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John D. Hottenstein, Guillermo E. Ponce-Campos, Julio Moguel-Yanes, and M. Susan Moran

. 2002 ; Cox et al. 1986 ). Second, the currently orbiting Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and planned Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) sensors will provide global measurements of soil moisture at this depth ( Kerr et al. 2001 ; Entekhabi et al. 2010 ). 2. Methods a. Study sites and data selection Nine sites were selected across the southern United States ( Fig. 1 ), composed of seven Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) stations, one U

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C. Albergel, W. Dorigo, R. H. Reichle, G. Balsamo, P. de Rosnay, J. Muñoz-Sabater, L. Isaksen, R. de Jeu, and W. Wagner

Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E on the Aqua satellite from 6.9 to 89.0 GHz), WindSat (from 6.8 to 37 GHz), and the scatterometer on board the European Remote Sensing Satellite ( ERS-1 and ERS-2 , 5.3 GHz). More recently, the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission (SMOS, in L band ~1.42 GHz), a dedicated soil moisture mission, was launched (November 2009) ( Kerr et al. 2010 ). In addition, the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) on board MetOp-A (launched

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Catherine Champagne, Andrew Davidson, Patrick Cherneski, Jessika L’Heureux, and Trevor Hadwen

-real-time measurements of soil moisture conditions at the surface. The Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission was launched in November 2009 with goals that included the direct measurement of soil moisture at the earth’s surface and the integration of these measurements into land surface models to estimate root zone soil moisture conditions ( Kerr et al. 2001 ). Beginning with the 2010 growing season and continuing to the end of the 2013 growing season, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) piloted the use of

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Amy McNally, Gregory J. Husak, Molly Brown, Mark Carroll, Chris Funk, Soni Yatheendradas, Kristi Arsenault, Christa Peters-Lidard, and James P. Verdin

and the region has a unimodal rainfall regime dominated by the migration of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and at the southern extent of the domain, the West African monsoon. Fig . 1. Dominant land-cover types in the West African Sudano-Sahel from the UMD Global Land Cover Classification. Isohyets, at 250-mm increments, represent total annual rainfall ranging from 250 mm in the north to 1250 mm in the south. Because of its low vegetation density, lack of rainfall gauges, and widespread

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Marco L. Carrera, Stéphane Bélair, and Bernard Bilodeau

. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. , 91 , 1073 – 1085 , doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS2913.1 . Margulis, S. A. , McLaughlin D. , Entekhabi D. , and Dunne S. , 2002 : Land data assimilation and estimation of soil moisture using measurements from the Southern Great Plains 1997 Field Experiment . Water Resour. Res. , 38 , 1299 , doi: 10.1029/2001WR001114 . Masson, V. , and Coauthors , 2013 : The SURFEXv7.2 land and ocean surface platform for coupled or offline simulation of earth surface variables and

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Randal D. Koster, Gregory K. Walker, Sarith P. P. Mahanama, and Rolf H. Reichle

Mahanama et al. (2012) in their forecast experiments and then quantify the resulting degradation of the streamflow forecasts. The degradation is then interpreted in terms of the increase in skill attainable from improvements in soil moisture initialization, improvements that are expected from the assimilation of data from current and upcoming satellite-based soil moisture missions [viz., the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS; Kerr et al. 2010 ) and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP

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