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Arctic Polar Low Detection and Monitoring Using Atmospheric Water Vapor Retrievals from Satellite Passive Microwave Data

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4 Author(s)
Leonid P. Bobylev ; Scientific Foundation “Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre”, Saint Petersburg, Russia ; Elizaveta V. Zabolotskikh ; Leonid M. Mitnik ; Maia L. Mitnik

An approach for detecting and tracking polar lows (PLs) is developed based on satellite passive microwave data from two sensors: Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) on board the Aqua satellite. This approach consists of two stages. During the first stage, the total atmospheric water vapor fields are retrieved from SSM/I and AMSR-E measurement data using precise Arctic polar algorithms, applicable over open water and having high retrieval accuracies under a wide range of environmental conditions previously developed. During the second stage, the vortex structures are detected by visual analysis in these fields, and PLs are identified and tracked. A few case studies are comprehensively conducted based on multisensor data usage. SSM/I and AMSR-E measurements and other satellite data, including visible, infrared, and synthetic aperture radar images, scatterometer wind fields, surface analysis maps, and reanalysis data, have been used for PL study. It has been shown that multisensor data provide the most complete information about these weather events. Through this, advantages of satellite passive microwave data are demonstrated.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 9 )