Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 19 items for

  • Author or Editor: Matthew Lebsock x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Matthew D. Lebsock and Kentaroh Suzuki

Abstract

A precipitating marine cumulus cloud simulation is coupled to radiation propagation models to simulate active and passive microwave observations at 94 GHz. The simulations are used to examine the error characteristics of the total water path retrieved from the integral constraints of the passive microwave brightness temperature or the path-integrated attenuation (PIA) using a spatial interpolation technique. Three sources of bias are considered: 1) the misdetection of cloudy pixels as clear, 2) the systematic differences in the column water vapor between cloudy and clear skies, and 3) the nonuniform beamfilling effects on the observables. The first two sources result in biases on the order of 5–10 g m−2 of opposite signs that tend to cancel. The third source results in a bias that increases monotonically with the water path that approaches 50%. Nonuniform beamfilling is sensitive to footprint size. Random error results from both instrument measurement precision and the natural variability in the relationship between the water path and the observables. Random errors for the retrievals using the CloudSat PIA are estimated to be the larger of either 20 g m−2 or 30%. A radar/radiometer system with a measurement precision of 0.3 K or 0.05 dB could reduce this error to the larger of either 10 g m−2 or 30%. All error mechanisms reported here result from variability in either the spatial structure of the atmosphere or the hydrometeor drop size distribution. The results presented here are specific to the cloud simulation and in general the magnitude will vary globally.

Full access
Peter Kalmus, Matthew Lebsock, and João Teixeira

Abstract

The authors estimate summer mean boundary layer water and energy budgets along a northeast Pacific transect from 35° to 15°N, which includes the transition from marine stratocumulus to trade cumulus clouds. Observational data is used from three A-Train satellites, Aqua, CloudSat, and the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO); data derived from GPS signals intercepted by microsatellites of the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC); and the container-ship-based Marine Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Cloud System Study/Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (GCSS/WGNE) Pacific Cross-Section Intercomparison (GPCI) Investigation of Clouds (MAGIC) campaign. These are unique satellite and shipborne observations providing the first global-scale observations of light precipitation, new vertically resolved radiation budget products derived from the active sensors, and well-sampled radiosonde data near the transect. In addition to the observations, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) fields are utilized to estimate the budgets. Both budgets approach within 3 W m−2 averaged along the transect, although uncertainty estimates from the study are much larger than this residual. A mean entrainment rate along the transect of mm s−1 is also estimated. A gradual transition is observed in the climatological mean from the stratocumulus regime to the cumulus regime characterized by an increase in boundary layer height, latent heat flux, rain, and the horizontal advection of dry air and a decrease in entrainment of warm dry air.

Full access
Ryan Eastman, Matthew Lebsock, and Robert Wood

Abstract

Collocated CloudSat rain rates and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) 89-GHz brightness temperature T b retrievals allow for the development of an algorithm to estimate light, warm rain statistics as a function of AMSR-E 89-GHz T b for shallow marine clouds. Four statistics are calculated from CloudSat rainfall rate estimates within each 4 km × 6 km T b pixel sampled by both sensors: the probability of rainfall, the mean rain rate, the mean rate when raining, and the maximum rain rate. Observations with overlying cold clouds are removed from the analysis. To account for confounding variables that modify T b, curves are fit to the mean relationships between T b and these four statistics within bins of constant column-integrated water vapor from AMSR-E, and sea surface temperature and wind speed from reanalysis grids. The coefficients that define these curves are then applied to all available AMSR-E T b retrievals to estimate rain rate throughout the eastern subtropical oceans. A preliminary analysis shows strong agreement between AMSR-E rain rates and the CloudSat training dataset. Comparison with an existing microwave precipitation product shows that the new statistical product has an improved sensitivity to light rain. A climatology for the year 2007 shows that precipitation rates tend to be heavier where the sea surface is warmer and that rain is most frequent where stratocumulus transitions to trade cumulus in the subtropics.

