Improved near real time surface wind resolution over the Mediterranean Sea
- 1Institut Français pour la Rechercher et l'exploitation de la MER (IFREMER), DOPS, BP 70, 20280 Plouzané, France
- 2BOOST Technologies, 115 rue Claude Chappe, 29280 Plouzané, France
Abstract. Several scientific programs, including the Mediterranean Forecasting System Toward Environmental Predictions (MFSTEP project), request high space and time resolutions of surface wind speed and direction. The purpose of this paper is to focus on surface wind improvements over the global Mediterranean Sea, based on the blending near real time remotely sensed wind observations and ECMWF wind analysis. Ocean surface wind observations are retrieved from QuikSCAT scatterometer and from SSM/I radiometers available at near real time at Météo-France. Using synchronous satellite data, the number of remotely sensed data available for each analysis epoch (00:00 h; 06:00 h; 12:00 h; 18:00 h) is not uniformly distributed as a function of space and time. On average two satellite wind observations are available for each analysis time period. The analysis is performed by optimum interpolation (OI) based on the kriging approach. The needed covariance matrixes are estimated from the satellite wind speed, zonal and meridional component observations. The quality of the 6-hourly resulting blended wind fields on 0.25° grid are investigated trough comparisons with the remotely sensed observations as well as with moored buoy wind averaged wind estimates. The blended wind data and remotely wind observations, occurring within 3 h and 0.25° from the analysis estimates, compare well over the global basin as well as over the sub-basins. The correlation coefficients exceed 0.95 while the rms difference values are less than 0.30 m/s. Using measurements from moored buoys, the high-resolution wind fields are found to have similar accuracy as satellite wind retrievals. Blended wind estimates exhibit better comparisons with buoy moored in open sea than near shore.