Determination of Moisture From NOAA Polar Orbiting Satellite Sounding Radiances

Christopher M. Hayden National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Earth Satellite Service, Madison, WI 53706

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William L. Smith National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Earth Satellite Service, Madison, WI 53706

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Harold M. Woolf National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Earth Satellite Service, Madison, WI 53706

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Abstract

A method is presented for deducing lower troposphere moisture fields from radiances measured by the operational polar orbiting NOAA satellites. Statistical evaluation of the technique demonstrates the viability of the approach. A case study with TIROS-N observations shows substantial improvement over current operational methods, and a qualitatively reasonable product. High moisture gradients are clearly defined and horizontal consistency is achieved. The technique appears useful for the initialization of subsynoptic forecast models.

Abstract

A method is presented for deducing lower troposphere moisture fields from radiances measured by the operational polar orbiting NOAA satellites. Statistical evaluation of the technique demonstrates the viability of the approach. A case study with TIROS-N observations shows substantial improvement over current operational methods, and a qualitatively reasonable product. High moisture gradients are clearly defined and horizontal consistency is achieved. The technique appears useful for the initialization of subsynoptic forecast models.

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