Airborne Radar Altimeter Measurements of Geostrophic and Ageostrophic Winds Over Irregular Topography

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
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Abstract

Radar altimeter and inertial wind velocity measurements from the NCAR Sabreliner research aircraft are combined with Defense Mapping Agency high-resolution (∼1 km) digital terrain height maps to obtain height analyses and geostrophic and ageostrophic winds for upper-level jet stream systems situated over land. Results show that given an accurate geographical location of the aircraft over an accurately mapped topography, it is possible to diagnose geostrophically and convectively forced ageostrophic motions over irregular topography.

Abstract

Radar altimeter and inertial wind velocity measurements from the NCAR Sabreliner research aircraft are combined with Defense Mapping Agency high-resolution (∼1 km) digital terrain height maps to obtain height analyses and geostrophic and ageostrophic winds for upper-level jet stream systems situated over land. Results show that given an accurate geographical location of the aircraft over an accurately mapped topography, it is possible to diagnose geostrophically and convectively forced ageostrophic motions over irregular topography.

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