Correlated observation errors in data assimilation
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/fld.1636
Data assimilation provides techniques for combining observations and prior model forecasts to create initial conditions for numerical weather prediction (NWP). The relative weighting assigned to each observation in the analysis is determined by its associated error. Remote sensing data usually has correlated errors, but the correlations are typically ignored in NWP. Here, we describe three approaches to the treatment of observation error correlations. For an idealized data set, the information content under each simplified assumption is compared with that under correct correlation specification. Treating the errors as uncorrelated results in a significant loss of information. However, retention of an approximated correlation gives clear benefits.