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Open AccessArticle

A Case Study of Assimilating Lightning-Proxy Relative Humidity with WRF-3DVAR

Key Laboratory of Arid Climatic Changing and Reducing Disaster of Gansu Province, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, No.222 TianShui South Road, Lanzhou 730000, China
Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation (LAGEO), Institute of Atmospheric and Physics, Beijing 100029, China
National Meteorological Information Centre, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 55;
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Meteorology)
Lightning network data, considered as a useful supplement to radar observations, are a good indicator of severe convection, and has high temporal and spatial resolution. In Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, lightning data are a new source of data to improve the forecasting of convective systems. In this case study, lightning data assimilation is conducted by converting lightning data to water vapor mixing ratio via a simple smooth continuous function, with input variables of total flash rate and simulated graupel mixing ratio at 9 km gridded resolution. Relative humidity converted from the retrieved water vapor mixing ratio is assimilated into the background field utilizing the three-dimensional variational (3DVAR) method in WRFDA (the Weather Research and Forecasting model Data Assimilation system). The benefits of assimilating lightning data are demonstrated in a series of experiments using data from a strong convection event that affected Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong Province, on 31 July 2007. A nested domain with resolutions of 9 km and 3 km is implemented. For this case, assimilating lightning data shows some improvements in predictions of both reflectivity and neighboring precipitation, and in the temperature, dew-point temperature and relative humidity profile after seven hours. View Full-Text
Keywords: lightning; assimilation; relative humidity; 3DVAR lightning; assimilation; relative humidity; 3DVAR
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Wang, Y.; Yang, Y.; Liu, D.; Zhang, D.; Yao, W.; Wang, C. A Case Study of Assimilating Lightning-Proxy Relative Humidity with WRF-3DVAR. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 55.

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