Ocean Surface Pressure Fields from Satellite-Sensed Winds

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
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Abstract

The University of Washington's planetary boundary layer model is inverted to use remotely sensed satellite scatterometer-derived surface winds as input to calculate maritime surface pressure fields. The analysis of three different synoptic storm situations is performed using the model and is then compared to conventional National Weather Service analyses. Agreement is good. Isolation of the PBL secondary flow, stratification and thermal wind effects in the model revealed that each may be significant under certain conditions. However, the model shows sensitivity to the thermodynamic features only in a general sense and even a neutral stratification solution gives a good approximation. The high density of the scatterometer data produces mesoscale (hundreds of kilometers) dynamic details, which cannot be confirmed by conventional data at this stage.

Abstract

The University of Washington's planetary boundary layer model is inverted to use remotely sensed satellite scatterometer-derived surface winds as input to calculate maritime surface pressure fields. The analysis of three different synoptic storm situations is performed using the model and is then compared to conventional National Weather Service analyses. Agreement is good. Isolation of the PBL secondary flow, stratification and thermal wind effects in the model revealed that each may be significant under certain conditions. However, the model shows sensitivity to the thermodynamic features only in a general sense and even a neutral stratification solution gives a good approximation. The high density of the scatterometer data produces mesoscale (hundreds of kilometers) dynamic details, which cannot be confirmed by conventional data at this stage.

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