An Operational Precipitable Water Vapor Retrieval Algorithm for Fengyun-2F/VLSSR Using a Modified Three-Band Physical Split-Window Method
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The Visible and Infrared Spin-Scan Radiometer (VISSR) onboard the Fengyun-2 (FY-2) satellite can provide valuable thermal infrared observations to help create a precipitable water vapor (PWV) product with high spatial and temporal resolutions. The current FY-2/VISSR PWV product in operation is produced by using a traditional two-band physical split-window (PSW) method, which produces low quality results under dry atmospheric conditions. Based on the sensitivity characteristics of FY-2F/VISSR water vapor channel and two split-window channels to atmospheric water vapor, this study developed a new, robust operational PWV retrieval algorithm for FY-2F to improve the operational precision of the current PWV product. The algorithm uses a modified three-band PSW method, which adds a scale for the water vapor channel in the improved three-band PSW method. Integrated PWV products from the radiosonde data in 2016 are used here to validate the precision of the PWV retrieved by the modified three-band and traditional two-band PSW methods. The mean bias, root mean square error (RMSE), and correlation coefficient of the PWV retrieved by the modified three-band PSW method are 0.28 mm, 4.53 mm, and 0.969, respectively. The accuracy is much better than the PWV retrieved by the two-band method, whose mean bias, RMSE, and correlation coefficient are 12.67 mm, 29.35 mm, and 0.23. Especially, in mid- or high-latitude regions, the RMSE of the PWV is improved from 10 to 2 mm by changing the inversion in the two-band method to the modified three-band PSW method. Furthermore, the modified three-band PSW results show a better consistency with the radiosonde PWV at any zonal belt and season than the two-band PSW results. This new algorithm could significantly improve the quality of the current FY-2F/VISSR PWV product, especially at sites where the actual PWV are lower than 15 mm.
Key wordsphysical split-window (PSW) method precipitable water vapor (PWV) FY-2F/VISSR thermal infrared
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The authors wish to thank the University of Wyoming for providing the radiosonde data. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for thoughtful suggestions and comments.
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