GPS water vapor and its comparison with radiosonde and ERA-Interim data in Algeria
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- Namaoui, H., Kahlouche, S., Belbachir, A.H. et al. Adv. Atmos. Sci. (2017) 34: 623. doi:10.1007/s00376-016-6111-1
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Remote sensing of atmospheric water vapor using global positioning system (GPS) data has become an effective tool in meteorology, weather forecasting and climate research. This paper presents the estimation of precipitable water (PW) from GPS observations and meteorological data in Algeria, over three stations located at Algiers, Bechar and Tamanrasset. The objective of this study is to analyze the sensitivity of the GPS PW estimates for the three sites to the weighted mean temperature (Tm), obtained separately from two types of Tm–Ts regression [one general, and one developed specifically for Algeria (Ts stands for surface temperature)], and calculated directly from ERA-Interim data. The results show that the differences in Tm are of the order of 18 K, producing differences of 2.01 mm in the final evaluation of PW. A good agreement is found between GPS-PW and PW calculated from radiosondes, with a small mean difference with Vaisala radiosondes. A comparison between GPS and ERA-Interim shows a large difference (4 mm) in the highlands region. This difference is possibly due to the topography. These first results are encouraging, in particular for meteorological applications in this region, with good hope to extend our dataset analysis to a more complete, nationwide coverage over Algeria.