Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 62 (No. 3), pp. 293-301, 2006
Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan
(Received 28 May 2005; in revised form 5 August 2005; accepted 5 August 2005)
Abstract: Marine surface winds observed by two microwave sensors, SeaWinds and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR), on the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-II (ADEOS-II) are evaluated by comparison with off-shore moored buoy observations. The wind speed and direction observed by SeaWinds are in good agreement with buoy data with root-mean-squared (rms) differences of approximately 1 m s-1 and 20°, respectively. No systematic biases depending on wind speed or cross-track wind vector cell location are discernible. The effects of oceanographic and atmospheric environments on the scatterometry are negligible. Though the wind speed observed by AMSR also showed agreement with buoy observations with rms difference of 1.27 m s-1, the AMSR wind speed is systematically lower than the buoy data for wind speeds lower than 5 m s-1. The AMSR wind seems to have a discontinuous trend relative to the buoy data at wind speeds of 5-6 m s-1. Similar results have been obtained in an intercomparison of wind speeds globally observed by SeaWinds and AMSR on the same orbits. A global wind speed histogram of the AMSR wind shows skewed features in comparison with those of SeaWinds and European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses.