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Toshihisa Matsui, Xiping Zeng, Wei-Kuo Tao, Hirohiko Masunaga, William S. Olson, and Stephen Lang

Abstract

This paper proposes a methodology known as the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Triple-Sensor Three-Step Evaluation Framework (T3EF) for the systematic evaluation of precipitating cloud types and microphysics in a cloud-resolving model (CRM). T3EF utilizes multisensor satellite simulators and novel statistics of multisensor radiance and backscattering signals observed from the TRMM satellite. Specifically, T3EF compares CRM and satellite observations in the form of combined probability distributions of precipitation radar (PR) reflectivity, polarization-corrected microwave brightness temperature (Tb), and infrared Tb to evaluate the candidate CRM.

T3EF is used to evaluate the Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) model for cases involving the South China Sea Monsoon Experiment (SCSMEX) and the Kwajalein Experiment (KWAJEX). This evaluation reveals that the GCE properly captures the satellite-measured frequencies of different precipitating cloud types in the SCSMEX case but overestimates the frequencies of cumulus congestus in the KWAJEX case. Moreover, the GCE tends to simulate excessively large and abundant frozen condensates in deep precipitating clouds as inferred from the overestimated GCE-simulated radar reflectivities and microwave Tb depressions. Unveiling the detailed errors in the GCE’s performance provides the better direction for model improvements.

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