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The performance of the extended Kalman filter (EKF) and the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) are assessed for soil moisture estimation. In a twin experiment for the southeastern United States synthetic observations of near-surface soil moisture are assimilated once every 3 days, neglecting horizontal error correlations and treating catchments independently. Both filters provide satisfactory estimates of soil moisture. The average actual estimation error in volumetric moisture content of the soildoi:10.1175/1525-7541(2002)003<0728:evekff>2.0.co;2 fatcat:gyby7673ljcuncaeg43zbbiawm