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An experimental 2.5-km ultrahigh-resolution (UHR) wind product provided by NASA's QuikSCAT scatterometer offers the potential for new access to coastal surface wind dynamics at the mesoscale level and below. To give future users the best indication of the value of these data, the UHR wind retrievals must be fully validated in nearshore areas. Comparison with meteorological buoys and standard QuikSCAT products allows detailed investigation of UHR winds. Speed and direction residuals are calculated between all scatterometer products and collocated buoys. An ambiguity selection routine improves wind direction agreement between the UHR winds and the other products. Magnitude residuals follow the patterns of the standard QuikSCAT winds, with a 1-2 m/s positive bias in light winds (below 4 m/s) and high winds (above 16 m/s) and standard deviations consistently below 3 m/s. After application of a land contamination removal algorithm, the UHR product provides extended coverage near the coast. An example of a specific wind event illustrates the potential benefits of improved resolution measurements for examining ocean-atmosphere dynamics.
Date of Publication: July 2009