Marine Forecasting Course

60 Minutes

Ad Stoffelen (KNMI)

Measuring Winds from Space - Scatterometers

Published: 11 December 2013

Winds over sea are essential for marine forecasting and used in nowcasting and numerical weather prediction (NWP) to aid, among others, in off-shore activities (e.g., energy sector), transport and recreation, particularly to secure safety of life and property. Winds over sea are observed by satellites and available from NWP model forecasts. Most satellite winds over sea are provided by scatterometers these days; they provide swath fields of both wind speed and wind direction from polar satellites. More satellite winds are becoming available through a global virtual constellation of scatterometers. Currently, winds from MetOp-A, MetOp-B and the Indian OceanSat-2 are operationally available and provide good day coverage. Moreover, winds from the Chinese HY2A satellite are being tested with good results at KNMI and further scatterometer launches are being approved. The lecture will briefly comment on these developments, but mainly focuses on what scatterometer winds really represent, how good they are for marine forecasting and what aspects need attention when applying these winds in your routine operations.

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Filed under Keywords:

Wind, sea, waves, MetOp, scatterometer