Evaluation of ECMWF's soil moisture analyses using observations on the Tibetan Plateau

Zhongbo Su, P. de Rosnay, J. Wen, Lichun Wang, Yijian Zeng

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An analysis is carried out for two hydrologically contrasting but thermodynamically similar areas on the Tibetan Plateau, to evaluate soil moisture analysis based on the European Centre for Medium‐Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) previous optimum interpolation scheme and the current point‐wise extended Kalman filter scheme. To implement the analysis, this study used two regional soil moisture and soil temperature networks (i.e., Naqu and Maqu) on the Tibetan Plateau. For the cold‐semiarid Naqu area, both ECMWF soil moisture analyses significantly overestimate the regional soil moisture in the monsoon seasons. For the cold‐humid Maqu network area, the ECMWF products have comparable accuracy as reported by previous studies in the humid monsoon period. The comparisons were made among the liquid soil moisture analysis from ECMWF, the ground station's measurements and the satellite estimates from the Advanced Scatterometer sensor. The results show reasonable performances of the ECMWF soil moisture analyses (i.e., both optimum interpolation and extended Kalman filter products) and the Advanced Scatterometer level 2 products, when compared to the in situ measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5304-5318
JournalJournal of geophysical research : Atmospheres
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-297247


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