Full access
Catherine M. Naud, James F. Booth, Matthew Lebsock, and Mircea Grecu

Abstract

Using cyclone-centered compositing and a database of extratropical-cyclone locations, the distribution of precipitation frequency and rate in oceanic extratropical cyclones is analyzed using satellite-derived datasets. The distribution of precipitation rates retrieved using two new datasets, the Global Precipitation Measurement radar–microwave radiometer combined product (GPM-CMB) and the Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for GPM product (IMERG), is compared with CloudSat, and the differences are discussed. For reference, the composites of AMSR-E, GPCP, and two reanalyses are also examined. Cyclone-centered precipitation rates are found to be the largest with the IMERG and CloudSat datasets and lowest with GPM-CMB. A series of tests is conducted to determine the roles of swath width, swath location, sampling frequency, season, and epoch. In all cases, these effects are less than ~0.14 mm h−1 at 50-km resolution. Larger differences in the composites are related to retrieval biases, such as ground-clutter contamination in GPM-CMB and radar saturation in CloudSat. Overall the IMERG product reports precipitation more often, with larger precipitation rates at the center of the cyclones, in conditions of high precipitable water (PW). The CloudSat product tends to report more precipitation in conditions of dry or moderate PW. The GPM-CMB product tends to systematically report lower precipitation rates than the other two datasets. This intercomparison provides 1) modelers with an observational uncertainty and range (0.21–0.36 mm h−1 near the cyclone centers) when using composites of precipitation for model evaluation and 2) retrieval-algorithm developers with a categorical analysis of the sensitivity of the products to PW.

Full access
Richard J. Roy, Matthew Lebsock, Luis Millán, and Ken B. Cooper

Abstract

Differential absorption radar (DAR) offers an active remote sensing solution to the problem of measuring humidity profiles with high vertical and horizontal resolution in hydrometeor layers. The Vapor In-Cloud Profiling Radar (VIPR) is a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) G-band DAR tunable from 167 to 174.8 GHz being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Here we describe ground-based measurements from VIPR performed at the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site for humidity product validation. Two distinct measurement capabilities are investigated: 1) humidity profiles inside of cloudy volumes with 180 m vertical resolution, and 2) integrated water vapor (IWV) between the surface and cloud base. High radar sensitivity permits detection of upper-tropospheric clouds and retrieval of humidity profiles above 10 km in height. We develop an improved humidity retrieval algorithm based on a regularized least squares method that includes detailed accounting of measurement covariances and systematic error sources. This regularization mitigates high-spatial-frequency humidity biases that arise from frequency-dependent hydrometeor scattering, which is an important limitation for DAR systems. Through comparisons with over 20 coincident radiosondes, we find close agreement between in situ and remotely sensed humidity profiles, with a correlation coefficient of r = 0.96, root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.8 g m−3, and median retrieval precision of 0.5 g m−3. Using a merged radiosonde and Raman lidar product for surface-to-cloud-base IWV, we demonstrate precise column sounding capabilities with r = 1.00, RMSE of 1.2 mm, and median retrieval precision of 0.25 mm.

Restricted access
Matthew D. Lebsock, Christian Kummerow, and Graeme L. Stephens

Abstract

Anomalies of precipitation, cloud, thermodynamic, and radiation variables are analyzed on the large spatial scale defined by the tropical oceans. In particular, relationships between the mean tropical oceanic precipitation anomaly and radiative anomalies are examined. It is found that tropical mean precipitation is well correlated with cloud properties and radiative fields. In particular, the tropical mean precipitation anomaly is positively correlated with the top of the atmosphere reflected shortwave anomaly and negatively correlated with the emitted longwave anomaly. The tropical mean relationships are found to primarily result from a coherent oscillation of precipitation and the area of high-level cloudiness. The correlations manifest themselves radiatively as a modest decrease in net downwelling radiation at the top of the atmosphere, and a redistribution of energy from the surface to the atmosphere through reduced solar radiation to the surface and decreased longwave emission to space. Integrated over the tropical oceanic domain, the anomalous atmospheric column radiative heating is found to be about 10% of the magnitude of the anomalous latent heating. The temporal signature of the radiative heating is observed in the column mean temperature that indicates a coherent phase-lagged oscillation between atmospheric stability and convection. These relationships are identified as a radiative–convective cloud feedback that is observed on intraseasonal time scales in the tropical atmosphere.

Full access
Matthew D. Lebsock, Tristan S. L’Ecuyer, and Graeme L. Stephens

Abstract

Satellite observations are used to deduce the relationship between cloud water and precipitation water for low-latitude shallow marine clouds. The specific sensors that facilitate the analysis are the collocated CloudSat profiling radar and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The separation of the cloud water and precipitation water signals relies on the relative insensitivity of MODIS to the presence of precipitation water in conjunction with estimates of the path-integrated attenuation of the CloudSat radar beam while explicitly accounting for the effect of precipitation water on the observed MODIS optical depth. Variations in the precipitation water path are shown to be associated with both the cloud water path and the cloud effective radius, suggesting both macrophysical and microphysical controls on the production of precipitation water. The method outlined here is used to place broad bounds on the mean relationship between the precipitation water path and the cloud water path in shallow marine clouds, given certain clearly stated assumptions. The ratio of precipitation water to cloud water is shown to increase from zero at low cloud water path values to roughly 0.5 at 500 g m−2 of cloud water. The retrieval results further show that the median influence of precipitation on the observed optical depth increases monotonically with optical depth varying between 1% and 5% at 500 g m−2 of cloud water with the source of the uncertainty deriving from the assumption of the nature of the precipitation drop size distribution.

