Volume 573, January 2015
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||15 December 2014|
Estimating and forecasting the precipitable water vapor from GOES satellite data at high altitude sites
Departamento de Meteorología, Universidad de
2 Instituto de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaíso, Casilla 5030, Chile
Received: 24 June 2014
Accepted: 16 October 2014
In this work, we describe a method to estimate the precipitable water vapor (PWV) from Geostationary Observational Environmental Satellite (GOES) data at high altitude sites. The method was applied at Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) and Cerro Toco sites, located above 5000 m altitude in the Chajnantor plateau, in the north of Chile. It was validated using GOES-12 satellite data over the range 0–1.2 mm since submillimeter/millimeter astronomical observations are only useful within this PWV range. The PWV estimated from GOES and the Final Analyses (FNL) at APEX for 2007 and 2009 show root mean square error values of 0.23 mm and 0.36 mm over the ranges 0–0.4 mm and 0.4–1.2 mm, respectively. However, absolute relative errors of 51% and 33% were shown over these PWV ranges, respectively. We recommend using high-resolution thermodynamic profiles from the Global Forecast System (GFS) model to estimate the PWV from GOES data since they are available every three hours and at an earlier time than the FNL data. The estimated PWV from GOES/GFS agrees better with the observed PWV at both sites during night time. The largest errors are shown during daytime. Short-term PWV forecasts were implemented at both sites, applying a simple persistence method to the PWV estimated from GOES/GFS. The 12 h and 24 h PWV forecasts evaluated from August to October 2009 indicates that 25% of them show a very good agreement with observations whereas 50% of them show reasonably good agreement with observations. Transmission uncertainties calculated for PWV estimations and forecasts over the studied sites are larger over the range 0–0.4 mm than over the range 0.4–1.2 mm. Thus, the method can be used over the latter interval with more confidence.
Key words: atmospheric effects / methods: numerical / methods: data analysis
© ESO, 2014
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