In Situ Aircraft Verification of the Quality of Satellite Cloud Winds over Oceanic Regions

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  • a Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt, MD 20771
  • | b GE/MATSCO, Beltsville, MD 20705
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Abstract

A 5-year aircraft experiment to verify the quality of satellite cloud winds over oceans using in situ aircraft Inertial Navigation System wind measurements has been completed. The final results show that satellite measured cumulus cloud motions Vcloud are very good estimators of the cloud-base wind VCBW (900–950 mb) for trade wind and subtropical high regions. The average magnitude of the vector differences between the cloud motion and the cloud-base wind ranged from 0.9 to 1.7 m s−1 [ 0.9 m s−1 ≤ | VcloudVCBW| ≤1.7 m s−1. For cumulus clouds near frontal regions, the cloud motion agreed best with the mean cloud layer wind VMCLW [|VcloudVMCLW|. For a very limited sample, cirrus cloud motions also most closely followed the mean wind in the cloud layer [|VcloudVMCLW| = 1.7 m s−1].

Abstract

A 5-year aircraft experiment to verify the quality of satellite cloud winds over oceans using in situ aircraft Inertial Navigation System wind measurements has been completed. The final results show that satellite measured cumulus cloud motions Vcloud are very good estimators of the cloud-base wind VCBW (900–950 mb) for trade wind and subtropical high regions. The average magnitude of the vector differences between the cloud motion and the cloud-base wind ranged from 0.9 to 1.7 m s−1 [ 0.9 m s−1 ≤ | VcloudVCBW| ≤1.7 m s−1. For cumulus clouds near frontal regions, the cloud motion agreed best with the mean cloud layer wind VMCLW [|VcloudVMCLW|. For a very limited sample, cirrus cloud motions also most closely followed the mean wind in the cloud layer [|VcloudVMCLW| = 1.7 m s−1].

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