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Takuji Kubota, Shinta Seto, Masaki Satoh, Tomoe Nasuno, Toshio Iguchi, Takeshi Masaki, John M. Kwiatkowski, and Riko Oki

Abstract

An assumption related to clouds is one of uncertain factors in precipitation retrievals by the Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on board the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. While an attenuation due to cloud ice is negligibly small for Ku and Ka bands, attenuation by cloud liquid water is larger in the Ka band and estimating precipitation intensity with high accuracy from Ka-band observations can require developing a method to estimate the attenuation due to cloud liquid water content (CLWC). This paper describes a CLWC database used in the DPR level-2 algorithm for the GPM V06A product. In the algorithm, the CLWC value is assumed using the database with inputs of precipitation-related variables, temperature, and geolocation information. A calculation of the database was made using the 3.5-km-mesh global atmospheric simulation derived from the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Atmospheric Model (NICAM) global cloud-system-resolving model. Impacts of current CLWC assumptions for surface precipitation estimates were evaluated by comparisons of precipitation retrieval results between default values and 0 mg m−3 of the CLWC. The impacts were quantified by the normalized mean absolute difference (NMAD) and the NMAD values showed 2.3% for the Ku, 9.9% for the Ka, and 6.5% for the dual-frequency algorithms in global averages, while they were larger in the tropics than in high latitudes. Effects of the precipitation estimates from the CLWC assumption were examined further in terms of retrieval processes affected by the CLWC assumption. This study emphasizes the CLWC assumption provided more effects on the precipitation estimates through estimating path-integrated attenuation due to rain.

Open access
Gregory Sinnett, Kristen A. Davis, Andrew J. Lucas, Sarah N. Giddings, Emma Reid, Madeleine E. Harvey, and Ian Stokes

Abstract

Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) uses Raman scatter from laser light pulsed through an optical fiber to observe temperature along a cable. Temperature resolution across broad scales (seconds to many months, and centimeters to kilometers) make DTS an attractive oceanographic tool. Although DTS is an established technology, oceanographic DTS observations are rare since significant deployment, calibration, and operational challenges exist in dynamic oceanographic environments. Here, results from an experiment designed to address likely oceanographic DTS configuration, calibration, and data processing challenges provide guidance for oceanographic DTS applications. Temperature error due to suboptimal calibration under difficult deployment conditions is quantified for several common scenarios. Alternative calibration, analysis, and deployment techniques that help mitigate this error and facilitate successful DTS application in dynamic ocean conditions are discussed.

Open access
Graig Sutherland, Nancy Soontiens, Fraser Davidson, Gregory C. Smith, Natacha Bernier, Hauke Blanken, Douglas Schillinger, Guillaume Marcotte, Johannes Röhrs, Knut-Frode Dagestad, Kai H. Christensen, and Øyvind Breivik

Abstract

The water following characteristics of six different drifter types are investigated using two different operational marine environmental prediction systems: one produced by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the other produced by MET Norway (METNO). These marine prediction systems include ocean circulation models, atmospheric models, and surface wave models. Two leeway models are tested for use in drift object prediction: an implicit leeway model where the Stokes drift is implicit in the leeway coefficient, and an explicit leeway model where the Stokes drift is provided by the wave model. Both leeway coefficients are allowed to vary in direction and time in order to perfectly reproduce the observed drifter trajectory. This creates a time series of the leeway coefficients that exactly reproduce the observed drifter trajectories. Mean values for the leeway coefficients are consistent with previous studies that utilized direct observations of the leeway. For all drifters and models, the largest source of variance in the leeway coefficient occurs at the inertial frequency and the evidence suggests it is related to uncertainties in the ocean inertial currents.

