A Comparison of Ensemble Kalman Filters for Storm Surge Assimilation

Muhammad Altaf, T. Butler, T. Mayo, X. Luo, C. Dawson, A. W. Heemink, Ibrahim Hoteit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study evaluates and compares the performances of several variants of the popular ensembleKalman filter for the assimilation of storm surge data with the advanced circulation (ADCIRC) model. Using meteorological data from Hurricane Ike to force the ADCIRC model on a domain including the Gulf ofMexico coastline, the authors implement and compare the standard stochastic ensembleKalman filter (EnKF) and three deterministic square root EnKFs: the singular evolutive interpolated Kalman (SEIK) filter, the ensemble transform Kalman filter (ETKF), and the ensemble adjustment Kalman filter (EAKF). Covariance inflation and localization are implemented in all of these filters. The results from twin experiments suggest that the square root ensemble filters could lead to very comparable performances with appropriate tuning of inflation and localization, suggesting that practical implementation details are at least as important as the choice of the square root ensemble filter itself. These filters also perform reasonably well with a relatively small ensemble size, whereas the stochastic EnKF requires larger ensemble sizes to provide similar accuracy for forecasts of storm surge.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2899-2914
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

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KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


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