Statistical and synoptic evaluations of TIROS-N and NOAA-6 retrievals
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Statistical and synoptic evaluations of TIROS-N and NOAA-6 retrievals

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  • Description:
    TIROS N and NOAA 6 temperature retrievals are evaluated using statistical parameters and synoptic case studies. A period from September 1979 through April 1980 is examined with the use of the root mean square (RMS) and mean difference between matched pairs of radiosonde and satellite derived layer mean temperatures. The monthly samples are divided according to retrieval method (clear, partly cloudy, and cloudy), and topography type (land or sea). The principal results show that the largest RMS differences occur in the layers near the Earthfs surface and in the tropopause region, with the clear retrievals giving the smallest RMS differences and cloudy retrievals producing the largest.

    The case studies compare analyses of 1000-500 mb and 700-300 mb thicknesses made from satellite data only with NMC analyses made from conventional data. In addition, isentropic cross sections across baroclinic zones using data from either radiosondes, satellite soundings, or NMC analyses are shown. These cross sections demonstrate that the satellite soundings generally represent the baroclinic zones at least as well as the NMC analyses, with thermal wind speed maxima that are comparable with those obtained from either the radiosonde or NMC analysis cross sections. However, the computed speed maxima from the satellite data were achieved because the soundings depicted the frontal zones as being steeper than in the radiosonde versions. That condition aligned the significant horizontal temperature gradients in a nearly vertical fashion in the satellite cross sections and thus contributed to the vertical summation of the gradients, although temperature gradients at individual levels were usually weaker than the corresponding radiosonde gradients.

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