Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot Gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Discontinuous Forcing Generating Rough Initial Conditions In 4DVAR Data Assimilation


The impact of discontinuous model forcing on the initial conditions obtained from 4DVAR data assimilation is studied with mathematic analyses, idealized numerical examples, and more realistic meteorological cases. The results show that a discontinuity in a parameterization, like a model bias, can introduce a systematic error in the assimilated initial fields. However, the most detrimental effect of a model discontinuity is the retention of roughness in the assimilated initial fields, although in some cases the 4DVAR procedure provides some smoothing effect. The obvious consequences of this roughness is that it will introduce spurious modes in the ensuing forecast, and derivatives of the assimilated initial data will be unrealistically large, which can lead to large errors in data analysis. The smoothing effect on the initial conditions with the addition of artificial diffusion to the constraining model is also studied. Possible solutions to the problem of 4DVAR data assimilation with discontinuous model forcing are discussed.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
July 22, 1999
Fiscal Year
Publication Name
Journal of The Atmospheric Sciences
Published On
July 22, 1999
Publisher Name
Amer Meteorological Soc
Print Volume
Print Number
Submitted On
March 23, 1998


Not available


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

Not available