Estimating Tropical Cyclone Wind Structure and Intensity from Spaceborne Radiometer and Synthetic Aperture Radar

Biao Zhang, Ziqiang Zhu, William Perrie, Jie Tang, Jun A. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present a relatively simple method to estimate tropical cyclone (TC) surface wind structure (34-, 50-, and 64-kt wind radii) and intensity [maximum wind speed (MWS)] from wind fields acquired from the L-band SMAP radiometer and C-band Sentinel-1A/B and RADARSAT-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) between 2015 and 2020. The radiometer and SAR-derived wind radii and MWS are systematically compared with the best-track estimates. The root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) of R34, R50, and R64 are 31.2, 21.8, and 17.0 nmi (1 nmi = 1.852 km) for radiometer, and 21.7, 16.5, and 16.3 nmi for SAR, respectively. These error values are smaller than the averaged best-track uncertainty estimates for the three wind radii. Compared with the best-track reports, the bias and RMSE for the MWS estimates are -0.2 m/s and 5.8 m/s for radiometer, and 4.4 m/s and 9.1 m/s for SAR, respectively. These results are for the wind speeds in the range of 17-80 m/s. For the two typical TCs (Lionrock and Noru) in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, our results show that a combination of the radiometer and SAR wind data acquired within a very short time interval has the potential to simultaneously obtain reasonable measurements of the wind radii and intensity parameters. Moreover, for a TC with a long lifecycle, such as Typhoon Noru, we demonstrate that the high-resolution and multitemporal synergistic observations from SAR and radiometer are valuable for studying fine-scale features of the wind field and characteristics of wind asymmetry associated with intensity change, as well as the evolution of TC surface wind structure and intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9380372
Pages (from-to)4043-4050
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Intensity
  • radiometer
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
  • tropical cyclone (TC)
  • wind structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating Tropical Cyclone Wind Structure and Intensity from Spaceborne Radiometer and Synthetic Aperture Radar'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this