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Thermodynamic and liquid profiling during the 2010 Winter Olympics

Abstract

Tropospheric observations by a microwave profiling radiometer and six-hour radiosondes were obtained during the Alpine Venue of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Whistler, British Columbia, by Environment Canada. The radiometer provided continuous temperature, humidity and liquid (water) profiles during all weather conditions including rain, sleet and snow. Gridded analysis was provided by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We compare more than two weeks of radiometer neural network and radiosonde temperature and humidity soundings including clear and precipitating conditions. Corresponding radiometer liquid and radiosonde wind soundings are shown. Close correlation is evident between radiometer and radiosonde temperature and humidity profiles up to 10 km height and among southwest winds, liquid water and upper level thermodynamics, consistent with up-valley advection and condensation of moist maritime air. We compare brightness temperatures observed by the radiometer and forward-modeled from radiosonde and gridded analysis. Radiosonde-equivalent observation accuracy is demonstrated for radiometer neural network temperature and humidity retrievals up to 800 m height and for variational retrievals that combine radiometer and gridded analysis up to 10 km height.

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