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Validation of an Airborne Doppler Wind Lidar in Tropical Cyclones

Hurricane Research Division, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, NOAA, 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149, USA
Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
Simpson Weather Associates, Charlottesville, VA 22920, USA
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, NOAA, Miami, FL 33149, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4288;
Received: 20 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
PDF [3904 KB, uploaded 19 December 2018]


This study presents wind observations from an airborne Doppler Wind Lidar (ADWL) in 2016 tropical cyclones (TC). A description of ADWL measurement collection and quality control methods is introduced for the use in a TC environment. Validation against different instrumentation on-board the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s WP-3D aircraft shows good agreement of the retrieved ADWL measured wind speed and direction. Measurements taken from instruments such as the global positioning system dropsonde, flight-level wind probe, tail Doppler radar, and Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer are compared to ADWL observations by creating paired datasets. These paired observations represent independent measurements of the same observation space through a variety of mapping techniques that account for differences in measurement procedure. Despite high correlation values, outliers are identified and discussed in detail. The errors between paired observations appear to be caused by differences in the ability to capture various length scales, which directly relate to certain regions in a TC regime. In validating these datasets and providing evidence that shows the mitigation of gaps in 3-dimensional wind representation, the unique wind observations collected via ADWL have significant potential to impact numerical weather prediction of TCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropical cyclones; Doppler Wind Lidar; wind structure; validation tropical cyclones; Doppler Wind Lidar; wind structure; validation

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Bucci, L.R.; O’Handley, C.; Emmitt, G.D.; Zhang, J.A.; Ryan, K.; Atlas, R. Validation of an Airborne Doppler Wind Lidar in Tropical Cyclones. Sensors 2018, 18, 4288.

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