Evaluation of the 3DVAR Operational Implementation of the Colombian Air Force for Aircraft Operations: A Case Study

Jhon Edinson Hinestroza Ramirez, Juan Ernesto Soto Barbosa, Andrés Yarce Botero*, Danilo Andrés Suárez Higuita, Santiago Lopez-Restrepo, Lisseth Milena Cruz Ruiz, Valeria Sólorzano Araque, Andres Céspedes, Sara Lorduy Hernandez, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

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This manuscript introduces an exploratory case study of the SIMFAC’s (Sistema de Información Meteorológica de la Fuerza Aérea Colombiana) operational implementation of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model with a 3DVAR (three-dimensional variational) data assimilation scheme that provides meteorological information for military, public, and private aviation. In particular, it investigates whether the assimilation scheme in SIMFAC’s implementation improves the prediction of the variables of interest compared to the implementation without data assimilation (CTRL). Consequently, this study compares SIMFAC’S 3DVAR-WRF operational implementation in Colombia with a CTRL with the same parameterization (without 3DVAR assimilation) against the ground and satellite observations in two operational forecast windows. The simulations are as long as an operational run, and the evaluation is performed using the root mean square error, the mean fractional bias, the percent bias, the correlation factor, and metrics based on contingency tables. It also evaluates the model’s results according to the regions of Colombia, accounting for the country’s topographical differences. The findings reveal that, in general, the operational forecast (3DVAR) is similar to the CTRL without data assimilation, indicating the need for further improvement of the 3DVAR-WRF implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153
Number of pages21
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • operational forecast
  • data assimilation
  • WRF model


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