Global Navigation Satellite System Reflectometry (GNSS-R)-based wind retrieval techniques use the global positioning system (GPS) signals scattered from the ocean surface in the forward direction, and can potentially work in all weather conditions. An overview of recent progress made in the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) level-2 surface wind products is given. To this end, four publicly released CYGNSS surface wind products—Science Data Record (SDR) v2.1, SDR v3.0, Climate Data Record (CDR) v1.1, and science wind speed product NOAA v1.1—are validated quantitatively against high-quality data from tropical buoy arrays. The latest released CYGNSS wind products (e.g., CDR v1.1, SDR v3.0, NOAA v1.1), as compared with these tropical buoy data, significantly outperform the SDR v2.1. Moreover, the uncertainty among these products is found to be less than 2 m s−1 root-mean-squared difference, meeting the NASA science mission level-1 uncertainty requirement for wind speeds below 20 m s−1. The quality of the CYGNSS wind is further assessed under different precipitation conditions in low winds, and in large-scale convective regions. Results show that the presence of rain appears to cause a slightly positive wind speed bias in all CYGNSS data. Nonetheless, the outcomes are encouraging for the recently released CYGNSS wind products in general, and for CYGNSS data in regions with precipitating deep convection. The overall comparison indicates a significant improvement in wind speed quality and sample size when going from the older version to any of the newer datasets.
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