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On the Use of QuikSCAT Scatterometer Measurements of Surface Winds for Marine Weather Prediction Public Deposited

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  • The value of Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) measurements of 10-m ocean vector winds for marine weather prediction is investigated from two Northern Hemisphere case studies. The first of these focuses on an intense cyclone with hurricane-force winds that occurred over the extratropical western North Pacific on 10 January 2005. The second is a 17 February 2005 example that is typical of sea surface temperature influence on low-level winds in moderate wind conditions in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream in the western North Atlantic. In both cases, the analyses of 10-m winds from the NCEP and ECMWF global numerical weather prediction models considerably underestimated the spatial variability of the wind field on scales smaller than 1000 km compared with the structure determined from QuikSCAT observations. The NCEP and ECMWF models both assimilate QuikSCAT observations. While the accuracies of the 10-m wind analyses from these models measurably improved after implementation of the QuikSCAT data assimilation, the information content in the QuikSCAT data is underutilized by the numerical models. QuikSCAT data are available in near–real time in the NOAA/NCEP Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (N-AWIPS) and are used extensively in manual analyses of surface winds. The high resolution of the QuikSCAT data is routinely utilized by forecasters at the NOAA/NCEP Ocean Prediction Center, Tropical Prediction Center, and other NOAA weather forecast offices to improve the accuracies of wind warnings in marine forecasts.
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  • Chelton, Dudley B., Michael H. Freilich, Joseph M. Sienkiewicz, Joan M. Von Ahn, 2006: On the Use of QuikSCAT Scatterometer Measurements of Surface Winds for Marine Weather Prediction. Monthly Weather Review, 134(8), 2055–2071.
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  • 134
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  • 8
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  • This researchwas supported by NASA Grant NAS5-32965 forfunding of Ocean Vector Winds Science Team activities,Award NA03NES4400001, to Oregon State Universityfrom the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration, U.S. Department of Commerce, andby the National Oceanographic Partnership Programfunding under Scatterometer-Derived OperationalWinds, Surface Pressures, and Rain through theNOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, andInformation Service (NESDIS).
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