Applications of SSM/I Data in the Analysis of Hurricane Florence (1988)

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  • a Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • | b Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C
  • | c Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Abstract

Data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) on board a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite are used to study the precipitation patterns and wind fields associated with Hurricane Florence (1988). SSM/I estimates indicate that the intensification of Florence was coincident with the increase in total latent beat release. Additionally, an increase in the concentration and areal coverage of heavier rain rates near the center is observed. SSM/I marine surface winds of Florence are examined and compared to in situ data, and to an enhanced objective isotach analysis over the Gulf of Mexico. Results indicate that the SSM/I winds are weaker than those depicted in the enhanced objective analysis and slightly stronger than in situ observations. Finally, center positions of Florence are estimated using the 85-GHz brightness temperature imagery. Much improved estimates are achieved using this imagery compared to using GOES infrared imagery. These results concur with previous studies that applications of SSM/I data could be valuable in augmenting current methods of tropical cyclone analysis.

Abstract

Data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) on board a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite are used to study the precipitation patterns and wind fields associated with Hurricane Florence (1988). SSM/I estimates indicate that the intensification of Florence was coincident with the increase in total latent beat release. Additionally, an increase in the concentration and areal coverage of heavier rain rates near the center is observed. SSM/I marine surface winds of Florence are examined and compared to in situ data, and to an enhanced objective isotach analysis over the Gulf of Mexico. Results indicate that the SSM/I winds are weaker than those depicted in the enhanced objective analysis and slightly stronger than in situ observations. Finally, center positions of Florence are estimated using the 85-GHz brightness temperature imagery. Much improved estimates are achieved using this imagery compared to using GOES infrared imagery. These results concur with previous studies that applications of SSM/I data could be valuable in augmenting current methods of tropical cyclone analysis.

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