Aircraft Observations of the Vertical Structure of Stratiform Precipitation Relevant to Microwave Radiative Transfer

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  • a Hydrological Sciences Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • | b Phillips Laboratory, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts
  • | c Office of Space Sciences and Applications, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • | d Meteorology Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
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Abstract

The retrieval of rainfall intensity over the oceans from passive microwave observations is based on a radiative transfer model. Direct rainfall observations of oceanic rainfall are virtually nonexistent making validation of the retrievals extremely difficult. Observations of the model assumptions provide an alternative approach for improving and developing confidence in the rainfall retrievals. In the winter of 1983, the NASA CV-990 aircraft was equipped with a payload suitable for examining several of the model assumptions. The payload included microwave and infrared radiometers, mirror hygrometers, temperature probes, and PMS probes. On two occasions the aircraft ascended on a spiral track through stratiform precipitation providing an opportunity to study the atmospheric parameters. The assumptions concerning liquid hydrometeors, water vapor, lapse rate, and non-precipitating clouds were studied. Model assumptions seem to be supported by these observations.

Abstract

The retrieval of rainfall intensity over the oceans from passive microwave observations is based on a radiative transfer model. Direct rainfall observations of oceanic rainfall are virtually nonexistent making validation of the retrievals extremely difficult. Observations of the model assumptions provide an alternative approach for improving and developing confidence in the rainfall retrievals. In the winter of 1983, the NASA CV-990 aircraft was equipped with a payload suitable for examining several of the model assumptions. The payload included microwave and infrared radiometers, mirror hygrometers, temperature probes, and PMS probes. On two occasions the aircraft ascended on a spiral track through stratiform precipitation providing an opportunity to study the atmospheric parameters. The assumptions concerning liquid hydrometeors, water vapor, lapse rate, and non-precipitating clouds were studied. Model assumptions seem to be supported by these observations.

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