Outer Loops in 4D Hybrid Ensemble-Variational Data Assimilation for the NCEP GFS
The use of an outer-loop has long been the method of choice for 4DVar data assimilation to help address nonlinearity. An outer loop involves the re-running of the (deterministic) background forecast from the updated initial condition at the beginning of the assimilation window, and proceeding with another inner loop minimization. Within 4D EnVar, a similar procedure can be adopted since the solver evaluates a 4D analysis increment throughout the window, consistent with the valid times of the 4D ensemble perturbations. In this procedure, the ensemble perturbations are kept fixed and centered about the updated background state. This is analogous to the quasi-outer loop idea developed for the EnKF. Here, we present results for both toy model and real NWP systems demonstrating the impact of incorporating outer loops to address nonlinearity within the 4D EnVar context. The appropriate amplitudes for observation and background error covariances in subsequent outer loops will be explored.