An estimate of the inflation factor and analysis sensitivity in the ensemble Kalman filter
Abstract. The ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is a widely used ensemble-based assimilation method, which estimates the forecast error covariance matrix using a Monte Carlo approach that involves an ensemble of short-term forecasts. While the accuracy of the forecast error covariance matrix is crucial for achieving accurate forecasts, the estimate given by the EnKF needs to be improved using inflation techniques. Otherwise, the sampling covariance matrix of perturbed forecast states will underestimate the true forecast error covariance matrix because of the limited ensemble size and large model errors, which may eventually result in the divergence of the filter.
In this study, the forecast error covariance inflation factor is estimated using a generalized cross-validation technique. The improved EnKF assimilation scheme is tested on the atmosphere-like Lorenz-96 model with spatially correlated observations, and is shown to reduce the analysis error and increase its sensitivity to the observations.