Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

A comparison of middle atmospheric water vapor as measured by WVMS, EOS-MLS, and HALOE



[1] We compare middle atmospheric water vapor measurements from the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE), Water Vapor Mm-wave Spectrometer (WVMS), and Earth Observing System (EOS) Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instruments from 40 to 70 km. The ground-based WVMS measurements shown here were taken at Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) sites at Mauna Loa, Hawaii (19.5°N, 204.4°E), and Lauder, New Zealand (45.0°S, 169.7°E). A comparison of measurements where HALOE, MLS, and WVMS are all available shows that the average HALOE water vapor retrievals are lower than those from MLS at all altitudes from 40 to 70 km and lower than the WVMS retrievals everywhere except above 64 km at Lauder. The average difference between all coincident WVMS and MLS water vapor profiles is within 0.2 ppmv over almost the entire 40–70 km altitude range, both at Lauder and Mauna Loa. The standard deviation of the difference between weekly WVMS retrievals and coincident MLS retrievals is ∼0.2 ppmv at Mauna Loa and ∼0.3–0.4 ppmv at Lauder. The interannual correlation between water vapor observed by MLS and WVMS is slightly improved by the use of MLS temperature measurements in the WVMS retrievals. The MLS and WVMS profiles at Mauna Loa show particularly good interannual agreement, including a clear QBO signature.