Objective analysis of marine winds with the benefit of the Radarsat-1 synthetic aperture radar: A nonlinear regression framework

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Abstract

[1] Surface wind analyses are constructed from spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements along coastal regions of eastern and western North America and collocated operational marine wind forecasts. Each analysis minimizes the error sum of squares of the wind forecast, the SAR backscatter, and wind direction that is inferred from the SAR backscatter gradient. The relative importance of the SAR wind information is defined by its expected error covariances. Parameters that define these covariances are postulated for half the analyses by comparison with an independent set of buoy observations. The remaining analyses are found to compare better with buoy observations than conventional analysis approaches. It is suggested that SAR wind information generally be weighted strongly in an analysis and that an error covariance length scale of O[10 km] is appropriate.

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