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  • Author or Editor: Toshio Iguchi x
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Shinta Seto
,
Nobuhiro Takahashi
, and
Toshio Iguchi

Abstract

One of the goals of the Global Precipitation Measurement project, the successor to the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), is to produce a 3-hourly global rainfall map using several spaceborne microwave radiometers. It is important, although often difficult, to classify radiometer observations over land as either “rain” or “no rain” because background land surface conditions change significantly with time and location. In this study, a no-rain brightness temperature database was created to infer land surface conditions using simultaneous observations by TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR) with a resolution of 1 month and 1° latitude × 1° longitude. This paper proposes new rain/no-rain classification (RNC) methods that use the database to determine the background brightness temperature. The proposed RNC methods and the RNC method developed for the Goddard profiling algorithm (GPROF; the standard rain-rate retrieval algorithm for TMI) are applied to all TMI observations for the entire year of 2000, and the results are evaluated against the RNC made by PR as the “truth.” The first method (M1) simply uses the average brightness temperature at 85-GHz vertical polarization [denoted as TB (85 V)] under no-rain conditions as the background brightness temperature at 85-GHz vertical polarization [denoted as TB e (85 V)]. The second method (M2) uses a regression equation between TB (85 V) and TB (22 V) under no-rain conditions from the database. Here, TB e (85 V) is calculated by substituting the observed TB (22 V) into the regression equation. The ratio of accurate rain detection by GPROF to all rain occurrences detected by PR was 59%. This ratio was 57% for M1 and 63% for M2. The ratio with the weight of the rain rate was 81% for M1 and 86% for M2; it was 80% for GPROF. These comparisons were made by setting a threshold using a constant coefficient k 0 to make the ratio of false rain detection to all no-rain occurrences detected by PR almost the same (approximately 0.85%) for all three methods. Further comparisons among the methods are made, and the reasons for the differences are investigated herein.

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Hirohiko Masunaga
,
Toshio Iguchi
,
Riko Oki
, and
Misako Kachi

Abstract

Satellite remote sensing is an indispensable means of measuring and monitoring precipitation on a global scale. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is continuing to make significant progress in helping the global features of precipitation to be understood, particularly with the help of a pair of spaceborne microwave sensors, the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and precipitation radar (PR). The TRMM version-5 standard products, however, are known to have a systematic inconsistency in mean monthly rainfall. To clarify the origin of this inconsistency, the authors investigate the zonal mean precipitation and the regional trends in the hydrometeor profiles in terms of the precipitation water content (PWC) and the precipitation water path (PWP) derived from the TMI profiling algorithm (2A12) and the PR profile (2A25). An excess of PR over TMI in near-surface PWC is identified in the midlatitudes (especially in winter), whereas PWP exhibits a striking excess of TMI over PR around the tropical rainfall maximum. It is shown that these inconsistencies arise from TMI underestimating the near-surface PWC in midlatitude winter and PR underestimating PWP in the Tropics. This conclusion is supported by the contoured-frequency-by-altitude diagrams as a function of PWC. Correlations between rain rate and PWC/PWP indicate that the TMI profiling algorithm tends to provide a larger rain rate than the PR profile under a given PWC or PWP, which exaggerates the excess by TMI and cancels the excess by PR through the conversion from precipitation water to rain rate. As a consequence, the disagreement in the rainfall products between TMI and PR is a combined result of the intrinsic bias originating from the different physical principles between TMI and PR measurements and the purely algorithmic bias inherent in the conversion from precipitation water to rain rate.

