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Evaluation of Cloud-Phase Retrieval Methods for SEVIRI on Meteosat-8 Using Ground-Based Lidar and Cloud Radar Data

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  • 1 Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, Netherlands
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Abstract

Three cloud-phase determination algorithms from passive satellite imagers are explored to assess their suitability for climate monitoring purposes in midlatitude coastal climate zones. The algorithms are the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-like thermal infrared cloud-phase method, the Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM-SAF) method, and an International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP)-like method. Using one year (May 2004–April 2005) of data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) on the first Meteosat Second Generation satellite (Meteosat-8), retrievals of the methods are compared with collocated and synchronized ground-based cloud-phase retrievals obtained from cloud radar and lidar observations at Cabauw, Netherlands. Three aspects of the satellite retrievals are evaluated: 1) instantaneous cloud-phase retrievals, 2) monthly-averaged water and ice cloud occurrence frequency, and 3) diurnal cycle of cloud phase for May–August 2004. For the instantaneous cases, all methods have a very small bias for thick water and ice cloud retrievals (∼5%). The ISCCP-like method has a larger bias for pure water clouds (∼10%), which is likely due to the 260-K threshold leading to misdetection of water clouds existing at lower temperatures. For the monthly-averaged water and ice cloud occurrence, the CM-SAF method is best capable of reproducing the annual cycle, mainly for the water cloud occurrence frequency, for which an almost constant positive bias of ∼8% was found. The ISCCP- and MODIS-like methods have more problems in detecting the annual cycle, especially during the winter months. The difference in annual cycle detection among the three methods is most probably related to the use of visible/near-infrared reflectances that enable a more direct observation of cloud phase. The diurnal cycle in cloud phase is reproduced well by all methods. The MODIS-like method reproduces the diurnal cycle best, with correlations of 0.89 and 0.86 for water and ice cloud occurrence frequency, respectively.

Corresponding author address: E. Wolters, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt NL-3730 AE, Netherlands. Email: wolterse@knmi.nl

Abstract

Three cloud-phase determination algorithms from passive satellite imagers are explored to assess their suitability for climate monitoring purposes in midlatitude coastal climate zones. The algorithms are the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-like thermal infrared cloud-phase method, the Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM-SAF) method, and an International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP)-like method. Using one year (May 2004–April 2005) of data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) on the first Meteosat Second Generation satellite (Meteosat-8), retrievals of the methods are compared with collocated and synchronized ground-based cloud-phase retrievals obtained from cloud radar and lidar observations at Cabauw, Netherlands. Three aspects of the satellite retrievals are evaluated: 1) instantaneous cloud-phase retrievals, 2) monthly-averaged water and ice cloud occurrence frequency, and 3) diurnal cycle of cloud phase for May–August 2004. For the instantaneous cases, all methods have a very small bias for thick water and ice cloud retrievals (∼5%). The ISCCP-like method has a larger bias for pure water clouds (∼10%), which is likely due to the 260-K threshold leading to misdetection of water clouds existing at lower temperatures. For the monthly-averaged water and ice cloud occurrence, the CM-SAF method is best capable of reproducing the annual cycle, mainly for the water cloud occurrence frequency, for which an almost constant positive bias of ∼8% was found. The ISCCP- and MODIS-like methods have more problems in detecting the annual cycle, especially during the winter months. The difference in annual cycle detection among the three methods is most probably related to the use of visible/near-infrared reflectances that enable a more direct observation of cloud phase. The diurnal cycle in cloud phase is reproduced well by all methods. The MODIS-like method reproduces the diurnal cycle best, with correlations of 0.89 and 0.86 for water and ice cloud occurrence frequency, respectively.

Corresponding author address: E. Wolters, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt NL-3730 AE, Netherlands. Email: wolterse@knmi.nl

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