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Satellite data is compared to objectively analyzed wind data from the Hurricane Research Division's H*Wind software to attempt to quantify the value that satellite data could bring to the objective analysis. Previous research (DiNapoli et al. (2012), A.C. Moyer et al. (2007) and Powell and Reinhold (2007)) have highlighted the importance of accurately determining the outer wind radii for a variety of needs, including accurate representations of wind radii (Moyer) and Integrated Kinetic Energy (Powell and Reinhold). Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) and Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Microwave Imager (TRMM.TMI) will be compared to H*Wind objective analyses interpolated to the satellite overpass times. Comparisons that will be done include wind speed difference plots, which will show the magnitude difference between the objective analyses and the satellite data along with the difference between the lowest radius of tropical storm (TS) winds and the highest. The difference in the TS wind radii forms the foundation for the rest of the comparisons, including a correlation scatterplot (which will look at wind speed magnitude trends between the satellite and analysis data), frequency distribution (which will help quantify the value that the satellite data could provide to the objective analyses), average wind variation, and variance changes over time. The overall findings are that there seems to be better agreement between ASCAT and the analysis winds, and the difference in frequency distribution between the ASCAT and objective analysis winds shows that there may be more value in adding ASCAT to the analysis than TRMM. Obviously more work must be done to confirm whether these conclusions are accurate for more storms, more satellite data types, and different analysis compositions. The end results should help to benefit researchers, forecasters, and emergency planners.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciencein partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Xiaolei Zou, Professor Directing Thesis; Mark Powell, Committee Member; Robert Hart, Committee Member; Guosheng Liu, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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