Satellite evidence of yearly air-sea interaction off the coast of Colombia

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Monday, 18 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Deborah K. Smith, Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, CA; and K. Hilburn, F. J. Wentz, and C. Gentemann

The series of SSM/I instruments on DMSP satellites now provide a 22-year time series of winds over the ocean. These consistently processed and carefully inter-calibrated data make it possible to better understand the characteristics of regional wind patterns having infrequent or sporadic occurrence, and to determine how these characteristics change over time. In a previous study, presented at the last AMS meeting, we used SSM/I and QuikScat data to determine the surface characteristics of the Caribbean Low Level Jet (CLLJ) located in the Intra-Americas Sea. We identified a region of maximum winds near the coast of Columbia that, though representing similar temporal characteristics as the CLLJ, showed spatial characteristics that could not be easily explained from previous knowledge. By using TMI and AMSR-E data in addition to SSM/I and QuikScat, we can now identify the role that air-sea interaction plays in maintaining these persistent high surface winds.