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Microwave Simulations of a Tropical Rainfall System with a Three-Dimensional Cloud Model

Robert F. AdlerNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Hwa-Young M. YehCaelum Research Corporation, Silver Spring, Maryland

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N. PrasadGeneral Sciences Corporation, Laurel, Maryland

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Wei-Kuo TaoNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Joanne SimpsonNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Abstract

A three-dimensional cloud model-microwave radiative transfer model combination is used to study the relations among the precipitation and other microphysical characteristics of a tropical oceanic squall line and the upwelling radiance at pertinent microwave frequencies. Complex brightness temperature-rain rate relations are evident at the full horizontal resolution (1.5 km) of the models, with spatial avenging producing smoother, shifted relations, in most cases. Nonprecipitating cloud water is shown to be important in understanding the resulting distribution of brightness temperature. At the mature stage, convective portions of the cloud system are shown to produce different brightness temperature relations than the stratiform portion, primarily related to the distribution of cloud water. The evolution of the convective system from a small convective complex through its mature stage and the beginning of its dissipation also is shown to result in a variation of brightness temperature-rain relations, related to the distribution of cloud water and the evolution of ice in the precipitating system. The results of the study paint to the need to take into account the evolution of nonprecipitating cloud water and precipitation-sized ice in the retrieval of rain team from microwave space observations. This effect is evident for both the life cycle of individual convective elements and the life cycle of the convective system as a whole.

Abstract

A three-dimensional cloud model-microwave radiative transfer model combination is used to study the relations among the precipitation and other microphysical characteristics of a tropical oceanic squall line and the upwelling radiance at pertinent microwave frequencies. Complex brightness temperature-rain rate relations are evident at the full horizontal resolution (1.5 km) of the models, with spatial avenging producing smoother, shifted relations, in most cases. Nonprecipitating cloud water is shown to be important in understanding the resulting distribution of brightness temperature. At the mature stage, convective portions of the cloud system are shown to produce different brightness temperature relations than the stratiform portion, primarily related to the distribution of cloud water. The evolution of the convective system from a small convective complex through its mature stage and the beginning of its dissipation also is shown to result in a variation of brightness temperature-rain relations, related to the distribution of cloud water and the evolution of ice in the precipitating system. The results of the study paint to the need to take into account the evolution of nonprecipitating cloud water and precipitation-sized ice in the retrieval of rain team from microwave space observations. This effect is evident for both the life cycle of individual convective elements and the life cycle of the convective system as a whole.

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