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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1053-1060, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
15 Jun 2011
Radio occultation bending angle anomalies during tropical cyclones
R. Biondi1, T. Neubert1, S. Syndergaard2, and J. K. Nielsen2 1DTU Space, National Space Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
2DMI, Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
Abstract. The tropical deep convection affects the radiation balance of the atmosphere changing the water vapor mixing ratio and the temperature of the upper troposphere lower stratosphere. The aim of this work is to better understand these processes and to investigate if severe storms leave a significant signature in radio occultation profiles in the tropical tropopause layer. Using tropical cyclone best track database and data from different GPS radio occultation missions (COSMIC, GRACE, CHAMP, SACC and GPSMET), we selected 1194 profiles in a time window of 3 h and a space window of 300 km from the eye of the cyclone. We show that the bending angle anomaly of a GPS radio occultation signal is typically larger than the climatology in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere and that a double tropopause during deep convection can easily be detected using this technique. Comparisons with co-located radiosondes, climatology of tropopause altitudes and GOES analyses are also shown to support the hypothesis that the bending angle anomaly can be used as an indicator of convective towers. The results are discussed in connection to the GPS radio occultation receiver which will be part of the Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES) payload on the International Space Station.

Citation: Biondi, R., Neubert, T., Syndergaard, S., and Nielsen, J. K.: Radio occultation bending angle anomalies during tropical cyclones, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1053-1060, doi:10.5194/amt-4-1053-2011, 2011.
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