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Figure: Tropospheric winds over the Arctic from Terra MODIS on January 15, 2018 at 14:44 UTC

Figure: Tropospheric winds over the Arctic from Terra MODIS on January 15, 2018 at 14:44 UTC

Polar Winds

Algorithm Description

The Polar Winds products provide tropospheric wind speed, direction, and height at various levels. The product is created in the overlap region of a sequence of three orbits to arrive at an estimate of atmospheric motion for a set of targeted tracers viewed in the longwave window region. The targeted tracers are well-defined cloud edges or, for one sensor, water vapor features. The wind product consists of the speed, direction, and height of these identified tracers. The product is generated approximately every 101 minutes in both the northern and southern polar regions (i.e., Arctic and Antarctic) and is available poleward of about 65° latitude.

Main Applications:

The primary application of the polar winds products is numerical weather prediction (NWP). The polar winds have been demonstrated to have a positive impact on weather prediction not just in the polar regions, but globally.

Key Users:

The following NWP centers use some combination of the MODIS, VIIRS, and AVHRR polar winds in their operational systems. There are 13 NWP centers in 9 countries:

  • European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
  • NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO)
  • Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Arctic only
  • Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC)
  • US Navy, Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC)
  • (UK) Met Office
  • Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
  • National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP/EMC)
  • MeteoFrance
  • Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR, USA)
  • China Meteorological Administration (CMA)
  • Hydrological and Meteorological Centre of Russia (Hydrometcenter)

Algorithm PI

Principal Investigator
Jeff Key, NESDIS/STAR

Operational Product Access

Monitoring and Algorithm Support

Other Relevant Links

List of satellite/instruments for algorithm

  • S-NPP VIIRS
  • NOAA-15, -18, and -19 AVHRR
  • Terra and Aqua MODIS
  • Metop-A and -B AVHRR