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QuikSCAT Winds


Ross Van Til



Archived Training




with contributions from Dan Lindsey, Roger Edson, Dr. Michael Freilich, the Naval Research Lab, the COMET Program, Dr. Paul Chang, and Joe Sienkiewicz


This teletraining session was updated in May 2008, and replaces the previous QuikSCAT Winds session. New material includes displaying and interpreting high resolution QuikSCAT data in AWIPS OB 8.3, and expanded extratropical cyclone applications.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how QuikSCAT works
  • Become aware of the data limitations
  • Know how the 12.5 km high-resolution data is presented in AWIPS
  • Understand how to apply QuikSCAT data operationally by examining several examples

Training Session Options

NOAA/NWS students – to begin the training, use the web-based video, YouTube video, or audio playback options below (if present for this session). Certificates of completion for NOAA/NWS employees can be obtained by accessing the session via the Commerce Learn Center

  1. Audio playback (recommended for low-bandwidth users) – This is an audio playback version in the form of a downloadable VISITview and can be taken at anytime.

    Create a directory to download the audio playback file (70 MB) from the following link:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on either the visitplay.bat or visitauto.bat file to start the lesson. If both files are present, use visitauto.bat

References/Additional Links

  • Real-time QuikSCAT winds from Dr. Paul Chang
  • Archive of QuikSCAT winds over tropical storms
  • QuikSCAT webcast by Dr. Michael Freilich from COMET
  • Chelton, D.B., M.H. Freilich, J.M. Sienkiewicz, and J.M. Von Ahn, 2006: On the Use of QuikSCAT Scatterometer Measurements of Surface Winds for Marine Weather Prediction. AMS Monthly Weather Review, 134, 2055-2071.
  • Ebuchi, N., H.C. Graber, and M.J. Caruso, 2002: Evaluation of wind vectors observed by QuikSCAT/SeaWinds using ocean buoy data. J. Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 19, 2049-2062.
  • Pickett, M.H., W. Tang, L.K. Rosenfeld, and C.H. Wash, 2003: QuikSCAT satellite comparisons with nearshore buoy wind data off the U.S. west coast. J. Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 20, 1869-1879.
  • Weissman, D.E., M.A. Bourassa, and J. Tongue, 2002: Effects of rain rate and wind magnitude on SeaWinds scatterometer wind speed errors. J. Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 19, 738-746.
  • Von Ahn, J.M., J.M. Sienkiewicz, and P.S. Chang, 2006: Operational Impact of QuikSCAT Winds at the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center. Weather and Forecasting, 21, 523-539.
This course is Basic

There are no prerequisites


Dan Bikos

Ross Van Til

Page Contact

Bernie Connell


Unless otherwise noted, all content on the CIRA RAMMB: VISIT, SHyMet and VLab webpages are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.