Weather Analysis and Forecasting

Applying Satellite Water Vapor Imagery and Potential Vorticity Analysis


  • Patrick Santurette, ForeeMeteo-France, Toulouse, France
  • Christo Georgiev, TsNatl. Inst. Meteorology & Hydrology, Sofia, Bulgaria

In this practical guide, Santurette and Georgiev show how to interpret water vapor patterns in terms of dynamical processes in the atmosphere and their relation to diagnostics available from weather prediction models. In particular, they concentrate on the close relationship between satellite imagery and the potential vorticity fields in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. These applications are illustrated with color images based on real meteorological situations. The book's step-by-step pedagogy makes this an essential training manual for forecasters in meteorological services worldwide, and a valuable text for graduate students in atmospheric physics and satellite meteorology.
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Academics and students in meteorology and weather forecasters/professional meteorologists the world over, including military and government workers (ie. National Weather Service, Met Office, Meteo France). Members of the American Meteorological Society, the Royal Meteorological Society, etc.


Book information

  • Published: June 2005
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-619262-9


"...includes step-by-step pedagogy, which should be useful to {operational weather forecasters} in training, and numerous full-color illustrations based on real meteorological situations." --Weatherwise

Table of Contents

PART I: Fundamentals1. A Dynamical View of Synoptic Development1.1 Vorticity and Potential Vorticity1.2 The Concept of PV Thinking1.3 Operational Use of PV Fields for Monitoring Synoptic Development2. The Interpretation Problem of Satellite Water Vapor Imagery 2.1 Radiation Measurements in Water Vapor Absorption Bands2.2 Information Content of Water Vapor Image Gray ShadesPART II: Practical Use of Water Vapor Imagery and Dynamical Fields3. Significant Water Vapor Imagery Features Associated with Synoptic Dynamical Structures 3.1 Interpretation of Synoptic-Scale Light and Dark Imagery Features3.2 Mid- to Upper-Troposphere Wind Field3.3 Blocking Regimes3.4 Cyclogenesis3.5 WV Imagery Analysis of Main Ingredients of a Severe Weather Situation3.6 Summary4. Use of Water Vapor Imagery for Assessing NWP Model Behavior and Improving Forecasts4.1 Operational Use of the Relationship Between PV Fields and WV Imagery4.2 Synthetic (Pseudo) Water Vapor Images4.3 Comparing PV Fields, WV Imagery, and Synthetic WV Images4.4 Agreement Among the WV Image, the PV Field, and the Synthetic WV Image/NWP Moisture Distribution4.5 Instances of Mismatch Between the Synthetic WV Image/NWP Moisture Distribution and the PV Field4.6 Mismatch Between the WV Image and the PV Field and Agreement Between the PV Field and the Synthetic Image/NWP Moisture Distribution4.7 Using Satellite and Synthetic WV Images and PV Concepts to Get an Alternative Numerical Forecast4.8 SummaryConclusionAppendicesA. A Radiative Transfer Theory and Some Radiation Effects for the WV channels of Meteosat, GOES, and MSG B. Synthetic (Pseudo) Water Vapor ImagesC. PV Modification Technique and PV Inversion to Correct the Initial State of the Numerical ModelD. Glossary of AcronymsReferencesIndex