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Open Access Comparison of IASI water vapour products over complex terrain with COPS campaign data

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In this work, we compare IASI-retrieved vertical water vapour profiles and related precipitable water over a complex region, namely the Rhine Valley area, during the pre-operational period of IASI exploitation (June–August 2007). Both IASI water vapour mixing ratio profiles and integrated water vapour content are retrieved from L1C radiances spectra using two techniques and compared with water vapour related observations acquired during the Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS) field campaign that took place in this area at that time (i.e. lidars, radiosoundings and a global positioning system - GPS - station network). This work addresses the issue of IASI vertical spatial resolution and its capability to detect two-layer water vapour structures such as those observed in a mountainous area and which play an important role in convective initiation or inhibition. We found that this capability mostly relies on the type of a-priori background vector (climatology or space-time colocated ECMWF analysis), which is used within the retrieval scheme. Systematic comparison of water vapour products derived from 71 IASI spectra confirms that IASI can retrieve water vapour amounts in 2 km width layers, in the lower troposphere, with an accuracy of approximately 10%.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-08-01

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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