Data Assimilation (DA) involves the combination of observational data with the underlying dynamical principles governing the system under observation. In this work we combine the advantages of the two prominent advanced data assimilation systems, the 4D-Var and the ensemble methods. The proposed method consists of identifying the subspace spanned by the major 4D-Var error reduction directions. These directions are then removed from the background covariance through a Galerkin-type projection. This generates an updated error covariance information at both end points of an assimilation window. The error covariance information is updated between assimilation windows to capture the ``error of the day''. Numerical results using our new hybrid approach on a nonlinear model demonstrate how the background covariance matrix leads to an error covariance update that improves the 4D-Var DA results
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