Hurricane Wind Vector Estimates from WindSat Polarimetric Radiometer
MICROWAVE REMOTE SENSING CONSULTANTS COCOA BEACH FL
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WindSat is the worlds first microwave polarimetric radiometer, designed to measure ocean vector winds. In late 2004, the first preliminary oceanic wind vector results were released, and this paper presents the first evaluation of this product for several Atlantic hurricanes during the 2003 season. Both wind speed and wind direction comparisons will be made with surface wind analysis HWind developed by the NOAA Hurricane Research Division HRD and provided by the NOAA National Hurricane Center NHC. Examples are presented where HRD aircraft flights were conducted within several hours of the WindSat overpass. These HWind surface wind analyses provide the most complete independent surface winds comparison data set available. Both WindSat retrieved wind speeds and wind directions are evaluated against HWind as a function of storm quadrant. To complement the analysis, rain rates were derived using WindSat brightness temperatures with a modified version of the TMI 2A12 heritage rain algorithm. Effects of rain on the derived wind speeds and directions are discussed.
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- Operations Research