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Considerations for Modeling Thin Cirrus Effects via Brightness Temperature Differences

E. O. SchmidtLockheed Engineering and Science Co., Hampton, Virginia

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R. F. ArduiniLockheed Engineering and Science Co., Hampton, Virginia

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B. A. WielickiAtmospheric Sciences Division, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

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R. S. StoneCooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

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S-C. TsayDepartment of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

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Abstract

Brightness temperature difference (BTD) values are calculated for selected Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-6) channels (3.9, 12.7 µm) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer channels (3.7, 12.0 µm). Daytime and nighttime discrimination of particle size information is possible given the infrared cloud extinction optical depth and the BTD value. BTD values are presented and compared for cirrus clouds composed of equivalent ice spheres (volume, surface area) versus randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals. The effect of the hexagonal ice crystals is to increase the magnitude of the BTD values calculated relative to equivalent ice sphere (volume, surface area) BTDs. Equivalent spheres (volume or surface area) do not do a very good job of modeling hexagonal ice crystal effects on BTDs; however, the use of composite spheres improves the simulation and offers interesting prospects. Careful consideration of the number of Legendre polynomial coefficients used to fit the scattering phase functions is crucial to realistic modeling of cirrus BTDs. Surface and view-angle effects are incorporated to provide more realistic simulation.

Abstract

Brightness temperature difference (BTD) values are calculated for selected Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-6) channels (3.9, 12.7 µm) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer channels (3.7, 12.0 µm). Daytime and nighttime discrimination of particle size information is possible given the infrared cloud extinction optical depth and the BTD value. BTD values are presented and compared for cirrus clouds composed of equivalent ice spheres (volume, surface area) versus randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals. The effect of the hexagonal ice crystals is to increase the magnitude of the BTD values calculated relative to equivalent ice sphere (volume, surface area) BTDs. Equivalent spheres (volume or surface area) do not do a very good job of modeling hexagonal ice crystal effects on BTDs; however, the use of composite spheres improves the simulation and offers interesting prospects. Careful consideration of the number of Legendre polynomial coefficients used to fit the scattering phase functions is crucial to realistic modeling of cirrus BTDs. Surface and view-angle effects are incorporated to provide more realistic simulation.

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