Application of surface-adjusted GOES low-level cloud-drift winds in the environment of Atlantic tropical cyclones. Part II: Integration into surface wind analyses

Jason P. Dunion, Samuel H. Houston, Christopher S. Velden, Mark D. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently (1997 season) began providing real-time Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) low-level cloud-drift winds in the vicinity of tropical cyclones on an experimental basis to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division (HRD). The cloud-drift winds are derived from sequential high-resolution GOES visible channel imagery. These data were included in many of HRD's real-time tropical cyclone surface wind objective analyses, which were sent to NOAA's National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center on an experimental basis during the 1997-2001 hurricane seasons. These wind analyses were used to support the forecasters' tropical cyclone advisories and warnings. The satellite wind observations provide essential low-level coverage in the periphery of the tropical cyclone circulation where conventional in situ observations (e.g., ships, buoys, and Coastal-Marine Automated Network stations) are often widely spaced or nonexistent and reconnaissance aircraft do not normally fly. Though winds derived from microwave channels on polar orbiting satellites provide valuable surface wind data for HRD surface wind analyses, their swath coverage and orbital passes are limited spatially and temporally. GOES low-level visible (GLLV) winds offer nearly continuous spatial and temporal coverage in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins. The GLLV winds were extrapolated to the surface using a planetary boundary layer model developed at HRD. These surface-adjusted satellite data were used in real-time surface wind analyses of 1998 Hurricane Georges, as well as in poststorm analyses of 1996 Hurricane Lili and 1997 Tropical Storm Claudette. The satellite observations often helped to define the spatial extent of the 17.5 m s-1 (34 kt) surface wind radii and also redefined the 25.7 m s-1 (50 kt) wind radius for one case. Examples of the impact of these data on real-time hurricane surface wind fields provided to the NHC will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1347-1355
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume130
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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