Open access
Sabrina Schnitt, Ulrich Löhnert, and René Preusker

Abstract

High-resolution boundary layer water vapor profile observations are essential for understanding the interplay between shallow convection, cloudiness, and climate in the trade wind atmosphere. As current observation techniques can be limited by low spatial or temporal resolution, the synergistic benefit of combining ground-based microwave radiometer (MWR) and dual-frequency radar is investigated by analyzing the retrieval information content and uncertainty. Synthetic MWR brightness temperatures, as well as simulated dual-wavelength ratios of two radar frequencies are generated for a combination of Ka and W band (KaW), as well as differential absorption radar (DAR) G-band frequencies (167 and 174.8 GHz, G2). The synergy analysis is based on an optimal estimation scheme by varying the configuration of the observation vector. Combining MWR and KaW only marginally increases the retrieval information content. The synergy of MWR with G2 radar is more beneficial due to increasing degrees of freedom (4.5), decreasing retrieval errors, and a more realistic retrieved profile within the cloud layer. The information and profile below and within the cloud is driven by the radar observations, whereas the synergistic benefit is largest above the cloud layer, where information content is enhanced compared to an MWR-only or DAR-only setup. For full synergistic benefits, however, G-band radar sensitivities need to allow full-cloud profiling; in this case, the results suggest that a combined retrieval of MWR and G-band DAR can help close the observational gap of current techniques.

Open access
Luca Baldini and William Emery
Open access
Jothiram Vivekanandan, Virendra P. Ghate, Jorgen B. Jensen, Scott M. Ellis, and M. Christian Schwartz

Abstract

This paper describes a technique for estimating the liquid water content (LWC) and a characteristic particle diameter in stratocumulus clouds using radar and lidar observations. The uncertainty in LWC estimate from radar and lidar measurements is significantly reduced once the characteristic particle diameter is known. The technique is independent of the drop size distribution. It is applicable for a broad range of W-band reflectivity Z between −30 and 0 dBZ and all values of lidar backscatter β observations. No partitioning of cloud or drizzle is required on the basis of an arbitrary threshold of Z as in prior studies. A method for estimating droplet diameter and LWC was derived from the electromagnetic simulations of radar and lidar observations. In situ stratocumulus cloud and drizzle probe spectra were input to the electromagnetic simulation. The retrieved droplet diameter and LWC were validated using in situ measurements from the southeastern Pacific Ocean. The retrieval method was applied to radar and lidar measurements from the northeastern Pacific. Uncertainty in the retrieved droplet diameter and LWC that are due to the measurement errors in radar and lidar backscatter measurements are 7% and 14%, respectively. The retrieved LWC was validated using the concurrent G-band radiometer estimates of the liquid water path.

Open access
Andrew Mahre, Tian-You Yu, and David J. Bodine

Abstract

As the existing NEXRAD network nears the end of its life cycle, intense study and planning are underway to design a viable replacement system. Ideally, such a system would offer improved temporal resolution compared to NEXRAD, without a loss in data quality. In this study, scan speedup techniques—such as beam multiplexing (BMX) and radar imaging—are tested to assess their viability in obtaining high-quality rapid updates for a simulated long-range weather radar. The results of this study—which uses a Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model–simulated supercell case—show that BMX generally improves data quality for a given scan time or can provide a speedup factor of 1.69–2.85 compared to NEXRAD while maintaining the same level of data quality. Additionally, radar imaging is shown to improve data quality and/or decrease scan time when selectively used; however, deleterious effects are observed when imaging is used in regions with sharp reflectivity gradients parallel to the beam spoiling direction. Consideration must be given to the subsequent loss of sensitivity and beam broadening. Finally, imaging is shown to have an effect on the radar-derived mesocyclone strength (ΔV) of a simulated supercell. Because BMX and radar imaging are most easily achieved with an all-digital phased array radar (PAR), these results make a strong argument for the use of all-digital PAR for high-resolution weather observations. It is believed that the results from this study can inform decisions about possible scanning strategies and design of a NEXRAD replacement system for high-resolution weather radar data.

