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By Eugenia Kalnay

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1993). , 1996) was implemented for CONUS domain with three-hourly OI updates at 60-km resolution on 25 hybrid (sigma-theta) vertical levels. , 1995) August 1995 A mesoscale version of the Eta model (Black, 1994) was implemented at 03Z and 15Z for an extended CONUS domain, with 29-km and 50-layer resolution and with NMC’s first predictive cloud scheme (Zhao and Black, 1994) and new coupled land-surface– atmosphere package (two-layer soil). , 1997, Mesinger, 1997) July–August 1996 Nested capability demonstrated with twice-daily support runs for Atlanta Olympic Games with 10-km 60-layer version of Meso Eta.

The hydrostatic approximation can be used even in mesoscale models with grid sizes of the order of 10 km or larger without introducing large errors. However, in order to represent smaller-scale phenomena such as storms or convective clouds which have vertical accelerations that are not negligible compared to buoyancy forces, it is necessary to use the equations of motion without the hydrostatic approximation. In the last decade a number of nonhydrostatic models have been developed in order to simulate mesoscale phenomena in North America.

Moreover, their distribution in space and time is very nonuniform (Fig. 1), with regions like North America and Eurasia which are relatively datarich, while others much more poorly observed. For this reason, it became obvious rather early that it was necessary to use additional information (denoted background, first guess or prior information) to prepare initial conditions for the forecasts (Bergthorsson and D¨oo¨ s, 1955). , Gandin, 1963), but as the forecasts became better, a short-range forecast was chosen as the first guess in the operational data assimilation systems or “analysis cycles”.

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