Satellite detection of the dryline/dew point front
Mullen, Martin Thomas
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The dryline, or dewpoint front as it is known during the night, is a very important weather producer over the West Texas region. The location and movement of the dryline influence to a significant degree where rain and possible severe weather can occur. A technique for placing the dryline without plotting surface data would be very useful. It has been shown in a recent study that the infrared satellite imagery can detect the dewpoint front during the nighttime. Another technique similar to this would be advantageous during the daytime. This study examines the possible use of water vapor imagery as a device to detect the dryline. Using the characteristics of the water vapor imagery a determination of how far into the atmosphere the satellite can "see" was made. It was found that the satellite could not observe the lowest 100 mb above the surface needed to detect the dryline/dewpoint front unless a 50°C dewpoint depression, which is not reported under current sounding procedures, was present down to the lowest 100 mb.