Investigate the impacts of assimilating satellite rainfall estimates on rainstorm forecast over southwest United States



[1] Using the MM5-4DVAR system, a monsoon rainstorm case over southern Arizona (5–6 August 2002) was investigated for the influence of assimilating satellite rainfall estimates on precipitation forecasts. A set of numerical experiments was conducted with multiple configurations including using 20-km or 30-km grid distances and none or 3-h or 6-h assimilation time windows. Results show that satellite rainfall assimilation can improve the rainstorm-forecasting pattern and amount to some extent. The minimization procedure of 4DVAR is sensitive to model spatial resolution and the assimilation time window. The 3-h assimilation window with hourly rainfall data works well for the 6-h forecast, and for 12-h or longer forecasts, a 6-h assimilation window will be requested.