Hawaii regional climate model (HRCM), QuikSCAT, and ASCAT wind estimates are compared in the lee of Hawaii’s Big Island with the goal of understanding ultrahigh resolution (UHR) scatterometer wind retrieval capabilities in this area, which includes a reverse-flow toward the island in the lee of the predominate flow. A comparison of scatterometer measured
and model predicted
suggests that scatterometers can detect the reverse flow in the lee of the island; however, neither QuikSCAT- nor ASCAT-estimated winds consistently report this flow. Furthermore, the scatterometer UHR winds do not resolve the wind direction features predicted by the HRCM. Differences between scatterometer measured
and HRCM predicted
indicate possible error in the placement of key reverse flow features predicted by the HRCM. We find that coarse initialization fields and a large size median filter windows used in ambiguity selection can impede the accuracy of the UHR wind direction retrieval in this area, suggesting the need for further development of improved near-coastal ambiguity selection algorithms.
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