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Filipe Aires, Léo Miolane, Catherine Prigent, Binh Pham, Etienne Fluet-Chouinard, Bernhard Lehner, and Fabrice Papa

Abstract

A new procedure is introduced to downscale low-spatial-resolution inundation extents from Global Inundation Extent from Multi-Satellites (GIEMS) to a 3-arc-s (90 m) dataset (known as GIEMS-D3). The methodology is based on topography and hydrography information from the HydroSHEDS database. A new floodability index is introduced and an innovative smoothing procedure is developed to ensure a smooth transition, in the high-resolution maps, between the low-resolution boxes from GIEMS. Topography information is pertinent for natural hydrology environments controlled by elevation but is more limited in human-modified basins. However, the proposed downscaling approach is compatible with forthcoming fusion of other, more pertinent satellite information in these difficult regions. The resulting GIEMS-D3 database is the only high-spatial-resolution inundation database available globally at a monthly time scale over the 1993–2007 period. GIEMS-D3 is assessed by analyzing its spatial and temporal variability and evaluated by comparisons to other independent satellite observations from visible (Google Earth and Landsat), infrared (MODIS), and active microwave (synthetic aperture radar).

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Ingo Meirold-Mautner, Catherine Prigent, Eric Defer, Juan R. Pardo, Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, Jean-Pierre Pinty, Mario Mech, and Susanne Crewell

Abstract

Real midlatitude meteorological cases are simulated over western Europe with the cloud mesoscale model Méso-NH, and the outputs are used to calculate brightness temperatures at microwave frequencies with the Atmospheric Transmission at Microwave (ATM) radiative transfer model. Satellite-observed brightness temperatures (TBs) from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Unit B (AMSU-B) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) are compared to the simulated ones. In this paper, one specific situation is examined in detail. The infrared responses have also been calculated and compared to the Meteosat coincident observations. Overall agreement is obtained between the simulated and the observed brightness temperatures in the microwave and in the infrared. The large-scale dynamical structure of the cloud system is well captured by Méso-NH. However, in regions with large quantities of frozen hydrometeors, the comparison shows that the simulated microwave TBs are higher than the measured ones in the window channels at high frequencies, indicating that the calculation does not predict enough scattering. The factors responsible for the scattering (frozen particle distribution, calculation of particle dielectric properties, and nonsphericity of the particles) are analyzed. To assess the quality of the cloud and precipitation simulations by Méso-NH, the microphysical fields predicted by the German Lokal-Modell are also considered. Results show that in these midlatitude situations, the treatment of the snow category has a high impact on the simulated brightness temperatures. The snow scattering parameters are tuned to match the discrete dipole approximation calculations and to obtain a good agreement between simulations and observations even in the areas with significant frozen particles. Analysis of the other meteorological simulations confirms these results. Comparing simulations and observations in the microwave provides a powerful evaluation of resolved clouds in mesoscale models, especially the precipitating ice phase.

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Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, Nathalie Söhne, Jean-Pierre Pinty, Ingo Meirold-Mautner, Eric Defer, Catherine Prigent, Juan R. Pardo, Mario Mech, and Susanne Crewell

Abstract

The simulations of five midlatitude precipitating events by the nonhydrostatic mesoscale model Méso-NH are analyzed. These cases cover contrasted precipitation situations from 30° to 60°N, which are typical of midlatitudes. They include a frontal case with light precipitation over the Rhine River area (10 February 2000), a long-lasting precipitation event at Hoek van Holland, Netherlands (19 September 2001), a moderate rain case over the Elbe (12 August 2002), an intense rain case over Algiers (10 November 2001), and the “millennium storm” in the United Kingdom (30 October 2000). The physically consistent hydrometeor and thermodynamic outputs are used to generate a database for cloud and precipitation retrievals. The hydrometeor vertical profiles that were generated vary mostly with the 0°C isotherm, located between 1 and 3 km in height depending on the case. The characteristics of this midlatitude database are complementary to the GPROF database, which mostly concentrates on tropical situations. The realism of the simulations is evaluated against satellite observations by comparing synthetic brightness temperatures (BTs) with Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I), and Meteosat observations. The good reproduction of the BT distributions by the model is exploited by calculating categorical scores for verification purposes. The comparison with 3-hourly Meteosat observations demonstrates the ability of the model to forecast the time evolution of the cloud cover, the latter being better predicted for the stratiform cases than for others. The comparison with AMSU-B measurements shows the skill of the model to predict rainfall at the correct location.

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Stephen English, Catherine Prigent, Ben Johnson, Simon Yueh, Emmanuel Dinnat, Jacqueline Boutin, Stuart Newman, Magdalena Anguelova, Thomas Meissner, Masahiro Kazumori, Fuzhong Weng, Alexandre Supply, Lise Kilic, Michael Bettenhausen, Ad Stoffelen, and Christophe Accadia
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Vinia Mattioli, Christophe Accadia, Catherine Prigent, Susanne Crewell, Alan Geer, Patrick Eriksson, Stuart Fox, Juan R. Pardo, Eli J. Mlawer, Maria Cadeddu, Michael Bremer, Carlos De Breuck, Alain Smette, Domenico Cimini, Emma Turner, Mario Mech, Frank S. Marzano, Pascal Brunel, Jerome Vidot, Ralf Bennartz, Tobias Wehr, Sabatino Di Michele, and Viju O. John
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