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Analysis of 10.7-μm Brightness Temperatures of a Simulated Thunderstorm with Two-Moment Microphysics

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  • 1 Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

A cloud-resolving model was used in conjunction with a radiative transfer (RT) modeling system to study 10.7-μm brightness temperatures computed for a simulated thunderstorm. A two-moment microphysical scheme was used that included seven hydrometeor types: pristine ice, snow, aggregates, graupel, hail, rain, and cloud water. Also, five different habits were modeled for pristine ice and snow. Hydrometeor optical properties were determined from an extended anomalous diffraction theory approach. Brightness temperatures were computed using a delta-Eddington two-stream model.

Results indicate that the enhanced “V,” a feature sometimes seen in satellite infrared observations, may be formed through an interaction between the overshooting dome and the upstream flanking region of high pressure. This idea is contrary to one in which the overshooting dome is viewed as an obstacle to the environmental flow. As expected, the radiative effects of pristine ice particles within the anvil largely determined the brightness temperature field. Although brightness temperatures were found to be insensitive to microphysical characteristics of moderate to thick portions of the anvil, a strong relationship did exist with column-integrated pristine ice mass for cloud optical depths below about 5. Precipitation-sized hydrometeors and surface precipitation rate, on the other hand, failed to exhibit any meaningful relationship with the cloud-top brightness temperature. The combined mesoscale model and RT modeling system used in this study may also have utility in satellite product development prior to launch of a satellite and in satellite data assimilation.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Lewis D. Grasso, NOAA/NESDIS/RAMMT CIRA, Colorado State University, West Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Email: grasso@genesis.cira.colostate.edu

Abstract

A cloud-resolving model was used in conjunction with a radiative transfer (RT) modeling system to study 10.7-μm brightness temperatures computed for a simulated thunderstorm. A two-moment microphysical scheme was used that included seven hydrometeor types: pristine ice, snow, aggregates, graupel, hail, rain, and cloud water. Also, five different habits were modeled for pristine ice and snow. Hydrometeor optical properties were determined from an extended anomalous diffraction theory approach. Brightness temperatures were computed using a delta-Eddington two-stream model.

Results indicate that the enhanced “V,” a feature sometimes seen in satellite infrared observations, may be formed through an interaction between the overshooting dome and the upstream flanking region of high pressure. This idea is contrary to one in which the overshooting dome is viewed as an obstacle to the environmental flow. As expected, the radiative effects of pristine ice particles within the anvil largely determined the brightness temperature field. Although brightness temperatures were found to be insensitive to microphysical characteristics of moderate to thick portions of the anvil, a strong relationship did exist with column-integrated pristine ice mass for cloud optical depths below about 5. Precipitation-sized hydrometeors and surface precipitation rate, on the other hand, failed to exhibit any meaningful relationship with the cloud-top brightness temperature. The combined mesoscale model and RT modeling system used in this study may also have utility in satellite product development prior to launch of a satellite and in satellite data assimilation.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Lewis D. Grasso, NOAA/NESDIS/RAMMT CIRA, Colorado State University, West Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Email: grasso@genesis.cira.colostate.edu

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