An Objective Technique for Estimating Large-Scale Flow Pattern in the Tropical Upper Troposphere from Digitized Cloud Brightness Data,
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CALIF
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An objective technique is proposed to use digitized satellite cloud brightness data to estimate large-scale flow patterns over data-void tropical regions. It is basically a diagnostic model which assumes 1 area-averaged cloud brightness is positively correlated with large-scale divergence in the tropical upper troposphere and 2 large-scale tropical flow is quasi-barotropic and quasi-non-divergent. It can be used at any upper level where divergence is important in determining vorticity. The model requires 1 boundary conditions determined from surrounding wind reports, 2 a mean zonal flow determined from climatology, and 3 an equivalent divergence forcing function constructed empirically from the brightness data. The technique is tested daily over a western North Pacific region for July-August 1971.