Adding four-dimensional data assimilation by analysis nudging to the Model for Prediction Across Scales – Atmosphere

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Copernicus Publications


The Model for Prediction Across Scales – Atmosphere (MPAS-A) has been modified to allow fourdimensional data assimilation (FDDA) by the nudging of temperature, humidity, and wind toward target values predefined on the MPAS-A computational mesh. The addition of nudging allows MPAS-A to be used as a global-scale meteorological driver for retrospective air quality modeling. The technique of “analysis nudging” developed for the Penn State/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesoscale Model, and later applied in the Weather Research and Forecasting model, is implemented in MPAS-A with adaptations for its polygonal Voronoi mesh. Reference fields generated from 1° x 1° National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) FNL (Final) Operational Global Analysis data were used to constrain MPAS-A simulations on a 92–25 km variable-resolution mesh with refinement centered over the contiguous United States. Test simulations were conducted for January and July 2013 with and without FDDA, and compared to reference fields and near-surface meteorological observations. The results demonstrate that MPAS-A with analysis nudging has high fidelity to the reference data while still maintaining conservation of mass as in the unmodified model. The results also show that application of FDDA constrains model errors relative to 2m temperature, 2m water vapor mixing ratio, and 10m wind speed such that they continue to be at or below the magnitudes found at the start of each test period.