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Assessing CYGNSS’s Potential to Observe Extratropical Fronts and Cyclones

Crespo, J. A., D. Posselt, C. M. Naud, and C. Bussy-Virat (2017), Assessing CYGNSS’s Potential to Observe Extratropical Fronts and Cyclones, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 56, 2027-2034, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-17-0050.1.

The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission, launched in December 2016, is designed to estimate surface wind speeds over the global tropical oceans. Nevertheless, its orbit allows the constellation to view regions up to 408 latitude. As such, it is possible that CYGNSS will provide observations of a number of low-latitude extratropical cyclones and their associated fronts. In this study, one year of simulated CYGNSS specular point locations is combined with a database of objectively identified fronts and cyclones to assess the potential efficacy of CYGNSS for observing extratropical systems. It is found that, with the exception of regions poleward of warm fronts, the subset of locations in the simulated CYGNSS dataset nearly exactly matches the distribution of wind speeds and surface fluxes across frontal zones and near cyclone centers in the reanalysis database.

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