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  • Author or Editor: John F. Dostalek x
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Daniel T. Lindsey
Louie Grasso
John F. Dostalek
, and
Jochen Kerkmann


The depth of boundary layer water vapor plays a critical role in convective cloud formation in the warm season, but numerical models often struggle with accurate predictions of above-surface moisture. Satellite retrievals of water vapor have been developed, but they are limited by the use of a model’s first guess, instrument spectral resolution, horizontal footprint size, and vertical resolution. In 2016, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R), the first in a series of new-generation geostationary satellites, will be launched. Its Advanced Baseline Imager will provide unprecedented spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution. Among the bands are two centered at 10.35 and 12.3 μm. The brightness temperature difference between these bands is referred to as the split-window difference, and has been shown to provide information about atmospheric column water vapor. In this paper, the split-window difference is reexamined from the perspective of GOES-R and radiative transfer model simulations are used to better understand the factors controlling its value. It is shown that the simple split-window difference can provide useful information for forecasters about deepening low-level water vapor in a cloud-free environment.

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