A New Hurricane Wind Direction Retrieval Method for SAR Images without Hurricane Eye


Title: A New Hurricane Wind Direction Retrieval Method for SAR Images without Hurricane Eye

Journal: Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 2229-2239

Authors: GAO Y., C. -L. Guan, J. Sun*, and L. -A. Xie

Abstract: This study presents a new approach for hurricane wind direction retrieval utilizing rainband streaks contained in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images without hurricane eye information, based on the hurricane inflow angle. To calculate the wind direction field, a method for estimating the location of the hurricane center is given. In this paper, four Sentinel-1A (S-1A) images with a hurricane eye are used to clarify the center estimation method. Three S-1A SAR images without a hurricane eye are studied to evaluate the accuracy of the new method. The estimated locations of hurricane centers show good agreement with hurricane track data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) Hurricane Research Division (HRD), HurricaneCity, and the National Institute of Informatics (NII). To validate the estimated wind directions, the NOAA HRD dropwindsonde observations for Tropical Storm Karl are collected and compared. The wind directions retrieved by our approach are more consistent with visual inspection than the fast Fourier transform (FFT) method in subimages. Moreover, the retrieved wind speeds utilizing C-band model 5.N (CMOD5.N) are compared with wind speed estimations observed by Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR). The results suggest that the proposed method has good potential to retrieve hurricane wind direction from SAR images without a hurricane eye and external data.