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ABSTRACT

The impact of parameter variations on the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System ensemble performance is examined, and subsets of ensemble members are used to identify the relative impact of the individual parameters. Two sets of parameter variations are considered. The first set has variations in the parametrization of cumulus convection only. The second set has variations in both convection and boundary layer parametrizations. In the tropics, parameter variations significantly increase ensemble spread in wind and temperature fields, and significantly reduce Brier scores for low-level wind speed and temperature, primarily through improvements to the resolution (the impact in the extratropics is negligible). There are also small but significant improvements in the ensemble mean tropical cyclone track forecasts. For the metrics considered here, the second set of parameter variations outperforms the first set. Examination of the spread within ensemble subsets suggests that the parameter with the biggest overall impact is one that helps to control the convective updraft parcel temperature deficit at cloud base level. Variations in the von Kármán constant significantly increase ensemble spread in the low-level tropical winds near the date line, and in the low-level temperature field throughout the tropics and subtropics.