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A Multiplatform-Merged (MPM) SST Analysis

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  • 1 NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Climate Prediction Center, Camp Springs, Maryland
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Abstract

Previous observational studies indicated that local sea surface temperatures (SSTs) near the west coast of the United States, in the Gulf of California, and in the Gulf of Mexico have strong impacts on the North American monsoon (NAM) system. Simulations of the NAM by numerical models are also found to be sensitive to the specification of SSTs. Accordingly, a reliable SST dataset is essential for improving the understanding, simulation, and prediction of the NAM system. In this study, a new fine-resolution SST analysis is constructed by merging in situ observations from ships and buoys with retrievals from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites (NOAA-16 and NOAA-17), Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI), and the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR). Called the multiplatform-merged (MPM) SST analysis, this new product of 3-hourly SST is defined on a 0.25° × 0.25° latitude–longitude grid over the Western Hemisphere (30°S–60°N, 180°–30°W). The analysis for the period of 15 May–30 September 2004 shows that the MPM is capable of capturing small-scale disturbances such as those associated with the tropical instability waves. It also depicts local sharp gradients around Baja California and the Gulf Stream with reasonable accuracy compared with the existing analyses. Experiments have been conducted to examine the impacts of the addition of satellite observations on the quality of the MPM analysis. Results showed that inclusion of observations from more satellites progressively improves the quantitative accuracy, especially for diurnal amplitude of the analysis, indicating the importance of accommodating observations from multiple platforms in depicting critical details in an SST analysis with high temporal and spatial resolutions.

Corresponding author address: Wanqiu Wang, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Climate Prediction Center, 5200 Auth Rd., No. 605, Camp Springs, MD 20746. Email: wanqiu.wang@noaa.gov

This article included in the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) special collection.

Abstract

Previous observational studies indicated that local sea surface temperatures (SSTs) near the west coast of the United States, in the Gulf of California, and in the Gulf of Mexico have strong impacts on the North American monsoon (NAM) system. Simulations of the NAM by numerical models are also found to be sensitive to the specification of SSTs. Accordingly, a reliable SST dataset is essential for improving the understanding, simulation, and prediction of the NAM system. In this study, a new fine-resolution SST analysis is constructed by merging in situ observations from ships and buoys with retrievals from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites (NOAA-16 and NOAA-17), Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI), and the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR). Called the multiplatform-merged (MPM) SST analysis, this new product of 3-hourly SST is defined on a 0.25° × 0.25° latitude–longitude grid over the Western Hemisphere (30°S–60°N, 180°–30°W). The analysis for the period of 15 May–30 September 2004 shows that the MPM is capable of capturing small-scale disturbances such as those associated with the tropical instability waves. It also depicts local sharp gradients around Baja California and the Gulf Stream with reasonable accuracy compared with the existing analyses. Experiments have been conducted to examine the impacts of the addition of satellite observations on the quality of the MPM analysis. Results showed that inclusion of observations from more satellites progressively improves the quantitative accuracy, especially for diurnal amplitude of the analysis, indicating the importance of accommodating observations from multiple platforms in depicting critical details in an SST analysis with high temporal and spatial resolutions.

Corresponding author address: Wanqiu Wang, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/Climate Prediction Center, 5200 Auth Rd., No. 605, Camp Springs, MD 20746. Email: wanqiu.wang@noaa.gov

This article included in the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) special collection.

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