Level 2 retrieved temperature and moisture profiles in clear and partly cloudy conditions can be obtained from the new Cross-track Infrared Microwave Sounding Suite (CrIMSS), which uses infrared measurements from the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and microwave measurements from the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS). These observations are available from the Suomi-NPP as operational legacy observations to those coming on the JPSS.
SPoRT has begun processing the 42-level temperature and 22-level moisture CrIMSS Environmental Data Record (EDR) data and qualitatively comparing these soundings to other hyperspectral sounders (AIRS and IASI), in situ observations (RAOBs), and regional models (North American Mesoscale (NAM) and Rapid Refresh (RAP)). All of these comparisons are available on SPoRT’s hyperspectral sounding comparison page (http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/sport/hyperspectral_comparisons/).
As an example of these comparisons, the three images below were taken from that webpage for soundings at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VBG) in California all valid around 2100 UTC on 31 March 2013. Note that the CrIMSS and AIRS soundings both match very closely to the RAP temperature sounding with near-perfect agreement of tropopause height in the AIRS sounding and similar tropopause placement in the CrIMSS sounding. Both the AIRS and CrIMSS soundings highlight a low-level moist conditions and mid-level dry conditions. Satellite soundings in this form can be used by forecasters to gain additional confidence in their model guidance or obtain additional information in regions where there are not other upper air observations (such as over Northern Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico).