Principal Components of Multifrequency Microwave Land Surface Emissivities. Part II: Effects of Previous-Time Precipitation

Yalei You Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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F. Joseph Turk Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Ziad S. Haddad Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Li Li Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.

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Guosheng Liu Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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Abstract

The microwave land surface emissivity (MLSE) over the continental United States was examined during 2011 as a function of prior rainfall conditions using two independent emissivity estimation techniques, one providing instantaneous estimates based on a clear-scene emissivity principal component (PC) analysis and the other based on physical radiative transfer modeling. Results show that over grass, closed shrub, and cropland, prior rainfall can cause the horizontally polarized 10-GHz brightness temperature (TB) to drop by as much as 20 K, with a corresponding emissivity drop of approximately 0.06, whereby prior rain exhibited little influence on the emissivity over forest because of the dense vegetation. The correlation between emissivity and its leading principal components and the prior rainfall over grass, closed shrub, and cropland is −0.6, while it is only −0.1 over forested areas. Forward-simulated TB using the PC-based emissivity derived from instantaneous Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite overpasses agrees much better with TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) observations relative to a climatologically based emissivity, especially after a period of heavy rain. Two potential applications of the PC-based emissivity are demonstrated. The first exploits the time history change of the MLSE to estimate the amount of prior rainfall. The second application is a method to estimate the emissivity underneath precipitating radiometric scenes by first adjusting the surface-sensitive principal components that were derived under clear-sky scenes and then by reconstructing the joint emissivity (all channels simultaneously) from the modified PC structure. The results are applicable to future overland passive microwave rainfall retrieval algorithms to simultaneously detect and estimate precipitation amounts under dynamically changing surface conditions.

Corresponding author address: Yalei You, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, The Florida State University, 1017 Academic Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306. E-mail: yy08@fsu.edu

Abstract

The microwave land surface emissivity (MLSE) over the continental United States was examined during 2011 as a function of prior rainfall conditions using two independent emissivity estimation techniques, one providing instantaneous estimates based on a clear-scene emissivity principal component (PC) analysis and the other based on physical radiative transfer modeling. Results show that over grass, closed shrub, and cropland, prior rainfall can cause the horizontally polarized 10-GHz brightness temperature (TB) to drop by as much as 20 K, with a corresponding emissivity drop of approximately 0.06, whereby prior rain exhibited little influence on the emissivity over forest because of the dense vegetation. The correlation between emissivity and its leading principal components and the prior rainfall over grass, closed shrub, and cropland is −0.6, while it is only −0.1 over forested areas. Forward-simulated TB using the PC-based emissivity derived from instantaneous Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite overpasses agrees much better with TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) observations relative to a climatologically based emissivity, especially after a period of heavy rain. Two potential applications of the PC-based emissivity are demonstrated. The first exploits the time history change of the MLSE to estimate the amount of prior rainfall. The second application is a method to estimate the emissivity underneath precipitating radiometric scenes by first adjusting the surface-sensitive principal components that were derived under clear-sky scenes and then by reconstructing the joint emissivity (all channels simultaneously) from the modified PC structure. The results are applicable to future overland passive microwave rainfall retrieval algorithms to simultaneously detect and estimate precipitation amounts under dynamically changing surface conditions.

Corresponding author address: Yalei You, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, The Florida State University, 1017 Academic Way, Tallahassee, FL 32306. E-mail: yy08@fsu.edu
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