Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Mathematics of Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics

1 July - 19 December 1996

Organisers:JCR Hunt (UK Meteorological Office), ME McIntyre (Cambridge), J Norbury (Oxford), I Roulstone (UK Meteorological Office)


The theoretical promise of variational data assimilation, for providing an optimal fit to observations and constraining model equations, has been known for many years. However, it is only in recent years that the technology has been available to make the approach practicable for operational numerical weather prediction. Several centres have implemented, or are developing, operational variational systems using observations at a synoptic time (3DVAR). For these, the key design problem is the representation of the prior constraints on balance and smoothness, for numerical models with very many degrees of freedom. The extension to observations for a time period (4DVAR) necessary for many of the theoretical advantages, poses another major practical problem, the cost of many forecast and adjoint mode integrations over the time period.

This workshop, part of the European collaboration in short-range numerical weather prediction, is designed to exchange experience and foster collaboration in developing the techniques whereby the theoretical methods of variational assimilation may be applied in operational forecast systems. There will be presentations about many of the systems being developed in operational NWP centres (ECMWF, NCEP, UK Met Office, Meteo France, HIRLAM), plus discussion sessions about techniques and problems from 3DVAR and 4DVAR. A principle goal of the discussion groups will be to initiate collaboration: possible topics include:

There will be a workshop fee of GBP 60, which will include tea, coffee, lunches and a workshop dinner in a Cambridge college on the evening of 12 September. Some single study bedrooms have been reserved at Wolfson Court (adjacent to the Newton Institute), for the nights of 11-12 September, at a cost of GBP21.50 per night, bed and breakfast.

For further details contact the workshop organiser, Andrew Lorenc, Meteorological Office, Room 419, London Road, Bracknell, RG12 2SZ, UK (Tel: +44 1344 85 6227; Fax: +44 1344 85 4026)

Closing date for registration: 31 July 1996

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