the detailed analysis of the upper levels would be impossible in regions near the flight track. The analysis has also been applied to a case in TOGA-COARE where Doppler observations were included that were both nearly vertical and nearly horizontal. The continuity equation was integrated from the bottom upward, and yet the vertical and horizontal winds near echo top appear quite reasonable. A cross-section through this analysis is shown in the figure. There is very good agreement between the reflectivity field and the Doppler wind field. While satisfying the continuity equation to .000001/sec rms error, the analysis also matches the Doppler observations to an rms difference under 2 m/s. Further studies will be performed to test how the analysis works on prescribed wind fields following known analytical functions.
Key reference:

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