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Observations of Thermal and Precipitation Structure in a Tropical Cyclone by Means of Passive Microwave Imagery near 118 GHZ

M. J. SchwartzResearch Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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J. W. BarrettResearch Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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P. W. FieguthResearch Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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P. W. RosenkranzResearch Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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M. S. SpinaResearch Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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D. H. StaelinResearch Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Abstract

An imaging microwave radiometer with eight double-sideband channels centered on the 118-GHz oxygen resonance was flown on a high-altitude aircraft over a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea. The measurements clearly resolved an eyewall of strong convection and a warm core within the eye. Brightness temperatures observed within the eye were approximately 10 K warmer than those observed in clear air 100 km or more away. This warming extended somewhat beyond the eyewall in the highest (most opaque) channel. The temperature profile in the eye, central pressure, and convective cell-top altitudes are inferred from the data.

Abstract

An imaging microwave radiometer with eight double-sideband channels centered on the 118-GHz oxygen resonance was flown on a high-altitude aircraft over a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea. The measurements clearly resolved an eyewall of strong convection and a warm core within the eye. Brightness temperatures observed within the eye were approximately 10 K warmer than those observed in clear air 100 km or more away. This warming extended somewhat beyond the eyewall in the highest (most opaque) channel. The temperature profile in the eye, central pressure, and convective cell-top altitudes are inferred from the data.

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