Forecast skill score assessment of a relocatable ocean prediction system, using a simplified objective analysis method


A relocatable ocean prediction system (ROPS) was employed to an observational data set which was collected in June 2014 in the waters to the west of Sardinia (western Mediterranean) in the framework of the REP14-MED experiment. The observational data, comprising more than 6000 temperature and salinity profiles from a fleet of underwater gliders and shipborne probes, were assimilated in the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), which is the heart of ROPS, and verified against independent observations from ScanFish tows by means of the forecast skill score as defined by Murphy(1993). A simplified objective analysis (OA) method was utilised for assimilation, taking account of only those profiles which were located within a predetermined time window W. As a result of a sensitivity study, the highest skill score was obtained for a correlation length scale C = 12.5 km, W = 24 h, and r = 1, where r is the ratio between the error of the observations and the background error, both for temperature and salinity. Additional ROPS runs showed that (i) the skill score of assimilation runs was mostly higher than the score of a control run without assimilation, (i) the skill score increased with increasing forecast range, and (iii) the skill score for temperature was higher than the score for salinity in the majority of cases. Further on, it is demonstrated that the vast number of observations can be managed by the applied OA method without data reduction, enabling timely operational forecasts even on a commercially available personal computer or a laptop.
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