TJ12.1 Satellite Measurements of Atmospheric Temperature and Moisture Profiles (Invited Presentation)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 9:15 AM
2AB (Washington State Convention Center )
Timothy J. Schmit, NOAA, Madison, WI; and J. Li

Great progress, especially from polar-orbiters, has been made with respect to estimating atmospheric temperature and moisture vertical profiles from space. This includes both the estimation of temperature and moisture profiles, along with many derived parameters, as well as the direct use of radiances through assimilation into Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. For example, the single sensor with the largest impact on global NWP forecasts is the high spectral resolution infrared sensor. More generally, satellite observations are the backbone of today’s observations for NWP. Each instrument, and orbit, brings unique information, with the most information being when all the data are combined. For example, radio occultation plus infrared are better than either alone. Similarly microwave plus infrared are better than either alone. Also the global coverage from polar-orbiters can be supplemented with higher time resolution measurements from geostationary orbits. The largest remaining observational gap is the high time resolution temperature and moisture profile measurements with high vertical resolution which need high spectral resolution instruments. While there are operational missions planned for over Europe and China, the U.S. has no current plans for similar sensors to monitor North America. While temperature and moisture profiles from polar-orbiting platforms are useful, there are many high impact weather situations where the structure of the atmosphere is changing more frequently. In addition, multiple looks at the same scene not only allow for reducing the observation noise, but also allow time for clouds to move and lower level features to be revealed. This sensor was earlier slated to be on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R series, but was canceled in 2006.
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