Estimating Soil Wetness from the GOES Sounder

Robert M. Rabin, Timothy J. Schmit
2006 Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology  
In this note, the relationship between the observed daytime rise in surface radiative temperature, derived from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) sounder clear-sky data, and modeled soil moisture is explored over the continental United States. The motivation is to provide an infrared (IR) satellite-based index for soil moisture, which has a higher resolution than possible with the microwave satellite data. The daytime temperature rise is negatively correlated with
more » ... correlated with soil moisture in most areas. Anomalies in soil moisture and daytime temperature rise are also negatively correlated on monthly time scales. However, a number of exceptions to this correlation exist, particularly in the western states. In addition to soil moisture, the capacity of vegetation to generate evapotranspiration influences the amount of daytime temperature rise as sensed by the satellite. In general, regions of fair to poor vegetation health correspond to the relatively high temperature rise from the satellite. Regions of favorable vegetation match locations of lower-than-average temperature rise.
doi:10.1175/jtech1895.1 fatcat:m5uiayea25amvlmekoacg64f6e