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Rain/No-Rain Classification Methods for Microwave Radiometer Observations over Land Using Statistical Information for Brightness Temperatures under No-Rain Conditions

Shinta SetoNational Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan

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Nobuhiro TakahashiNational Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan

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Toshio IguchiNational Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan

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Abstract

One of the goals of the Global Precipitation Measurement project, the successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), is to produce a 3-hourly global rainfall map using several spaceborne microwave radiometers. It is important, although often difficult, to classify radiometer observations over land as either “rain” or “no rain” because background land surface conditions change significantly with time and location. In this study, a no-rain brightness temperature database was created to infer land surface conditions using simultaneous observations by TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR) with a resolution of 1 month and 1° latitude × 1° longitude. This paper proposes new rain/no-rain classification (RNC) methods that use the database to determine the background brightness temperature. The proposed RNC methods and the RNC method developed for the Goddard profiling algorithm (GPROF; the standard rain-rate retrieval algorithm for TMI) are applied to all TMI observations for the entire year of 2000, and the results are evaluated against the RNC made by PR as the “truth.” The first method (M1) simply uses the average brightness temperature at 85-GHz vertical polarization [denoted as TB (85 V)] under no-rain conditions as the background brightness temperature at 85-GHz vertical polarization [denoted as TBe (85 V)]. The second method (M2) uses a regression equation between TB (85 V) and TB (22 V) under no-rain conditions from the database. Here, TBe (85 V) is calculated by substituting the observed TB (22 V) into the regression equation. The ratio of accurate rain detection by GPROF to all rain occurrences detected by PR was 59%. This ratio was 57% for M1 and 63% for M2. The ratio with the weight of the rain rate was 81% for M1 and 86% for M2; it was 80% for GPROF. These comparisons were made by setting a threshold using a constant coefficient k0 to make the ratio of false rain detection to all no-rain occurrences detected by PR almost the same (approximately 0.85%) for all three methods. Further comparisons among the methods are made, and the reasons for the differences are investigated herein.

Corresponding author address: Shinta Seto, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, 4-2-1, Nukui-kita-machi, Koganei-shi, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan. seto@nict.go.jp

Abstract

One of the goals of the Global Precipitation Measurement project, the successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), is to produce a 3-hourly global rainfall map using several spaceborne microwave radiometers. It is important, although often difficult, to classify radiometer observations over land as either “rain” or “no rain” because background land surface conditions change significantly with time and location. In this study, a no-rain brightness temperature database was created to infer land surface conditions using simultaneous observations by TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR) with a resolution of 1 month and 1° latitude × 1° longitude. This paper proposes new rain/no-rain classification (RNC) methods that use the database to determine the background brightness temperature. The proposed RNC methods and the RNC method developed for the Goddard profiling algorithm (GPROF; the standard rain-rate retrieval algorithm for TMI) are applied to all TMI observations for the entire year of 2000, and the results are evaluated against the RNC made by PR as the “truth.” The first method (M1) simply uses the average brightness temperature at 85-GHz vertical polarization [denoted as TB (85 V)] under no-rain conditions as the background brightness temperature at 85-GHz vertical polarization [denoted as TBe (85 V)]. The second method (M2) uses a regression equation between TB (85 V) and TB (22 V) under no-rain conditions from the database. Here, TBe (85 V) is calculated by substituting the observed TB (22 V) into the regression equation. The ratio of accurate rain detection by GPROF to all rain occurrences detected by PR was 59%. This ratio was 57% for M1 and 63% for M2. The ratio with the weight of the rain rate was 81% for M1 and 86% for M2; it was 80% for GPROF. These comparisons were made by setting a threshold using a constant coefficient k0 to make the ratio of false rain detection to all no-rain occurrences detected by PR almost the same (approximately 0.85%) for all three methods. Further comparisons among the methods are made, and the reasons for the differences are investigated herein.

Corresponding author address: Shinta Seto, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, 4-2-1, Nukui-kita-machi, Koganei-shi, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan. seto@nict.go.jp

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