The Simpson Symposium


Discoveries of surface wind and wave patterns in hurricanes using synthetic aperture radar

Kristina B. Katsaros, NOAA/AOML, Miami, FL; and P. W. Vachon, W. M. Drennan, P. G. Black, P. P. Dodge, S. Lehner, and E. W. Uhlhorn

High resolution (100 m) surface wind fields obtainable from the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on RADARSAT since 1998 have provided new views of the surface wind fields in hurricanes. We have discovered that secondary flows are prevalent in the rain-free region between outer rainbands. We see in snapshots of the surface wind fields the asymmetric shapes, waves, and mesocyclones at the inner boundary of the eyewall. Statistics on the ellipticity, wave number, and amplitudes of these instability waves can be deduced for a score of cases at different stages of storm development. Furthermore, 10 x 5 km snapshots of SAR in the wave mode obtained every 200 km along the orbit of the European Remote Sensing 1 and 2 satellite provide information about wind fields and the hurricane-generated swell.

Poster Session 5, Tropical Cyclones: Intensity and Structure
Thursday, 13 February 2003, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

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