Short Course: An Introduction to Ensemble Data Assimilation and the Data Assimilation Research Testbed

Sunday, lonAD, 8:00 a.m.–3:45 p.m.

Preliminary Agenda


The AMS Short Course “An Introduction to Ensemble Data Assimilation using the Data Assimilation Research Testbed” will be held on Sunday 12 January 2020 preceding the 100th AMS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. Preliminary programs, registration, hotel, and general information will be posted on the AMS Web site (



Data assimilation for an earth system model is the process of combining model forecasts with observations to produce improved estimates of the model state. Ensemble filter data assimilation algorithms use a set (ensemble) of model state estimates to enable the assimilation process. Ensemble filter data assimilation is now widely used for numerical weather prediction, but it is also being applied for ocean, sea ice, land surface, space weather and many other geophysical systems. An understanding of how ensemble filter data assimilation works can be useful to researchers, forecasters, and forecast users.


This short course provides a practical introduction to ensemble filters through a combination of interactive tutorials and lectures. Basic ensemble filter algorithms will be covered along with an overview of extensions required for successful application in large earth system models. The first half of the course will be interactive tutorials that combine lectures with complementary online exercises. The tutorials will cover many of the ensemble filter algorithms that are used today for geophysical applications. The second half of the course provides an introduction to how these algorithms are applied by the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART), a community software facility for ensemble filter data assimilation. DART  can produce high-quality weather predictions but can also be used to build a comprehensive forecast system for any prediction model and observations. Lectures will describe how DART has been applied to NWP at scales ranging from sub-kilometer to global, but also to space weather, oceans, sea ice, terrestrial systems, and hydrologic models. The final lecture will discuss the basics of adding new models or observations to DART. Attendees will leave with a basic understanding of ensemble filter data assimilation that will allow them to better interpret ensemble forecasts. They will have a sufficient understanding of the DART system to evaluate whether using existing DART capabilities could be useful for their specific applications. Finally, they will have a basic idea of what would be required to develop DART assimilation capabilities for new models or observations.


Instructors include experts on ensemble data assimilation algorithms, the DART system, and the use of DART with many models on a variety of computing systems.


Participants are expected to bring their own laptops to participate in the tutorials. MATLAB is required for the tutorials and instructions will be provided so that participants who do not have this software can download a trial version prior to the start of the short course.


For more information, please send email to [email protected] which is monitored by all of the instructors.


Short Course/Workshop Registration

All short course/workshop attendees must register and wear a badge/ribbon. Short course/workshop registration is not included in the 99th Annual Meeting registration, and short course/workshop registration does not include registration for the 99th AMS Annual Meeting.

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