Monthly Weather Review, 03/2015, Vol.143(3), pp.813-827
The growth of small-amplitude, spatially uncorrelated perturbations has been studied in a weather forecast of a 4-day period in the summer of 2007, using a large domain covering Europe and the eastern Atlantic and with explicitly resolved deep convection. The error growth follows the three-stage conceptual model of Zhang et al., with rapid initial growth (e-folding time about 0.5 h) on all scales, relaxing over about 20 h to a slow growth of the large-scale perturbations (e-folding time 12 h). The initial growth was confined to precipitating regions, with a faster growth rate where conditional instability was large. Growth in these regions saturated within 3-10 h, continuing for the longest where the precipitation rate was large. While the initial growth was mainly in the divergent part of the flow, the eventual slow growth on large scales was more in the rotational component. Spectral decomposition of the disturbance energy showed that the rapid growth in precipitating regions projected onto all Fourier components; however, the amplitude at saturation was too small to initiate the subsequent large-scale growth. Visualization of the disturbance energy showed it to expand outward from the precipitating regions at a speed corresponding to a deep tropospheric gravity wave. These results suggest a physical picture of error growth with a rapidly growing disturbance to the vertical mass transport in precipitating regions that spreads to the radius of deformation while undergoing geostrophic adjustment, eventually creating a balanced perturbation that continues to grow through baroclinic instability.
Numerical Simulations ; Gravity Waves ; Baroclinic Instability ; Convection Development ; Precipitation ; Mass Transport ; Instability ; Weather Forecasting ; Ane, Europe ; AE, Atlantic ; Forecasting (551.509.1/.5) ; Extratropical Cyclones ; Mesoscale Processes ; Cloud Resolving Models;