118 Enhancing Weather Monitoring and Forecasting with Polar-orbiting High Spectral Resolution Infrared Sounders

Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Grand Terrace (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Elisabeth Weisz, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and W. L. Smith Sr., R. E. Schultz, K. Strabala, and A. Huang

Handout (9.7 MB)

Satellite-based instrumentation not only provides visual images, but also spectral radiance data that allow the computation of atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles, trace gas concentrations, surface and cloud properties. Advanced infrared sounding instruments, such as AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder), IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) and CrIS (Cross-track Infrared Sounder), onboard polar-orbiting satellites measure the radiance with a very high spectral resolution to enable precise and accurate determination of atmospheric temperature and humidity. Detailed information about the vertical atmospheric structure and coincident surface and cloud features is available on a global scale with the spatial and temporal resolution required for many operational and research applications. While high spectral (or hyperspectral) satellite sounder data have been available for more than a decade, and are increasingly recognized as an indispensable source of independent information, the full exploitation and the optimal use of the measurements and the retrievals is still a challenging task. This talk will describe the information that can be derived in real-time from hyperspectral sounder measurements, for example, pre-convective atmospheric stability and cloud development. We will present and discuss severe weather events to demonstrate the potential benefit of hyperspectral sounder measurements and high-quality retrieval products to regional weather monitoring and forecasting operations.

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