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Toshiaki Kozu
,
Toshio Iguchi
,
Toyoshi Shimomai
, and
Nobuhisa Kashiwagi

Abstract

A generalized method is presented to derive a “two scale” raindrop size distribution (DSD) model over a spatial or temporal domain in which a statistical rain parameter relation exists. The two-scale model is generally defined as a model in which one DSD parameter is allowed to vary rapidly and the other is constant over a certain space or time domain. The existence of a rain parameter relation such as the radar reflectivity–rainfall rate (Z–R) relation over a spatial or temporal domain is an example of such a two-scale DSD model. A procedure is described that employs a statistical rain parameter relation with an assumption of the gamma DSD model. An example using Z–R relations obtained at Kototabang, West Sumatra, is presented. The result shows that the resulting two-scale DSD model expressed by conventional DSD parameters depends on the assumed value of parameter μ while rain parameter relations such as k–Ze relations from those models using different μ values are very close to each other, indicating the stability of the model against the variation of μ and the validity of this method. The result is applied to the DSD model for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar 2A25 (versions 5 and 6) algorithm. The derivation procedure of the 2A25 DSD model is described. Through the application of this model, it has become possible to make a logically well-organized rain profiling algorithm and reasonable rain attenuation correction and rainfall estimates, as described in an earlier paper by Iguchi et al.

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Toshio Iguchi
,
Toshiaki Kozu
,
Robert Meneghini
,
Jun Awaka
, and
Ken’ichi Okamoto

Abstract

This paper describes the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) standard algorithm that estimates the vertical profiles of attenuation-corrected radar reflectivity factor and rainfall rate. In particular, this paper focuses on the critical steps in the algorithm. These steps are attenuation correction, selection of the default drop size distribution model including vertical variations, and correction for the nonuniform beam-filling effect. The attenuation correction is based on a hybrid of the Hitschfeld–Bordan method and a surface reference method. A new algorithm to obtain an optimum weighting function is described. The nonuniform beam-filling problem is analyzed as a two-dimensional problem. The default drop size distribution model is selected according to the criterion that the attenuation estimates derived from the model and the independent estimates from the surface reference with the nonuniform beam-filling correction are consistent for rain over ocean. It is found that the drop size distribution models that are consistent for convective rain over ocean are not consistent over land, indicating a change in the size distributions associated with convective rain over land and ocean, respectively.

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Yukari Shusse
,
Nobuhiro Takahashi
,
Katsuhiro Nakagawa
,
Shinsuke Satoh
, and
Toshio Iguchi

Abstract

During the rainy season over the East China Sea, convective rainfalls often show melting layer (ML) characteristics in polarimetric radar variables. In this research, the appearance ratio of the ML (the ratio of rainfall area accompanied by polarimetric ML signatures) and the variation in height of the level of the ML signature maximum (MLSM level; defined by the level of the ρ hv minimum in the ML) in a convective rainfall region in a rainfall system over the East China Sea observed on 2 June 2006 were studied using C-band polarimetric radar (COBRA). For this analysis, a method of rainfall type classification that evaluates the presence of an ML in addition to providing conventional convective–stratiform classification using range–height indicator (RHI) observation data was developed. This rainfall type classification includes two steps: conventional convective–stratiform separation using the horizontal distribution of Zh at 2-km altitude, and ML detection using the vertical profile of ρ hv at each horizontal grid point. Using a combination of these two classifications, the following four rainfall types were identified: 1) convective rainfall with an ML, 2) convective rainfall with no ML, 3) stratiform rainfall with an ML, and 4) stratiform rainfall with no ML. An ML was detected in 53.9% of the convective region in the rainfall system. Using the same definition, an ML was detected in 83.1% of the stratiform region. The ML in the convective region showed a marked decrease in ρ hv coincident with an increase in Z DR around the ambient 0°C level, as did that in the stratiform region. Melting aggregated snow was the likely cause of the ML signature in the convective region. The average height of the MLSM level in the convective region was 4.64 km, which is 0.46 km higher than that in the stratiform region (4.18 km) and 0.27 km higher than the ambient 0°C level (4.37 km).

