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Kaushik Gopalan
,
Nai-Yu Wang
,
Ralph Ferraro
, and
Chuntao Liu

Abstract

This paper describes improvements to the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) land rainfall algorithm in version 7 (v7) of the TRMM data products. The correlations between rain rates and TMI 85-GHz brightness temperatures (Tb) for convective and stratiform rain are generated using 7 years of collocated TMI and TRMM precipitation radar (PR) data. The TMI algorithm for estimating the convective ratio of rainfall is also modified. This paper highlights both the improvements in the v7 algorithm and the continuing problems with the land rainfall retrievals. It is demonstrated that the proposed changes to the algorithm significantly lower the overestimation by TMI globally and over large sections of central Africa and South America. Also highlighted are the problems with the 2A12 land algorithm that have not been addressed in the version 7 algorithm, such as large regional and seasonal dependence of biases in the TMI rain estimates, and potential changes to the algorithm to resolve these problems are discussed.

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Patrick C. Meyers
,
Ralph R. Ferraro
, and
Nai-Yu Wang

Abstract

The Goddard profiling algorithm 2010 (GPROF2010) was revised for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (EOS; AMSR-E) instrument. The GPROF2010 land algorithm was developed for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI), which observes slightly different central frequencies than AMSR-E. A linear transfer function was developed to convert AMSR-E brightness temperatures to their corresponding TMI frequency for raining and nonraining instantaneous fields of view (IFOVs) using collocated brightness temperature and TRMM precipitation radar (PR) measurements. Previous versions of the algorithm separated rain from surface ice, snow, and desert using a series of empirical procedures. These occasionally failed to separate raining and nonraining scenes, leading to failed detection and false alarms of rain. The new GPROF2010, version 2 (GPROF2010V2), presented here, prefaced the heritage screening procedures by referencing annual desert and monthly snow climatologies to identify IFOVs where rain retrievals were unreliable. Over a decade of satellite- and ground-based observations from the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) and AMSR-E allowed for the creation of a medium-resolution (0.25° × 0.25°) climatology of monthly snow and ice cover. The scattering signature of rain over ice and snow is not well defined because of complex emissivity signals dependent on snow depth, age, and melting, such that using a static climatology was a more stable approach to defining surface types. GPROF2010V2 was subsequently used for the precipitation environmental data record (EDR) for the AMSR2 sensor aboard the Global Change Observation Mission–Water 1 (GCOM-W1).

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Christian D. Kummerow
,
David L. Randel
,
Mark Kulie
,
Nai-Yu Wang
,
Ralph Ferraro
,
S. Joseph Munchak
, and
Veljko Petkovic

Abstract

The Goddard profiling algorithm has evolved from a pseudoparametric algorithm used in the current TRMM operational product (GPROF 2010) to a fully parametric approach used operationally in the GPM era (GPROF 2014). The fully parametric approach uses a Bayesian inversion for all surface types. The algorithm thus abandons rainfall screening procedures and instead uses the full brightness temperature vector to obtain the most likely precipitation state. This paper offers a complete description of the GPROF 2010 and GPROF 2014 algorithms and assesses the sensitivity of the algorithm to assumptions related to channel uncertainty as well as ancillary data. Uncertainties in precipitation are generally less than 1%–2% for realistic assumptions in channel uncertainties. Consistency among different radiometers is extremely good over oceans. Consistency over land is also good if the diurnal cycle is accounted for by sampling GMI product only at the time of day that different sensors operate. While accounting for only a modest amount of the total precipitation, snow-covered surfaces exhibit differences of up to 25% between sensors traceable to the availability of high-frequency (166 and 183 GHz) channels. In general, comparisons against early versions of GPM’s Ku-band radar precipitation estimates are fairly consistent but absolute differences will be more carefully evaluated once GPROF 2014 is upgraded to use the full GPM-combined radar–radiometer product for its a priori database. The combined algorithm represents a physically constructed database that is consistent with both the GPM radars and the GMI observations, and thus it is the ideal basis for a Bayesian approach that can be extended to an arbitrary passive microwave sensor.

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Lisa Milani
,
Mark S. Kulie
,
Daniele Casella
,
Pierre E. Kirstetter
,
Giulia Panegrossi
,
Veljko Petkovic
,
Sarah E. Ringerud
,
Jean-François Rysman
,
Paolo Sanò
,
Nai-Yu Wang
,
Yalei You
, and
Gail Skofronick-Jackson

Abstract

This study focuses on the ability of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) passive microwave sensors to detect and provide quantitative precipitation estimates (QPE) for extreme lake-effect snowfall events over the U.S. lower Great Lakes region. GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) high-frequency channels can clearly detect intense shallow convective snowfall events. However, GMI Goddard Profiling (GPROF) QPE retrievals produce inconsistent results when compared with the Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) ground-based radar reference dataset. While GPROF retrievals adequately capture intense snowfall rates and spatial patterns of one event, GPROF systematically underestimates intense snowfall rates in another event. Furthermore, GPROF produces abundant light snowfall rates that do not accord with MRMS observations. Ad hoc precipitation-rate thresholds are suggested to partially mitigate GPROF’s overproduction of light snowfall rates. The sensitivity and retrieval efficiency of GPROF to key parameters (2-m temperature, total precipitable water, and background surface type) used to constrain the GPROF a priori retrieval database are investigated. Results demonstrate that typical lake-effect snow environmental and surface conditions, especially coastal surfaces, are underpopulated in the database and adversely affect GPROF retrievals. For the two presented case studies, using a snow-cover a priori database in the locations originally deemed as coastline improves retrieval. This study suggests that it is particularly important to have more accurate GPROF surface classifications and better representativeness of the a priori databases to improve intense lake-effect snow detection and retrieval performance.

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