Li, J; Liu, CY; Zhang, P; Schmit, TJ (2012). Applications of Full Spatial Resolution Space-Based Advanced Infrared Soundings in the Preconvection Environment. WEATHER AND FORECASTING, 27(2), 515-524.
Advanced infrared (IR) sounders such as the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) provide atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles with high vertical resolution and high accuracy in preconvection environments. The derived atmospheric stability indices such as convective available potential energy (CAPE) and lifted index (Li) from advanced IR soundings can provide critical information 1 - 6 h before the development of severe convective storms. Three convective storms are selected for the evaluation of applying AIRS full spatial resolution soundings and the derived products on providing warning information in the preconvection environments. In the first case, the AIRS full spatial resolution soundings revealed local extremely high atmospheric instability 3 h ahead of the convection on the leading edge of a frontal system, while the second case demonstrates that the extremely high atmospheric instability is associated with the local development of severe thunderstorm in the following hours. The third case is a local severe storm that occurred on 7-8 August 2010 in Zhou Qu, China, which caused more than 1400 deaths and left another 300 or more people missing. The AIRS full spatial resolution LI product shows the atmospheric instability 3.5 h before the storm genesis. The CAPE and LI from AIRS full spatial resolution and operational AIRS/AMSU soundings along with Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Sounder derived product image (DPI) products were analyzed and compared. Case studies show that full spatial resolution AIRS retrievals provide more useful warning information in the preconvection environments for determining favorable locations for convective initiation (CI) than do the coarser spatial resolution operational soundings and lower spectral resolution GOES Sounder retrievals.