A three-dimensional (3D), multivariate, statistical objective analysis scheme (referred to as optimum interpolation or OI) has been developed for use in numerical weather prediction studies with the FGGE data. Some novel aspects of the present scheme include: (1) a multivariate surface analysis over the oceans, which employs an Ekman balance instead of the usual geostrophic relationship, to model the pressure-wind error cross correlations, and (2) the capability to use an error correlation function which is geographically dependent. A series of 4-day data assimilation experiments are conducted to examine the importance of some of the key features of the OI in terms of their effects on forecast skill, as well as to compare the forecast skill using the OI with that utilizing a successive correction method (SCM) of analysis developed earlier. For the three cases examined, the forecast skill is found to be rather insensitive to varying the error correlation function geographically. However, significant differences are noted between forecasts from a two-dimensional (2D) version of the OI and those from the 3D OI, with the 3D OI forecasts exhibiting better forecast skill. The 3D OI forecasts are also more accurate than those from the SCM initial conditions. The 3D OI with the multivariate oceanic surface analysis was found to produce forecasts which were slightly more accurate, on the average, than a univariate version.
METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
Monthly Weather Review (ISSN 0027-0644); 115; 272-296