11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography


Using QuikSCAT data to determine the strength of a polar lows

Boniface J. Mills, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE


Polar lows are intense mesoscale (<1000km) low pressure systems that usually exist over maritime environments in very cold air masses. Polar lows are hazardous when they produce gale to hurricane force winds, high sea waves, heavy and blowing snow and in some cases thunderstorm activity. Polar low development and intensification is a strong interest of maritime forecasters. However, there is usually very little weather observational data like wind speed and direction in the vicinity of polar lows to aid forecasters. Combining NOAA or DMSP imagery with QuikSCAT wind data can improve forecasters’ understanding of the polar low dynamics via better imagery resolution and remote data coverage. An example of a polar low is followed through most of its short life history off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. DMSP imagery and QuikSCAT data are merged together to get a better understanding of the polar low’s intensification. The few land and maritime weather observations are used as ground truth when examining the QuikSCAT winds with DMSP imagery.

Poster Session 1, Environmental Applications
Monday, 15 October 2001, 9:45 AM-11:15 AM

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