On the Use of CloudSat and MODIS Data for Estimating Hurricane Intensity

Luo, Z. J., G. L. Stephens, K. A. Emanuel, D. G. Vane, N. D. Tourville, and J. M. Haynes (2008), On the Use of CloudSat and MODIS Data for Estimating Hurricane Intensity, IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 5, 13-16, doi:10.1109/LGRS.2007.905341.

This letter presents preliminary results concerning the use of new observations from the A-Train Constellation for testing a new technique of remotely sensing hurricane intensity from space based on modeling a hurricane as a balanced, convectively neutral vortex. The key observational requirements are simultaneous, accurate measurements of cloud-top height, cloudtop temperature, and cloud profiling information across the center of the storm, although there are ways to bypass the need for cloud-top temperature. In this letter, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer onboard Aqua provides an estimation of the cloud-top temperature, and the near-simultaneous CloudSat observations provide the essential cloud-top height and cloud profiling information. Initial results indicate that the new technique is a promising method for estimating storm intensity when compared post facto to the best track database. Potential uncertainties and room for further refinement of the technique are discussed.

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