Validation of INSAT-3D sounder data with in situ measurements and other similar satellite observations over India
Abstract. To date, several satellites measurements are available which can provide profiles of temperature and water vapour with reasonable accuracies. However, the temporal resolution has remained poor, particularly over the tropics, as most of them are polar orbiting. At this juncture, the launch of INSAT-3D (Indian National Satellite System) by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 26 July 2013 carrying a multi-spectral imager covering visible to long-wave infrared made it possible to obtain profiles of temperature and water vapour over India with higher temporal and vertical resolutions and altitude coverage, besides other parameters. The initial validation of INSAT-3D data is made with the high temporal (3 h) resolution radiosonde observations launched over Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E) during a special campaign and routine evening soundings obtained at 12:00 UTC (17:30 LT). We also compared INSAT-3D data with the radiosonde observations obtained from 34 India Meteorological Department stations. Comparisons were also made over India with data from other satellites like AIRS, MLS and SAPHIR and from ERA-Interim and NCEP reanalysis data sets. INSAT-3D is able to show better coverage over India with high spatial and temporal resolutions as expected. Good correlation in temperature between INSAT-3D and in situ measurements is noticed except in the upper tropospheric and lower stratospheric regions (positive bias of 2–3 K). There is a mean dry bias of 20–30 % in the water vapour mixing ratio. Similar biases are noticed when compared to other satellites and reanalysis data sets. INSAT-3D shows a large positive bias in temperature above 25° N in the lower troposphere. Thus, caution is advised when using these data for tropospheric studies. Finally it is concluded that temperature data from INSAT-3D are of high quality and can be directly assimilated for better forecasts over India.