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Comparison of TC Temperature and Water Vapor Climatologies between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from GPS RO Observations
Journal of Climate
Global positioning systems (GPS)
Tropical cyclone (TC) temperature and water vapor structures are essential atmospheric variables. In this study, global positioning system (GPS) radio occultation (RO) observations from the GPS RO mission named the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate and the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding on board both MetOp-A and MetOp-B satellites over the 9-yr period from 2007 to 2015 are used to generate a set of composite structures of temperature and water vapor fields within tropical depressions (TDs), tropical storms (TSs), and hurricanes (HUs) over the Atlantic Ocean and TDs, TSs, and typhoons (TYs) over the western Pacific Ocean. The composite TC structures are different over the two oceanic regions, reflecting different climatological environments. The warm cores for TCs over the western Pacific Ocean have higher altitudes and larger sizes than do those over the Atlantic Ocean for all storm categories. A radial variation of the warm-core temperature anomaly with descending altitude is seen, probably resulting from spiral cloud and rainband features. The large TC water vapor pressure anomalies, which are often more difficult to obtain than temperature anomalies, are located below the maximum warm-core temperature anomaly centers. Thus, the maximum values of the fractional water vapor pressure anomaly, defined as the anomaly divided by the environmental value, for TSs and HUs over the Atlantic Ocean (1.4% for TSs and 2.2% for HUs) are higher than those for TSs and TYs over the western Pacific Ocean (1.2% for TSs and 1.4% for TYs). These TC structures are obtained only after a quality control procedure is implemented, which consists of a range check that removes negative refractivity values and unrealistic temperature values, as well as a biweight check that removes data that deviate from the biweight mean by more than 3 times the biweight standard deviation. A limitation of the present study is an inability to resolve the TC inner-core structures because of a lack of sufficient RO profiles that collocate with TCs in their inner-core regions and the relatively coarse along-track resolutions of GPS RO data.
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