Atmospheric Stability over the Tropical Oceans Derived from TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

Atmospheric static stability ahs a role in determining where and when deep convection can occur. Owing to a sparsity of upper-air stations through most of the tropics, satellites must be relied upon for stability information. Data from the TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) aboard NOAA's polar-orbiting satellites are evaluated for suitability in computing atmospheric stability. A stability index is derived and compared with both monthly means and individual soundings from in situ instruments. The results suggest that, although TOVS has several shortcomings, a good measure of atmospheric stability can be obtained.

Abstract

Atmospheric static stability ahs a role in determining where and when deep convection can occur. Owing to a sparsity of upper-air stations through most of the tropics, satellites must be relied upon for stability information. Data from the TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) aboard NOAA's polar-orbiting satellites are evaluated for suitability in computing atmospheric stability. A stability index is derived and compared with both monthly means and individual soundings from in situ instruments. The results suggest that, although TOVS has several shortcomings, a good measure of atmospheric stability can be obtained.

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