Quick Guide: CIRA Layered Precipitable Water
The LPW product suite developed by CIRA is a composite of water vapor retrievals for multiple layers using microwave sensors on polar orbiting satellites, mapped to a 16km grid. The use of microwave data provides an advantage over infrared soundings that need a cloud-free view to see low-level moisture. The LPW fills the gaps left by traditional point observations (e.g. radiosondes) and infrared channels focused only on upper level moisture. Like the CIRA Blended TPW product, LPW uses similar satellites; however, the resulting LPW products are layers of precipitable water verse a column total. The LPW shows the vertical distribution of water vapor to aid nowcasting rainfall totals as applied to flooding and to judge confidence in model initialization.
Author (s): Kevin Fuell
Publication Date: June 2014