Scatterometer Applications in the European Seas
The EUMETSAT Advanced Scatterometer ASCAT on MetOp-A was launched on 19 October 2006 as the third wind scatterometer currently in space joining up with the ESA ERS-2 and the NASA SeaWinds scatterometers. Scatterometers measure the radar backscatter from windgenerated cm-size gravity-capillary waves and provide high-resolution wind vector fields over the sea. Wind speed and wind direction are provided with high quality and uniquely define the mesoscale wind vector field at the sea surface. The all-weather ERS scatterometer observations have proven important for the forecasting of dynamical and severe weather. Oceanographic applications have been initiated using winds from SeaWinds on QuikSCAT, since scatterometers provide unique forcing informa- tion on the ocean eddy scale. Together, ERS-2, ASCAT and SeaWinds provide good coverage over the oceans and are now used routinely in marine and weather forecasting. In the coming years, further progress in high reso lution processing, closer to the coast, and with improved geophysical interpretation is expected.
KeywordsNumerical Weather Prediction Wind Vector Numerical Weather Prediction Model Radar Backscatter Wind Product
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