Diagnosis and tuning of observational error in a quasi-operational data assimilation setting



Desroziers and Ivanov proposed a method to tune error variances used for data assimilation. The implementation of this algorithm implies the computation of the trace of certain matrices which are not explicitly known. A method proposed by Girard, allowing an approximate estimation of the traces without explicit knowledge of the matrices, was then used. This paper proposes a new implementation of the Desroziers and Ivanov algorithm, including a new computation scheme for the required traces. This method is compared to Girard's in two aspects: its use in the implementation of the tuning algorithm, and the computation of a quantification of the observation impacts on the analysis known as Degrees of Freedom for Signal. Those results are illustrated by studies utilizing the French data assimilation/numerical weather-prediction system ARPEGE. The impact of a first quasi-operational tuning of variances on forecasts is shown and discussed. Copyright © 2006 Royal Meteorological Society