Does increased horizontal resolution Improve hurricane wind forecasts?

AMS Citation:
Davis, C. A., W. Wang, J. Dudhia, and R. Torn, 2010: Does increased horizontal resolution Improve hurricane wind forecasts? Weather and Forecasting, 25, 1826-1841, doi:10.1175/2010WAF2222423.1.
Resource Type:article
Title:Does increased horizontal resolution Improve hurricane wind forecasts?
Abstract: The representation of tropical cyclone track, intensity, and structure in a set of 69 parallel forecasts performed at each of two horizontal grid increments with the Advanced Research Hurricane(AHW) component of the Weather and Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) is evaluated. These forecasts covered 10 Atlantic tropical cyclones: 6 from the 2005 season and 4 from 2007. The forecasts were integrated from identical initial conditions produced by a cycling ensemble Kalman filter. The high-resolution forecasts used moving, storm-centered nests of 4- and 1.33-km grid spacing. The coarse-resolution forecasts consisted of a single 12-km domain (which was identical to the outer domain in the forecasts with nests). Forecasts were evaluated out to 120 h. Novel verification techniques were developed to evaluate forecasts of wind radii and the degree of storm asymmetry. Intensity (maximum wind) and rapid intensification, as well as wind radii, were all predicted more accurately with increased horizontal resolution. These results were deemed to be statistically significant based on the application of bootstrap confidence intervals. No statistically significant differences emerged regarding storm position errors between the two forecasts. Coarse-resolution forecasts tended to overpredict the extent of winds compared to high-resolution forecasts. The asymmetry of gale-force winds was better predicted in the coarser-resolution simulation, but asymmetry of hurricane-force winds was predicted better at high resolution. The skill of the wind radii forecasts decayed gradually over 120 h, suggesting a synoptic-scale control of the predictability of outer winds.
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7rb755c
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/2010WAF2222423.1
  • Christopher Davis - NCAR/UCAR
  • Wei Wang - NCAR/UCAR
  • Jimy Dudhia - NCAR/UCAR
  • Ryan Torn
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