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  • Author or Editor: Giulia Panegrossi x
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Giulia Panegrossi, Stefano Dietrich, Frank S. Marzano, Alberto Mugnai, Eric A. Smith, Xuwu Xiang, Gregory J. Tripoli, Pao K. Wang, and J. P. V. Poiares Baptista


Precipitation estimation from passive microwave radiometry based on physically based profile retrieval algorithms must be aided by a microphysical generator providing structure information on the lower portions of the cloud, consistent with the upper-cloud structures that are sensed. One of the sources for this information is mesoscale model simulations involving explicit or parameterized microphysics. Such microphysical information can be then associated to brightness temperature signatures by using radiative transfer models, forming what are referred to as cloud–radiation databases. In this study cloud–radiation databases from three different storm simulations involving two different mesoscale models run at cloud scales are developed and analyzed. Each database relates a set of microphysical profile realizations describing the space–time properties of a given precipitating storm to multifrequency brightness temperatures associated to a measuring radiometer. In calculating the multifrequency signatures associated with the individual microphysical profiles over model space–time, the authors form what are called brightness temperature model manifolds. Their dimensionality is determined by the number of frequencies carried by the measuring radiometer. By then forming an analogous measurement manifold based on the actual radiometer observations, the radiative consistency between the model representation of a rain cloud and the measured representation are compared. In the analysis, the authors explore how various microphysical, macrophysical, and environmental factors affect the nature of the model manifolds, and how these factors produce or mitigate mismatch between the measurement and model manifolds. Various methods are examined that can be used to eliminate such mismatch. The various cloud–radiation databases are also used with a simplified profile retrieval algorithm to examine the sensitivity of the retrieved hydrometeor profiles and surface rainrates to the different microphysical, macrophysical, and environmental factors of the simulated storms. The results emphasize the need for physical retrieval algorithms to account for a number of these factors, thus preventing biased interpretation of the rain properties of precipitating storms, and minimizing rms uncertainties in the retrieved quantities.

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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


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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