1Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah, USA
2EUMETSAT, Darmstadt, Germany
3German Meteorological Service, Meteorological Observatory, Lindenberg, Germany
4Integrated Project Office, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Abstract. The METOP-A satellite Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) Level 2 products comprise retrievals of vertical profiles of temperature and water vapor. The error covariance matrices and biases of the most recent version (4.3.1) of the L2 data were assessed, and the assessment was validated using radiosonde data for reference. The radiosonde data set includes dedicated and synoptic time launches at the Lindenberg station in Germany. For optimal validation, the linear statistical Validation Assessment Model (VAM) was used. The VAM uses radiosonde profiles as input and provides optimal estimate of the nominal IASI retrieval by utilizing IASI averaging kernels and statistical characteristics of the ensembles of the reference radiosondes. For temperatures above 900 mb and water retrievals above 700 mb, level expected and assessed errors are in good agreement. Below those levels, noticeable excess in assessed error is observed, possibly due to inaccurate surface parameters and undetected clouds/haze.