Russian activities in polar studies related to weather forecasting M. Tolstykh, Hydrometcentre of Russia

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Russian activities in polar studies related to weather forecasting

  • M.Tolstykh,

  • Hydrometcentre of Russia;

  • Institute of Numerical Matematics Russian Academy of Sciences


Many meteorological stations in Russian Arctica were closed/conserved in 1990s

  • Many meteorological stations in Russian Arctica were closed/conserved in 1990s

  • Today Arctic is getting one of Russian priorities

  • Enhancement of forecasting capabilities in Arctic is essential for:

  • - sea transport,

  • - oil and gas industry,

  • - etc.

  • International Polar Year 2007-2008

  • Polar forum in Moscow, September 2010 – Russian PM declared support for basic researches in Arctic

  • Proposal for international polar decade

Organizations involved

  • Roshydromet: observations

  • Roskosmos: satellites

  • Hydrometcentre of Russia, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute: forecasts, diagnostic studies, modelling

  • Institute of Numerical Mathematics RAS – ocean and ice modelling, coupled modelling (climate)

  • Norway-Russian cooperation: StPetersburg NIERSC (mostly climate studies, but also some meteorology)

Russian activities in Antarctic

  • 5 stations + 3 automatic weather stations

  • Progress station is being built

Building the permanent complex on Progress station

Modernization of existing stations in Antarctida

Study of the underice Vostock lake

Observations in Arctica: Current state and perspectives

  • Density index for SYNOP stations 35-50 ( 1 station per 35000-50000 sq. km) in Russian Arctic as of 01.01.2009. It is planned to increase the number of SYNOP stations in Russia to 2200-2300 (among them 500-600 automatic), significant portion of this increase will be above 60N . Arctic stations will be mostly automatic). About 50 stations are being installed this year.

  • Radiosondes: planned increase from 105 to 129 sites, soundings 2 times per day.

  • Creation and maintenance of the “Arktika” satellite system including two Molniya satellites on high-elliptic orbits.

Drifting station “Severnii Polus 37 ” (09/2009-01/2010)

Short and medium-range numerical weather prediction

  • Global models (SL-AV and T169L31)

  • LAM – COSMO-RU 7 km

  • Data assimilation

  • Global ensemble prediction system (under testing) – based on T169 and SL-AV global models

SL-AV model

  • Semi-Lagrangian vorticity-divergence dynamical core of own development, ALADIN/LACE parameterizations

  • Currently, 0.9x0.72 degrees lon/lat, 28 levels, runs on Altix 4700 computer

  • Accepted as the principal global model of RHMC

  • Version with the resolution 0.45x0.37 degrees, 50 levels under testing

  • Mire parametirization of own development

  • Forecasts also at


  • Spectral T169L31 model also runs operationally

T and RH errors at 2m for near-mire stations (bias, Abs and RMS errors)

Initial and boundary data:

    • Initial and boundary data:
    • 00 and12 UTC, GME (DWD)
    • Forecast: 78 h
    • Grid step 7 km
    • Grid:
    • 700 * 620 * 40
    • SGI Altix 4700
    • (1664 cores)
    • Run time for 78 h.
    • 19 min: 1024 cores

Data assimilation

  • 3D-Var-FGAT for global models under quasioperational tuning (M.Tsyrulnikov).

  • LETKF for SL-AV global model is being implemented (A.Shlyaeva).

  • Some form of hybrid is considered for far future

Domain: global

  • Domain: global

  • Perturbations of initial data: Breeding

  • Regional rescaling (northern extratropics, southern extratropics, tropics)

  • Members: 15

  • T85L31 – 12 perturbed + control

  • + T169L31, unperturbed

  • + SLAV, unperturbed

  • Implementation: Quasi operational runs on Altix 4700.

Seasonal forecasts at Hydrometcentre of Russia

  • Operational: 1)Seasonal version of SL-AV model Horizontal resolution 1,40625°х1,125° lon-lat, 28 vertical levels; 2) T42L14 (T63L25 soon) run by Main Geophysical Observatory (St.Petersburg)

  • The models contribute to the multi-model ensemble of APCC. Forecasts are at

  • There is an experimental coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model

Experimental atmosphere-ocean-ice model -1

  • Joint work of Hydrometcentre of Russia and Institute of Numerical Mathematics RAS

  • Atmospheric part is SL-AV (1.4x1.1, 28 levels)

  • Ocean and ice models, as well as the cooupler, are taken from the climate model of INM. Calibrated in CMIP4, participating in CMIP5.

INMOM Ocean model

  • sigma-coordinate model with isopicnic horizontal diffusion

  • 1˚x0.5˚ , 40 levels

  • The EVP (elastic- viscous- plastic) dynamics, Semtner thermodynamics sea ice model (Hunke, Ducowicz 1997; Iakovlev, 2005) is embedded.

  • Coupling to the atmospheric model without flux correction

Experimental atmosphere-ocean-ice model -2

  • Averaged heat flux to the ocean is 2.8 W/m2 (evaluated on the ocean side while running the model with one-way interaction). Room for improvement!

  • No flux correction.

  • 10-member ensemble (only atmospheric initial data were perturbed)

  • Requires 12 hours on 12 processors (one ensemble member).

Change of SST in one of the experiments: reanalysis (left), coupled model (right)

Some results

  • According to first results, small positive changes in extratropics atmosphere as compared with extrapolated SST anomaly run.

  • Recently, the results for SST forecasts were improved.

  • Currently, hindcasts with the coupled model are being run.


  • Even potential predictability in Arctic on seasonal time scales is not too high…

  • Plan to study if there is a positive impact of using coupled model for shorter time ranges (e.g. month)

Plans (related to the models)

  • Increase of the resolution for medium range SL-AV model to 0.45x0.37 deg, 50 levels – parallel runs expected in 2011.

  • COSMO-RU 7 km will have a special domain for Siberia (2011-2012)

  • Coupled system – increase of the ocean model resolution to 0.25x0.25 deg, increase the number of vertical levels in atmospheric model from 28 to 40 (2012).

  • 3D-Var-FGAT for the atmosphere and ocean expected operationally in 2011

Thank you for attention!

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