Journal of Applied Remote SensingCan geosynchronous imaging Fourier transform spectrometer capture vertical and temporal variability of a convective atmosphere?
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Insufficient high vertical and temporal resolution data have limited the precipitation forecast skill of convective initiation. The Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS), a new hyperspectral geostationary satellite measurement system, could provide top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiances across two broad spectral regions with high-resolutions in spectral, horizontal and temporal spaces within a fixed domain. A set of modeled and observed vertical profiles of atmospheric moisture and temperature during a convective initiation (CI) event within the observing period of the International H2O Project (IHOP_2002) are used to assess the potential values of GIFTS measurements to convective precipitation forecast. First, it is shown that the model simulation captures reasonably well the movement of the precipitation bands and the gradient structures of temperature and water vapor of the convectively initiated storm. Second, the observed vertical and temporal variability of water vapor during the CI period is shown to be quite significant in the lower troposphere. The differences between observations and model simulation are also noticed. Using both the observed and the model-predicted profiles as input to GIFTS radiative transfer model (RTM), it is finally shown that the simulated GIFTS radiance could capture the high vertical and temporal variability of the real and modeled atmosphere prior to the CI, as well as the differences between observations and model forecasts. The study suggests the potential for GIFTS to make important contributions to the improvement of the forecast skill of convective precipitation.