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High-Resolution Forecast Models of Water Vapor Over Mountains: Comparison With MERIS and Meteosat Data

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7 Author(s)
Min Zhu ; Environ. Syst. Sci. Centre, Univ. of Reading, Reading ; Wadge, G. ; Holley, R.J. ; James, I.N.
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Propagation delay due to variable tropospheric water vapor (WV) is one of the most intractable problems for radar interferometry, particularly over mountains. The WV field can be simulated by an atmospheric model, and the difference between the two fields is used to correct the radar interferogram. Here, we report our use of the U.K. Met Office Unified Model in a nested mode to produce high-resolution forecast fields for the 3-km-high Mount Etna volcano. The simulated precipitable-water field is validated against that retrieved from the Medium-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) radiometer on the Envisat satellite, which has a resolution of 300 m. Two case studies, one from winter (November 24, 2004) and one from summer (June 25, 2005), show that the mismatch between the model and the MERIS fields ( rms = 1.1 and 1.6 mm, respectively) is small. One of the main potential sources of error in the models is the timing of the WV field simulation. We show that long-wavelength upper tropospheric troughs of low WV could be identified in both the model output and Meteosat WV imagery for the November 24, 2004 case and used to choose the best time of model output.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 3 )