The Relationship between Sea Surface Temperature and Total Column Precipitable Water Vapor Across the Broader Caribbean

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:45 AM
John Braun and Teresa Vanhove, Univ Corp Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
The Continuously Operating Caribbean Observational Network (COCONet) is a collaborative project to create an international network of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations in the Caribbean for natural hazards research. Atmospheric data products generated from COCONet include estimates of column integrated tropospheric water vapor, precipitation, as well as measurements of surface temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and horizontal winds. Upon completion in late 2014, the network will consist of at least 50 new and refurbished stations, with an additional 60 contributing stations. More than 30 of these stations now have a data record of at least two years, with some of the contributing stations operating for more than seven years. Previous research indicates that current atmospheric analysis and reanalysis models of the Caribbean have biases in precipitable water vapor (PWV) that are dependent on the magnitude of PWV. Analysis conditions appear too moist in relatively low PWV conditions, and too dry when there is relatively large PWV. Stations with data records spanning multiple seasonal cycles can now be used to evaluate some of the annual signals that are contained within the data record. We use continuous records of GPS derived PWV and satellite derived sea surface temperatures (SST) to assess the relative degree of coupling between local SST conditions and atmospheric water vapor. This analysis provides a way to differentiate areas that are strongly influenced by local sources of moisture to those locations where moisture is advected from more distant sources.