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Spherical harmonic spectral estimation on arbitrary grids

Abstract

This study explores the use of nonuniform fast spherical Fourier transforms on meteorological data that are arbitrarily distributed on the sphere. The applicability of this methodology in the atmospheric sciences is demonstrated by estimating spectral coefficients for nontrivial subsets of reanalysis data on a uniformly spaced latitude-longitude grid, a global cloud resolving model on an icosahedral mesh with 3-km horizontal grid spacing, and for temperature anomalies from arbitrarily distributed weather stations over the United States. A spectral correction technique is developed that can be used in conjunction with the inverse transform to yield data interpolated onto a uniformly spaced grid, with optional triangular truncation, at reduced computational cost compared to other variance conserving interpolation methods, such as kriging or natural spline interpolation. The spectral correction yields information that can be used to deduce gridded observational biases not directly available from other methods.

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