Comparison of Near-Real Time Estimates of Integrated Water Vapor Derived with GPS, Radiosondes, and Microwave Radiometer

Van Baelen, JoŽl ; Aubagnac, Jean-Pierre ; Dabas, Alain

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In this study, the authors compare the integrated water vapor (IWV) retrieved with a global positioning system (GPS) receiver, radiosondes (RS), and a microwave radiometer (MWR) using data collected simultaneously during a 3-month campaign in the fall of 2002 in Toulouse, France. In particular for this study, the GPS analysis was performed in near-real time to provide estimates of the IWV in order to evaluate the potential of GPS observations for operational meteorological purposes. Although the three instrument estimates agree quite well together, the IWV estimates retrieved by GPS are generally larger than those of RS, while evidence is shown of a marked diurnal cycle: the differences are larger during the day (up to 2 mm) than at night (less than 0.5 mm). This can be explained by a daytime dry bias of the RS. Regarding the MWR, similar findings but to a lesser extent (differences between 0 and 1 mm) are reported. Furthermore, it has been established that the GPS estimates exhibit a strong dependency upon the IWV values resulting in a 15% faster variation when compared to the other means of IWV estimation in this study.
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