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Evaluation of the Diurnal Variation of Upper Tropospheric Humidity in Reanalysis Using Homogenized Observed Radiances from International Geostationary Weather Satellites

1
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705, USA
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
4
Center for Satellite Applications and Research, CoRP/ASPB, Madison, WI 53705, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1628; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101628
Received: 16 April 2020 / Revised: 16 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
A near global dataset of homogenized clear-sky 6.5-μm brightness temperatures (BTs) from international geostationary (GEO) weather satellites has recently been generated and validated. In this study, these radiance measurements are used to construct the diurnal variation of upper tropospheric humidity (UTH) and to evaluate these diurnal variations simulated by five reanalysis datasets over the 45° N–45° S region. The features of the diurnal variation described by the new dataset are comparable with previous observational studies that a land–sea contrast in the diurnal variation of UTH is exhibited. Distinct diurnal variations are observed over the deep convective regions where high UTH exists. The evaluation of reanalysis datasets indicates that reanalysis systems still have considerable difficulties in capturing the observed features of the diurnal variation of UTH. All five reanalysis datasets present the largest wet biases in the afternoon when the observed UTH experiences a diurnal minimum. Reanalysis can roughly reproduce the day–night contrast of UTH but with much weaker amplitudes and later peak time over both land and ocean. Comparison of the geographical distribution of the diurnal variation shows that both ERA5 and MERRA-2 could capture the larger diurnal variations over convective regions. However, the diurnal amplitudes are widely underestimated, especially over convective land regions, while the phase biases are relatively larger over open oceans. These results suggest that some deficiencies may exist in convection and cloud parameterization schemes in reanalysis models. View Full-Text
Keywords: diurnal variation; upper tropospheric humidity; homogenized radiances; GEO weather satellites; evaluation of reanalysis diurnal variation; upper tropospheric humidity; homogenized radiances; GEO weather satellites; evaluation of reanalysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xue, Y.; Li, J.; Li, Z.; Gunshor, M.M.; Schmit, T.J. Evaluation of the Diurnal Variation of Upper Tropospheric Humidity in Reanalysis Using Homogenized Observed Radiances from International Geostationary Weather Satellites. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1628.

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