On the Propagation of Information and the Use of Localization in Ensemble Kalman Filtering Academic Article uri icon


  • Several localized versions of the ensemble Kalman filter have been proposed. Although tests applying such schemes have proven them to be extremely promising, a full basic understanding of the rationale and limitations of localization is currently lacking. It is one of the goals of this paper to contribute toward addressing this issue. The second goal is to elucidate the role played by chaotic wave dynamics in the propagation of information and the resulting impact on forecasts. To accomplish these goals, the principal tool used here will be analysis and interpretation of numerical experiments on a toy atmospheric model introduced by Lorenz in 2005. Propagation of the wave packets of this model is shown. It is found that, when anensemble Kalman filter scheme is employed, the spatial correlation function obtained at each forecast cycle by averaging over the background ensemble members is short ranged, and this is in strong contrast to the much longer range correlation function obtained by averaging over states from free evolution of the model. Propagation of the effects of observations made in one region on forecasts in other regions is studied. The error covariance matrices from the analyses with localization and without localization are compared. From this study, major characteristics of the localization process and information propagation are extracted and summarized. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Yoon, Y., Ott, E., & Szunyogh, I.

citation count

  • 8

publication date

  • December 2010