A case study is presented for convective systems over the Pacific Ocean in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands. The study is carried out using Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Line Scanner (OLS) data plus concurrent Special Sensor Microwave / Imager (SSM/I) data as well as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data and concurrent TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) data. This example demonstrates some of the advantages and limitations of combining data from multiple satellites and sensors in describing meteorological phenomena in data sparse regions. Specifically, analysis of the DMSP OLS and SSM/I data show that cloud fronts precede moisture fronts by tens of kilometers and that regions of large cloud liquid water (>1.5 kg m-2) are located in the center of the tropical depressions where cloud top temperatures are less than - 40°C. Regions of large cloud liquid water are also observed along the occluded front but are not closely associated with cold cloud-top temperatures. The total precipitable water vapor retrievals from the TOVS sensor are able to detect the extreme meteorological conditions associated with a developing tropical depression, but overall differ in both pattern and magnitude from those of the SSM/I. © 1994.
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