A Quality Control Procedure for FY-3A MWTS Measurements with Emphasis on Cloud Detection Using VIRR Cloud Fraction

Juan Li Numerical Prediction Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China

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Xiaolei Zou Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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Abstract

A quality control (QC) procedure for satellite radiance assimilation is proposed and applied to radiance observations from the Microwave Temperature Sounder (MWTS) on board the first satellite of the Chinese polar-orbiting Fengyun-3 series (FY-3A). A cloud detection algorithm is incorporated based on the cloud fraction product provided by the Visible and Infrared Radiometer (VIRR) on board FY-3A. Analysis of the test results conducted in July 2011 indicates that most clouds are identifiable by applying an FY-3A VIRR cloud fraction threshold of 37%. This result is verified with the cloud liquid water path data from the Meteorological Operational Satellite A (MetOp-A). On average, 56.1% of the global MWTS data are identified as cloudy by the VIRR-based cloud detection method. Other QC steps include the following: (i) two outmost field of views (FOVs), (ii) use of channel 3 if the terrain altitude is greater than 500 m, (iii) channel 2 over sea ice and land, (iv) coastal FOVs, and (v) outliers with large differences between model simulations and observations. About 82%, 74%, and 29% of the MWTS observations are removed by the proposed QC for channels 2–4, respectively. An approximate 0.5-K scan bias improvement is achieved with QC, with a large impact at edges of the field of regard for channels 2–4. After QC, FY-3A MWTS global data more closely resemble the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) forecast data, the global biases and standard deviations are reduced significantly, and the frequency distribution of the differences between observations and model simulations become more Gaussian.

Corresponding author address: Dr. X. Zou, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, 110 S. Woodward Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32306-4520. E-mail: xzou@fsu.edu

Abstract

A quality control (QC) procedure for satellite radiance assimilation is proposed and applied to radiance observations from the Microwave Temperature Sounder (MWTS) on board the first satellite of the Chinese polar-orbiting Fengyun-3 series (FY-3A). A cloud detection algorithm is incorporated based on the cloud fraction product provided by the Visible and Infrared Radiometer (VIRR) on board FY-3A. Analysis of the test results conducted in July 2011 indicates that most clouds are identifiable by applying an FY-3A VIRR cloud fraction threshold of 37%. This result is verified with the cloud liquid water path data from the Meteorological Operational Satellite A (MetOp-A). On average, 56.1% of the global MWTS data are identified as cloudy by the VIRR-based cloud detection method. Other QC steps include the following: (i) two outmost field of views (FOVs), (ii) use of channel 3 if the terrain altitude is greater than 500 m, (iii) channel 2 over sea ice and land, (iv) coastal FOVs, and (v) outliers with large differences between model simulations and observations. About 82%, 74%, and 29% of the MWTS observations are removed by the proposed QC for channels 2–4, respectively. An approximate 0.5-K scan bias improvement is achieved with QC, with a large impact at edges of the field of regard for channels 2–4. After QC, FY-3A MWTS global data more closely resemble the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) forecast data, the global biases and standard deviations are reduced significantly, and the frequency distribution of the differences between observations and model simulations become more Gaussian.

Corresponding author address: Dr. X. Zou, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, 110 S. Woodward Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32306-4520. E-mail: xzou@fsu.edu
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