A Non-MLE Approach for Satellite Scatterometer Wind Vector Retrievals in Tropical Cyclones
Abbreviated Journal Title
SeaWinds; conical scanning; scatterometers; wind vector retrievals; MLE; tropical cyclones; H*Wind; OCEAN; NSCAT; SYSTEM; Remote Sensing
Satellite microwave scatterometers are the principal source of global synoptic-scale ocean vector wind (OVW) measurements for a number of scientific and operational oceanic wind applications. However, for extreme wind events such as tropical cyclones, their performance is significantly degraded. This paper presents a novel OVW retrieval algorithm for tropical cyclones which improves the accuracy of scatterometer based ocean surface winds when compared to low-flying aircraft with in-situ and remotely sensed observations. Unlike the traditional maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) wind vector retrieval technique, this new approach sequentially estimates scalar wind directions and wind speeds. A detailed description of the algorithm is provided along with results for ten QuikSCAT hurricane overpasses (from 2003-2008) to evaluate the performance of the new algorithm. Results are compared with independent surface wind analyses from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division's H*Wind surface analyses and with the corresponding SeaWinds Project's L2B-12.5 km OVW products. They demonstrate that the proposed algorithm extends the SeaWinds capability to retrieve wind speeds beyond the current range of approximately 35 m/s (minimal hurricane category-1) with improved wind direction accuracy, making this new approach a potential candidate for current and future conically scanning scatterometer wind retrieval algorithms.
"A Non-MLE Approach for Satellite Scatterometer Wind Vector Retrievals in Tropical Cyclones" (2014). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 4978.