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Microwave Emission Brightness Temperature Histograms (METH) Rain Rates for Climate Studies: Remote Sensing Systems SSM/I Version-6 Results

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  • 1 Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China, and Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
  • | 2 Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Abstract

A satellite microwave emission brightness temperature histograms (METH) technique has been applied to Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) data taken on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites and preprocessed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) Co. to produce 21 yr (July 1987–present) of oceanic rainfall products. These rain products are used as input to the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) rain maps. Analysis of the METH product using SSM/I version-4 (V4) data shows jumps in vertically polarized 19-GHz brightness temperatures that are attributed to changes in DMSP satellites. A version-6 (V6) SSM/I that corrects for intersatellite differences was released by RSS in 2006. The jumps in the time series are reduced, with most of the changes occurring in the early part of the DMSP F13 data. The bias between RSS V6 and V4 of brightness temperature at 19 and 22 GHz is less than 0.5 K. METH rain rates were reprocessed using V6 data and were analyzed. The 20-yr global mean difference between the METH V4 and V6 is less than 0.3%, with differences as large as 3% in individual years. Trend analyses show increases in the oceanic rain belts, such as the intertropical convergence zone and the South Pacific convergence zone, and in the Bay of Bengal. These rain-rate trends, from both linear trend analysis and empirical mode decomposition analysis, are comparable to the version-2 GPCP analyses but are smaller than those found in the unified microwave ocean retrieval algorithm.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Roongroj Chokngamwong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Esther Lee Bldg., Rm. 613, Shatin, Hong Kong, China. Email: roongrojc@cuhk.edu.hk

This article included in the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) special collection.

Abstract

A satellite microwave emission brightness temperature histograms (METH) technique has been applied to Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) data taken on board the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites and preprocessed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) Co. to produce 21 yr (July 1987–present) of oceanic rainfall products. These rain products are used as input to the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) rain maps. Analysis of the METH product using SSM/I version-4 (V4) data shows jumps in vertically polarized 19-GHz brightness temperatures that are attributed to changes in DMSP satellites. A version-6 (V6) SSM/I that corrects for intersatellite differences was released by RSS in 2006. The jumps in the time series are reduced, with most of the changes occurring in the early part of the DMSP F13 data. The bias between RSS V6 and V4 of brightness temperature at 19 and 22 GHz is less than 0.5 K. METH rain rates were reprocessed using V6 data and were analyzed. The 20-yr global mean difference between the METH V4 and V6 is less than 0.3%, with differences as large as 3% in individual years. Trend analyses show increases in the oceanic rain belts, such as the intertropical convergence zone and the South Pacific convergence zone, and in the Bay of Bengal. These rain-rate trends, from both linear trend analysis and empirical mode decomposition analysis, are comparable to the version-2 GPCP analyses but are smaller than those found in the unified microwave ocean retrieval algorithm.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Roongroj Chokngamwong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Esther Lee Bldg., Rm. 613, Shatin, Hong Kong, China. Email: roongrojc@cuhk.edu.hk

This article included in the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) special collection.

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