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Seung-Jong Baek, Istvan Szunyogh, Brian R. Hunt, and Edward Ott

observations in a typical 0000 UTC operational NCEP data file are identified, then, observations are generated at grid points that are the closest to one of the observations. Only one observation per grid point is created when the grid point is the closest one for multiple observation locations. The density of the observations is the highest over the continents and the lowest over the oceans and in the two polar regions ( Fig. 1 ). In addition to the surface pressure observations, observations of the

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Gérald Desroziers, Loïk Berre, Vincent Chabot, and Bernard Chapnik

analysis scheme is based on a multivariate formulation ( Derber and Bouttier 1999 ), that includes a normalization in physical space of the vorticity covariances by a field of standard deviations of vorticity background errors. This allows us to introduce some heterogeneity of the covariances, which especially induces a larger weight of observations in the areas where the vorticity error standard deviations are large, like in extratropical areas over oceans. To make the fields of vorticity error

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