92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Sunday, 22 January 2012
A Comparison Between AIRS and Observed Soundings
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Manuel S. Medina, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and J. D. Joplin, S. L. Nasiri, and D. T. Conlee

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) are both onboard the Aqua satellite. AIRS measures emitted radiance between 3.7 and 15.4 microns, while AMSU measures from 23.8 to 89 GHz. These radiance measurements are used to retrieve, among other properties, profiles of temperature and moisture. The AIRS/AMSU standard retrieval product has 28 temperature retrieval levels and 14 moisture retrieval layers of these, 12 temperature levels and 11 moisture layers are between 1000-100mb.

A radiosonde sounding, launched coinciding with the overpass of the AIRS, was compared to the satellite's sounding for June 21st and 23rd 2011 in two different forms using temperature and moisture data. This presentation will show better coherence aloft than at the surface through these comparisons. One will be by averaging the radiosonde to that of AIRS levels and the other by comparing it directly to the radiosonde. The direct comparison will show how well AIRS product picks up atmospheric features while the average comparison will show correlation between the two. A drawback for AIRS is clouds; they prevent AIRS from seeing the surface.

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