Data Assimilation

Providing state-of-the-art data assimilation capabilities to both operational and research communities

The goal of the Data Assimilation Team (DAT) is to provide a pathway between the data assimilation research and operational communities and, therefore, help accelerate transitions from research to operations. Working closely with research and operational centers [e.g., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)], the DAT builds and maintains a code management framework for distributed development of new capabilities and advances in data assimilation. Under the same code management plan applied to both the operational and research communities, the DAT provides operational data assimilation capabilities to the research community in a timely manner, with complete user support and annual training opportunities. By setting up a functionally similar operational environment, the DAT conducts testing and evaluation of state-of-the-art data assimilation techniques and, therefore, provides a rational basis for enhancement of data assimilation techniques and systems; and, eventually, improvement of numerical weather forecasts and analyses. 

The current scope of the Data Assimilation Team includes:

  • Data assimilation system maintenance and community support
  • Data assimilation technique testing and evaluation (e.g., variational, ensemble, hybrid)
  • Observation impact study (e.g., ozone, radiance, radar, …)
  • Data assimilation system setup and tuning (e.g., observation and background error estimation and tuning, model top)
  • NWP system sensitivity study (cycling vs cold-start, frequency, resolution, ...)
  • Data assimilation technique development (e.g., cloudy radiance)
  • Data assimilation based validation and quality control


Michael Ek

Director, Joint Numerical Testbed