Structure and Evolution of Southern Ocean Mesocyclones Using Multiple Satellite Systems

Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed project is a study to determine the meteorological characteristics of Southern Ocean mesocyclones by combining Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) data, TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) data, and satellite-based radar altimeter data for selected case studies of mesoscale cyclone occurrences, and validating these characteristics with European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses. It is a joint project of Indiana University and the University of Washington. The project will use retrieved satellite observations of winds, atmospheric moisture, and thermal parameters that will be applied to mesocyclones previously identified and catalogued from satellite image analyses. Included in the analyses will be an evaluation of the performance of SSM/I algorithms in retrieving surface winds and moisture parameters. For the austral winter of 1992 wind vector information obtained from the European Remote Sensing satellite (ERS-1) scatterometer will be included. The large-scale environment in which these mesocyclones occur will be studied by comparison with fields of diagnostic variables taken from the ECMWF synoptic analyses. The expected result of this project is the development of a conceptual and statistical model of Southern Ocean mesocyclone evolution. This is a necessary first step toward the inclusion of polar low processes in operational numerical analysis and prediction schemes, and the determination of their role in the general circulation of the atmosphere.

Effective start/end date6/1/9311/30/95


  • National Science Foundation: $105,608.00


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