ASCAT wind quality under high subcell wind variability conditions

W Lin, M Portabella, A Stoffelen, J Vogelzang, A Verhoef

The assessment and validation of the quality of satellite scatterometer vector winds is challenging under increased subcell wind variability conditions, since reference wind sources such as buoy winds or model output represent very different spatial scales from those resolved by scatterometers (i.e., increased representativeness error). In this paper, moored buoy wind time series are used to assess the correlation between subcell wind variability and several Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT)-derived parameters, such as the wind-inversion residual, the backscatter measurement variability factor, and the singularity exponents derived from an image processing technique, called singularity analysis. It is proven that all three ASCAT parameters are sensitive to the subcell wind variability and complementary in flagging the most variable winds, which is useful for further application. A triple collocation (TC) analysis of ASCAT, buoy, and the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) model output is then performed to assess the quality of each wind data source under different variability conditions. A novel approach is used to compute the representativeness errors, a key ingredient for the TC analysis. The experimental results show that the estimated errors of each wind source increase as the subcell wind variability increases. When temporally averaged buoy winds are used instead of 10 min buoy winds, the TC analysis results in smaller buoy wind errors (notably at increased wind variability conditions) while ASCAT and ECMWF errors do not significantly change, further validating the proposed TC approach. It is concluded that at 25 km resolution, ASCAT provides the best quality winds in general.

Bibliographic data

W Lin, M Portabella, A Stoffelen, J Vogelzang, A Verhoef. ASCAT wind quality under high subcell wind variability conditions
Status: published, Journal: J. Geophys. Res., Year: 2015, First page: 5804, Last page: 5819, doi: 10.1002/2015JC010861