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  • Author or Editor: Donald P. Wylie x
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Barry B. Hinton
and
Donald P. Wylie

Abstract

The errors in ship wind reports of light winds tend to significantly bias their mean. This occurs because wind speed is a scalar quantity that is constrained to zero or positive values. Therefore, observations tend to overestimate the light winds because of the one-sided distribution of errors, but the bias disappears under stronger winds. A method for removing this bias from ship data is presented. In particular, the method is applied to interpreting the ratios of wind speeds observed by ships to those obtained from tracking low level clouds. Contracted ratios allow low cloud speeds to serve as proxy data for surface based observations.

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Donald P. Wylie
,
Barry B. Hinton
, and
Kellie M. Millett

Abstract

Statistics on boundary layer vertical wind shear were gathered from rawinsonde soundings taken from three small islands and one weather ship. These soundings show a high correlation between surface and 1829 m altitude wind directions. Wind speeds also were vertically correlated except at one tropical station where the winds were light. The directional results suggest that cloud motions could be used with instruments which measure only scalar surface wind speed (such as radar altimeters or microwave radiometers) to infer vector direction and sea surface stress.

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