Training course: Data assimilation

ECMWF | Reading | 22-26 May 2023

This five-day course focuses on describing data assimilation methods and general aspects of assimilating observations. Aspects of the implementation of the assimilation techniques for real-size numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems will also be described.

As well as lectures there will be discussion and hands-on sessions. 

Main topics

  • The fundamental data assimilation concepts
  • Optimal Interpolation, 3D-Var, 4D-Var and the Kalman filter
  • Ensemble Kalman Filter methods; Ensemble of Data Assimilations and uncertainty estimation; Hybrid variational/ensemble based methods
  • Modelling of error covariances; handling of non-Gaussian errors
  • The global observing system, with emphasis on how to use satellite observations
  • Bias correction, quality control and diagnostics
  • Applications of data assimilation methods for the land surface, ocean, atmospheric composition and reanalysis


Participants should have a good meteorological and mathematical background, and in particular a good understanding of linear algebra. They are expected to be familiar with the contents of standard meteorological and mathematical textbooks.

Introductory material not covered by the course can be found in our lecture note series.

Some practical experience in numerical weather prediction is an advantage.

All lectures will be given in English.

N.B. Please note the UK National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) and the University of Reading will also run a data assimilation training course from 9- 12 May 2023. This free course will take place in the University of Reading, just down the road from where the ECMWF trainings will be held. For more information, please visit  

22 May (09:00) - 26 May (15:50)

Location: Reading (UK)

Course format: In-person only

Course code: NWP-DA

Course fee: £923

A course fee is payable by participants who do not reside in an ECMWF Member or Co-operating State.

More information about our fees