Previous studies have demonstrated that satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can be used as an accurate scatterometer, yielding wind speed fields with subkilometer resolution. This wind speed generation is only possible, however, if a corresponding accurate wind direction field is available. The potential sources of this wind direction information include satellite scatterometers, numerical weather prediction models, and SAR itself through analysis of the spatial patterns caused by boundary layer wind structures. Each of these wind direction sources has shortcomings that can lead to wind speed errors in the SAR-derived field. Manual and semiautomated methods are presented for identifying and correcting numerical weather prediction model wind direction errors. The utility of this approach is demonstrated for a set of cases in which the first-guess wind direction data did not adequately portray the features seen in the SAR imagery. These situations include poorly resolved mesoscale phenomena and misplaced synoptic-scale fronts and cyclones.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science