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On the Relationship Between Scatterometer-Derived Convergences and Atmospheric Moisture

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
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Abstract

Fields of divergence calculated from the Seasat-A Satellite Scatterometer winds and fields of integrated water vapor and rainrate from the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer on Seasat are constructed for three different midlatitude cyclones. These storms include an explosively deepening cyclone that occurred in the North Atlantic (also known as the Queen Elizabeth II cyclone), a storm that occurred in the North Pacific, and a Southern Ocean storm. In all three cases, the regions of convergence and atmospheric water (vapor and rain) are consistent with each other and help to define features of each storm. The vertical distribution of moisture is inferred for one case using both the convergence pattern and the integrated water vapor field. In another, interpretation of the convergence field in a data gap region is aided by the water vapor field. In all three cases, surface low pressure centers, fronts, and even frontal waves are clearly evident as areas of convergence, and increased water vapor and rainrate.

Abstract

Fields of divergence calculated from the Seasat-A Satellite Scatterometer winds and fields of integrated water vapor and rainrate from the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer on Seasat are constructed for three different midlatitude cyclones. These storms include an explosively deepening cyclone that occurred in the North Atlantic (also known as the Queen Elizabeth II cyclone), a storm that occurred in the North Pacific, and a Southern Ocean storm. In all three cases, the regions of convergence and atmospheric water (vapor and rain) are consistent with each other and help to define features of each storm. The vertical distribution of moisture is inferred for one case using both the convergence pattern and the integrated water vapor field. In another, interpretation of the convergence field in a data gap region is aided by the water vapor field. In all three cases, surface low pressure centers, fronts, and even frontal waves are clearly evident as areas of convergence, and increased water vapor and rainrate.

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