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The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model-based variational data assimilation system (WRF-Var) has been extended from three-to four-dimensional variational data assimilation (WRF 4D-Var) to meet the increasing demand for improving initial model states in multiscale numerical simulations and forecasts. The initial goals of this development include operational applications and support to the research community. The formulation of WRF 4D-Var is described in this paper. WRF 4D-Var uses thedoi:10.1175/2008mwr2577.1 fatcat:4qmqcfqpprc53kxbrqgkks5ova