Restricted access
Vanessa Caicedo, Ruben Delgado, Ricardo Sakai, Travis Knepp, David Williams, Kevin Cavender, Barry Lefer, and James Szykman

Abstract

A unique automated planetary boundary layer (PBL) retrieval algorithm is proposed as a common cross-platform method for use with commercially available ceilometers for implementation under the redesigned U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Stations program. This algorithm addresses instrument signal quality and screens for precipitation and cloud layers before the implementation of the retrieval method using the Haar wavelet covariance transform. Layer attribution for the PBL height is supported with the use of continuation and time-tracking parameters, and uncertainties are calculated for individual PBL height retrievals. Commercial ceilometer retrievals are tested against radiosonde PBL height and cloud-base height during morning and late-afternoon transition times, critical to air quality model prediction and when retrieval algorithms struggle to identify PBL heights. A total of 58 radiosonde profiles were used, and retrievals for nocturnal stable layers, residual layers, and mixing layers were assessed. Overall good agreement was found for all comparisons, with one system showing limitations for the cases of nighttime surface stable layers and daytime mixing layer. It is recommended that nighttime shallow stable-layer retrievals be performed with a recommended minimum height or with additional verification. Retrievals of residual-layer heights and mixing-layer comparisons revealed overall good correlations with radiosonde heights (square of correlation coefficients r 2 ranging from 0.89 to 0.96, and bias ranging from approximately −131 to +63 m for the residual layer and r 2 from 0.88 to 0.97 and bias from −119 to +101 m for the mixing layer).

Restricted access
Aaron Bagnell and Timothy DeVries

Abstract

Historical estimates of ocean heat content (OHC) are important for understanding the climate sensitivity of the Earth system and for tracking changes in Earth’s energy balance over time. Prior to 2004, these estimates rely primarily on temperature measurements from mechanical and expendable bathythermograph (BT) instruments that were deployed on large scales by naval vessels and ships of opportunity. These BT temperature measurements are subject to well-documented biases, but even the best calibration methods still exhibit residual biases when compared with high-quality temperature datasets. Here, we use a new approach to reduce biases in historical BT data after binning them to a regular grid such as would be used for estimating OHC. Our method consists of an ensemble of artificial neural networks that corrects biases with respect to depth, year, and water temperature in the top 10 m. A global correction and corrections optimized to specific BT probe types are presented for the top 1800 m. Our approach differs from most prior studies by accounting for multiple sources of error in a single correction instead of separating the bias into several independent components. These new global and probe-specific corrections perform on par with widely used calibration methods on a series of metrics that examine the residual temperature biases with respect to a high-quality reference dataset. However, distinct patterns emerge across these various calibration methods when they are extrapolated to BT data that are not included in our cross-instrument comparison, contributing to uncertainty that will ultimately impact estimates of OHC.

Restricted access
Christos Gatidis, Marc Schleiss, Christine Unal, and Herman Russchenberg

Abstract

The adequacy of the gamma model to describe the variability of raindrop size distributions (DSD) is studied using observations from an optical disdrometer. Model adequacy is checked using a combination of Kolmogorov–Smirnov goodness-of-fit test and Kullback–Leibler divergence and the sensitivity of the results to the sampling resolution is investigated. A new adaptive DSD sampling technique capable of determining the highest possible temporal sampling resolution at which the gamma model provides an adequate representation of sampled DSDs is proposed. The results show that most DSDs at 30 s are not strictly distributed according to a gamma model, while at the same time they are not far away from it either. According to the adaptive DSD sampling algorithm, the gamma model proves to be an adequate choice for the majority (85.81%) of the DSD spectra at resolutions up to 300 s. At the same time, it also reveals a considerable number of DSD spectra (5.55%) that do not follow a gamma distribution at any resolution (up to 1800 s). These are attributed to transitional periods during which the DSD is not stationary and exhibits a bimodal shape that cannot be modeled by a gamma distribution. The proposed resampling procedure is capable of automatically identifying and flagging these periods, providing new valuable quality control mechanisms for DSD retrievals in disdrometers and weather radars.

Open access