Validation of Upper-Tropospheric Humidity from SAPHIR on board Megha-Tropiques Using Tropical Soundings


Brogniez, H., G. Clain, and R. Roca


by Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology (JAMC) at 2015-04-24


This paper describes the upper-tropospheric humidity (UTH) product derived from brightness temperature measurements of the Sondeur Atmosphérique du Profil d’Humidité Intertropicale par Radiométrie (SAPHIR) radiometer on board the Megha-Tropiques satellite. Under nonscattering conditions, the observations from three channels of SAPHIR—located at ±0.2, ±1.1, and ±2.8 GHz, respectively, around the 183.31-GHz strong water vapor absorption band—are interpreted into three different UTHs following a well-established method and thus describing the humidity content of the upper to midtroposphere. The evaluation of the UTHs is performed using reference UTHs defined from relative humidity (RH) profiles from radiosoundings of two field campaigns: the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability in the Year 2011/Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation/Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Madden–Julian Oscillation Investigation Experiment (CINDY/DYNAMO/AMIE) and a Megha-Tropiques dedicated campaign in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, during the summer of 2012. A budget of the various uncertainties associated with each component of the evaluation method (such as the radiometric sensitivity and the radiative transfer computations) was created to achieve a more robust comparison between the two UTH estimates. The comparison between the reference UTHs and the SAPHIR UTHs reveals small global biases of lower than 2% RH on average, with correlation coefficients between 0.86 and 0.89. Taking into account the individual uncertainties gives root-mean-square errors of regressions that range between 0.92% and 4.71%. These three UTHs provide a vertical distribution of the RH that is suitable for studying various temporal and spatial scales of the tropical variability. The signature of a mesoscale convective system on its environment is briefly presented to illustrate the capability of this new dataset.


Brogniez, H., G. Clain, and R. Roca, 2015: Validation of Upper-Tropospheric Humidity from SAPHIR on board Megha-Tropiques Using Tropical Soundings.J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol.,54, 896–908, https://doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0096.1


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