MODIS/AMSR-E High-Resolution SST Composite – Part II

An enhanced version of the MODIS SST composite product is being tested for operational use which uses a more stable MODIS data stream, adds AMSR-E SSTs to the compositing process, and uses a latency-weighted averaging scheme to produce an improved SST composite data set for diagnostic studies, nowcasting, and as initial conditions for regional weather forecast models such as the WRF. A comparison to buoys has shown that the enhanced methodology reduces the bias by over 50% for the night time composites and maintains accuracy during the day, while preserving spatial detail captured by the image data. The enhanced technique also captures the day-to-day trends in the data better than other SST data sets. The chart below presents an example of this by comparing the daily SSTs from the original scheme (blue diamonds), the enhanced approach (red squares), and the RTG (blue circles) to those of the Canaveral buoy (green triangles) for the month of June and July 2007 at 0400UTC. Note how the enhanced product follows the trend of the buoy data (solid black line) much better than the original method or the RTG data.

Old and new (enhanced) composite comparison to RTG and buoy for Canaveral site.

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