Full access
Mark Smalley, Kay Sušelj, Matthew Lebsock, and Joao Teixeira

Abstract

A single-column model (SCM) is used to simulate a variety of environmental conditions between Los Angeles, California, and Hawaii in order to identify physical elements of parameterizations that are required to reproduce the observed behavior of marine boundary layer (MBL) cloudiness. The SCM is composed of the JPL eddy-diffusivity/mass-flux (EDMF) mixing formulation and the RRTMG radiation model. Model forcings are provided by the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA2). Simulated low cloud cover (LCC), rain rate, albedo, and liquid water path are compared to collocated pixel-level observations from A-Train satellites. This framework ensures that the JPL EDMF is able to simulate a continuum of real-world conditions. First, the JPL EDMF is shown to reproduce the observed mean LCC as a function of lower-tropospheric stability. Joint probability distributions of lower-tropospheric cloud fraction, height, and lower-tropospheric stability (LTS) show that the JPL EDMF improves upon its MERRA2 input but struggles to match the frequency of observed intermediate-range LCC. We then illustrate the physical roles of plume lateral entrainment and eddy-diffusivity mixing length in producing a realistic behavior of LCC as a function of LTS. In low-LTS conditions, LCC is mostly sensitive to the ability of convection to mix moist air out of the MBL. In high-LTS conditions, LCC is also sensitive to the turbulent mixing of free-tropospheric air into the MBL. In the intermediate LTS regime typical of stratocumulus–cumulus transition there is proportional sensitivity to both mixing mechanisms, emphasizing the utility of a combined eddy-diffusivity/mass-flux approach for representing mixing processes.

Full access
Jussi Leinonen, Matthew D. Lebsock, Graeme L. Stephens, and Kentaroh Suzuki

Abstract

A revised version of the CloudSat–MODIS cloud liquid water retrieval algorithm is presented. The new algorithm, which combines measurements of radar reflectivity and cloud optical depth, addresses issues discovered in the current CloudSat–MODIS cloud water content (CWC) product. This current product is shown to be underconstrained by observations and to be too dependent on prior information incorporated into the Bayesian optimal-estimation algorithm. The most significant change made to the algorithm in this study was decreasing the number of independent variables to allow the observations to constrain the retrieved values better. The retrieval was also reformulated for improved compliance with the mathematical assumptions of the optimal-estimation algorithm. To validate the accuracy of the revised algorithm, the path-integrated attenuation (PIA) of the CloudSat radar signal was computed from the algorithm results. These modeled values were compared with independent measurements of the PIA that were obtained using a surface reference technique. This comparison shows that the cloud liquid water retrieved by the algorithm is close to being unbiased. The revised algorithm was also found to be an improvement over the current CloudSat CWC product and, to a lesser degree, the MODIS-derived cloud liquid water path.

Full access
Haruka Hotta, Kentaroh Suzuki, Daisuke Goto, and Matthew Lebsock

Abstract

This study investigates how subgrid cloud water inhomogeneity within a grid spacing of a general circulation model (GCM) links to the global climate through precipitation processes. The effect of the cloud inhomogeneity on autoconversion rate is incorporated into the GCM as an enhancement factor using a prognostic cloud water probability density function (PDF), which is assumed to be a truncated skewed-triangle distribution based on the total water PDF originally implemented. The PDF assumption and the factor are evaluated against those obtained by global satellite observations and simulated by a global cloud-system-resolving model (GCRM). Results show that the factor implemented exerts latitudinal variations, with higher values at low latitudes, qualitatively consistent with satellite observations and the GCRM. The GCM thus validated for the subgrid cloud inhomogeneity is then used to investigate how the characteristics of the enhancement factor affect global climate through sensitivity experiments with and without the factor incorporated. The latitudinal variation of the factor is found to have a systematic impact that reduces the cloud water and the solar reflection at low latitudes in the manner that helps mitigate the too-reflective cloud bias common among GCMs over the tropical oceans. Due to the limitation of the factor arising from the PDF assumption, however, no significant impact is found in the warm rain formation process. Finally, it is shown that the functional form for the PDF in a GCM is crucial to properly characterize the observed cloud water inhomogeneity and its relationship with precipitation.

Open access