Given the sparsity of upper-air meteorological observations, this new data has the potential to significantly impact polar analyses and numerical weather prediction. Experiments with a one-month case study data set have shown a positive impact on numerical model forecasts for the Arctic, Antarctic, and extratropics. These results prompted an effort to begin a routine, near real-time generation of MODIS winds. We will report on the status of this demonstration phase in terms of improvements to the winds processing algorithm, timeliness of the data product, and the impact these data have when assimilated routinely into several different numerical models.
We continue to address the challenges associated with deriving winds from polar-orbiting satellites over the remote regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. These include temporal sampling issues, feature displacement due to parallax in successive orbits, and uncertainties in wind height assignment due to the complexity of surface features, temperature inversions, low atmospheric water vapor amounts, and thin clouds typical of the polar regions.
Supplementary URL: http://stratus.ssec.wisc.edu/products/rtpolarwinds/