In this paper, two data assimilation methods based on sequential Monte Carlo sampling are studied and compared: the ensemble Kalman filter and the particle filter. Each of these techniques has its own advantages and drawbacks. In this work, we try to get the best of each method by combining them. The proposed algorithm, called the weighted ensemble Kalman filter, consists to rely on the Ensemble Kalman Filter updates of samples in order to define a proposal distribution for the particle filter that depends on the history of measurement. The corresponding particle filter reveals to be efficient with a small number of samples and does not rely anymore on the Gaussian approximations of the ensemble Kalman filter. The efficiency of the new algorithm is demonstrated both in terms of accuracy and computational load. This latter aspect is of the utmost importance in meteorology or in oceanography since in these domains, data assimilation processes involve a huge number of state variables driven by highly non-linear dynamical models. Numerical experiments have been performed on different dynamical scenarios. The performances of the proposed technique have been compared to the ensemble Kalman filter procedure, which has demonstrated to provide meaningful results in geophysical sciences.