Linear Filtering of Sample Covariances for Ensemble-Based Data Assimilation. Part I: Optimality Criteria and Application to Variance Filtering and Covariance Localization

Benjamin Ménétrier, Thibaut Montmerle, Yann Michel, Loïk Berre
2015 Monthly Weather Review  
In data assimilation (DA) schemes for numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems, the estimation of forecast error covariances is a key point to get some flow dependency. As shown in previous studies, ensemble data assimilation methods are the most accurate for this task. However, their huge computational cost raises a strong limitation to the ensemble size. Consequently, covariances estimated with small ensembles are affected by random sampling errors. The aim of this study is to develop a
more » ... ry of covariance filtering in order to remove most of the sampling noise while keeping the signal of interest and then to use it in the DA scheme of a real NWP system. This first part of a two-part study presents the theoretical aspects of such criteria for optimal filtering based on the merging of the theories of optimal linear filtering and of sample centered moments estimation. Its strength relies on the use of sample estimated quantities and filter output only. These criteria pave the way for new algorithms and interesting applications for NWP. Two of them are detailed here: spatial filtering of variances and covariance localization. Results obtained in an idealized 1D analytical framework are shown for illustration. Applications on real forecast error covariances deduced from ensembles at convective scale are discussed in a companion paper.
doi:10.1175/mwr-d-14-00157.1 fatcat:nm5fxvesu5d33aekg5b2vgi3qq