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The TRMM Precipitation Radar's View of Shallow, Isolated Rain

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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Abstract

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 2A23 convective–stratiform separation algorithm applied to the TRMM satellite's precipitation radar identifies shallow, isolated precipitation over much of the tropical oceans. The shallow, isolated rain elements dominate the outer fringes of the tropical rain area but give way to deeper, more organized convective systems and associated stratiform areas toward heavy-rain regions. The majority of the shallow, isolated radar echoes are classified as stratiform by version 5 of the 2A23 algorithm. Because the shallow, isolated echoes probably represent warm rain processes, they should be classified as convective. This reclassification leads to a more reasonable pattern of stratiform rain contribution across the Tropics.

Corresponding author address: Professor R. A. Houze Jr., Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Box 351640, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1640. houze@atmos.washington.edu

Abstract

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 2A23 convective–stratiform separation algorithm applied to the TRMM satellite's precipitation radar identifies shallow, isolated precipitation over much of the tropical oceans. The shallow, isolated rain elements dominate the outer fringes of the tropical rain area but give way to deeper, more organized convective systems and associated stratiform areas toward heavy-rain regions. The majority of the shallow, isolated radar echoes are classified as stratiform by version 5 of the 2A23 algorithm. Because the shallow, isolated echoes probably represent warm rain processes, they should be classified as convective. This reclassification leads to a more reasonable pattern of stratiform rain contribution across the Tropics.

Corresponding author address: Professor R. A. Houze Jr., Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Box 351640, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1640. houze@atmos.washington.edu

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