790 Using CloudSat and MODIS for exploring a hurricane intensity estimation technique

Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Renford Alexander, NOAA, NY, NY

Observing Tropical Cyclones (TC) using satellites is a common and successful endeavor. However, using satellites to accurately measure storm intensity is a more difficult and involved task. Our research aim to accurately measure hurricane intensity using only satellite obtained data. Modeling a hurricane as a balanced convectively neutral vortex, along with assumptions on the contributing factors to moist static energy, we explore techniques for estimating hurricane intensity. We used maximum sustained wind to characterize hurricane intensity. We calculated maximum sustained wind using the Wong and Emanuel expression for peak wind speed in a storm. CloudSat cloud profiling radar was used for obtaining cloud-top height and cloud composition information, and the MODIS instrument on-board Aqua was used to obtain cloud-top temperature. This technique requires eye or near eye overpass and simultaneous data collection and as a result have a limited sample size. We compare our results to the best track database and analyze the validity of our estimations.
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