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Shinta Seto
,
Takuji Kubota
,
Nobuhiro Takahashi
,
Toshio Iguchi
, and
Taikan Oki

Abstract

Seto et al. developed rain/no-rain classification (RNC) methods over land for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI). In this study, the methods are modified for application to other microwave radiometers. The previous methods match TMI observations with TRMM precipitation radar (PR) observations, classify the TMI pixels into rain pixels and no-rain pixels, and then statistically summarize the observed brightness temperature at the no-rain pixels into a land surface brightness temperature database. In the modified methods, the probability distribution of brightness temperature under no-rain conditions is derived from unclassified TMI pixels without the use of PR. A test with the TMI shows that the modified (PR independent) methods are better than the RNC method developed for the Goddard profiling algorithm (GPROF; the standard algorithm for the TMI) while they are slightly poorer than corresponding previous (PR dependent) methods. M2d, one of the PR-independent methods, is applied to observations from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing Satellite (AMSR-E), is evaluated for a matchup case with PR, and is evaluated for 1 yr with a rain gauge dataset in Japan. M2d is incorporated into a retrieval algorithm developed by the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation project to be applied for the AMSR-E. In latitudes above 30°N, the rain-rate retrieval is compared with a rain gauge dataset by the Global Precipitation Climatology Center. Without a snow mask, a large amount of false rainfall due to snow contamination occurs. Therefore, a simple snow mask using the 23.8-GHz channel is applied and the threshold of the mask is optimized. Between 30° and 60°N, the optimized snow mask forces the miss of an estimated 10% of the total rainfall.

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Riku Shimizu
,
Shoichi Shige
,
Toshio Iguchi
,
Cheng-Ku Yu
, and
Lin-Wen Cheng

Abstract

The Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), which consists of a Ku-band precipitation radar (KuPR) and a Ka-band precipitation radar (KaPR) on board the GPM Core Observatory, cannot observe precipitation at low altitudes near the ground contaminated by surface clutter. This near-surface region is called the blind zone. DPR estimates the clutter-free bottom (CFB), which is the lowest altitude not included in the blind zone, and estimates precipitation at altitudes higher than the CFB. High CFBs, which are common over mountainous areas, represent obstacles to detection of shallow precipitation and estimation of low-level enhanced precipitation. We compared KuPR data with rain gauge data from Da-Tun Mountain of northern Taiwan acquired from March 2014 to February 2020. A total of 12 cases were identified in which the KuPR missed some rainfall with intensity of >10 mm h−1 that was observed by rain gauges. Comparison of KuPR profile and ground-based radar profile revealed that shallow precipitation in the KuPR blind zone was missed because the CFB was estimated to be higher than the lower bound of the range free from surface echoes. In the original operational algorithm, CFB was estimated using only the received power data of the KuPR. In this study, the CFB was identified by the sharp increase in the difference between the received powers of the KuPR and the KaPR at altitude affected by surface clutter. By lowering the CFB, the KuPR succeeded in detection and estimation of shallow precipitation.

Significance Statement

The Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) on board the GPM Core Observatory cannot capture precipitation in the low-altitude region near the ground contaminated by surface clutter. This region is called the blind zone. The DPR estimates the clutter-free bottom (CFB), which is the lower bound of the range free from surface echoes, and uses data higher than CFB. DPR consists of a Ku-band precipitation radar (KuPR) and a Ka-band precipitation radar (KaPR). KuPR missed some shallow precipitation more than 10 mm h−1 in the blind zone over Da-Tun Mountain of northern Taiwan because of misjudged CFB estimation. Using both the KuPR and the KaPR, we improved the CFB estimation algorithm, which lowered the CFB, narrowed the blind zone, and improved the capability to detect shallow precipitation.

Open access
Robert Meneghini
,
Toshio Iguchi
,
Toshiaki Kozu
,
Liang Liao
,
Ken’ichi Okamoto
,
Jeffrey A. Jones
, and
John Kwiatkowski

Abstract

Estimates of rain rate from the precipitation radar (PR) aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite require a means by which the radar signal attenuation can be corrected. One of the methods available is the surface reference technique in which the radar surface return in rain-free areas is used as a reference against which the path-integrated attenuation is obtained. Despite the simplicity of the basic concept, an assessment of the reliability of the technique is difficult because the statistical properties of the surface return depend not only on surface type (land/ocean) and incidence angle, but on the detailed nature of the surface scattering. In this paper, a formulation of the technique and a description of several surface reference datasets that are used in the operational algorithm are presented. Applications of the method to measurements from the PR suggest that it performs relatively well over the ocean in moderate to heavy rains. An indication of the reliability of the results can be gained by comparing the estimates derived from different reference datasets.

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