Satellite Radiation Measurements and Clear Air Turbulence Probability

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Science  22 Sep 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4054, pp. 1100-1102
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4054.1100


Radiance gradients determined from data gathered by the infrared spectrometers aboard the Nimbus III and Nimbus IV satellites were related to the probabilities of clear air turbulence, as inferred from regular pilot reports. Such radiance gradients represent rather large-scale vertical wind shear. Clear air turbulence is least likely in regions where the radiance gradient is small. The results of this exploratory study show that satellite data can be used to design flight paths so that the probability of encountering clear air turbulence is extremely small.