Assessment of NOAA NUCAPS upper air temperature profiles using COSMIC GPS radio occultation and ARM radiosondes
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently began operational processing to derive vertical temperature profiles from two new sensors, Cross-Track Infrared Sounder and Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder, which were developed for the next generation of U.S. weather satellites. The NOAA-Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) has been developed by NOAA to routinely process data from future Joint Polar Satellite System operational satellites and the preparatory Suomi-NPP satellite. This paper assesses the NUCAPS vertical temperature profile product from the upper troposphere into the middle stratosphere using radiosonde and GPS radio occultation (RO) data. Radiosonde data from the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program are=] compared to both the NUCAPS and GPS RO temperature products to evaluate bias and RMS errors. At all three fixed ARM sites for time periods investigated the NUCAPS temperature in the 100–40 hPa range is found to have an average bias to the radiosondes of less than 0.45 K and an RMS error of less than 1 K when temperature averaging kernels are applied. At a 95% confidence level, the radiosondes and RO were found to agree within 0.4 K at the North Slope of Alaska site and within 0.83 K at Southern Great Plains and Tropical Western Pacific. The GPS RO-derived dry temperatures, obtained from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) mission, are used as a common reference for the intercomparison of NUCAPS temperature products to similar products produced by NASA from Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and by European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites from MetOp-B Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI). For seasonal and zonal scales, the NUCAPS agreement with AIRS and IASI is less than 0.5 K after application of averaging kernels.