Recent-innovations in deriving tropospheric winds from meteorological satellites

Christopher Velden, Jaime Daniels, David Stettner, David Santek, Jeff Key, Jason Dunion, Kenneth Holmlund, Gail Dengel, Wayne Bresky, Paul Menzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The evolving constellation of environmental/meteorological satellites and their associated sensor technology is rapidly advancing. This is providing opportunities for creatively improving satellite-derived products used in weather analysis and forecasting. For example, the retrieval methods for deriving atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) from satellites have been expanding and evolving since the early 1970s. Contemporary AMV processing methods are continuously being updated and advanced through the exploitation of new sensor technologies and innovative new approaches. It is incumbent upon the research community working in AMV extraction techniques to ensure that the quality of the current operational products meets or exceeds the needs of the user community. In particular, the advances in data assimilation and numerical weather prediction in recent years have placed an increasing demand on data quality. To keep pace with these demands, innovative res earch toward improving methods of deriving winds from satellites has been a focus of the World Meteorological Organization and Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) cosponsored International Winds Workshops (IWWs). The IWWs are held every 2 yr, and bring together AMV researchers from around the world to present new ideas on AMV extraction techniques, interpretation, and applications. The NWP community is always well represented at these workshops, which provide an important exchange of information on the latest in data assimilation issues. This article draws from recent IWWs, and describes several new advances in satellite - produced wind technologies, derivation methodologies, and products. Examples include AMVs derived from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) rapid scans and the shortwave IR channel, AMVs over the polar regions from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), improved AMV products from the new Meteosat Second Generation satellite, and new processing approaches for deriving AMVs. The article also provides a glimpse into the pending opportunities that will be afforded with emerging/anticipated new sensor technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-223
Number of pages19
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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