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Yalei You, S. Joseph Munchak, Christa Peters-Lidard, and Sarah Ringerud

Abstract

Rainfall retrieval algorithms for passive microwave radiometers often exploits the brightness temperature depression due to ice scattering at high frequency channels (≥ 85 GHz) over land. This study presents an alternate method to estimate the daily rainfall amount using the emissivity temporal variation (i.e., Δe) under rain-free conditions at low frequency channels (19, 24 and 37 GHz). Emissivity is derived from 10 passive microwave radiometers, including the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI), the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2), three Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS), the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), and four Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A). Four different satellite combination schemes are used to derive the Δe for daily rainfall estimates. They are all-10-satellites, 5-imagers, 6-satellites with very different equator crossing times, and GMI-only. Results show that Δe from all-10-satellites has the best performance with a correlation of 0.60 and RMSE of 6.52 mm, comparing with the integrated multi-satellite retrievals (IMERG) final run product. The 6-satellites scheme has comparable performance with all-10-satellites scheme. The 5-imagers scheme performs noticeably worse with a correlation of 0.49 and RMSE of 7.28 mm, while the GMI-only scheme performs the worst with a correlation of 0.25 and RMSE of 11.36 mm. The inferior performance from the 5-imagers and GMI-only schemes can be explained by the much longer revisit time, which cannot accurately capture the emissivity temporal variation.

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Sarah Ringerud, Christa Peters-Lidard, Joe Munchak, and Yalei You

Abstract

Accurate, physically based precipitation retrieval over global land surfaces is an important goal of the NASA/JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM). This is a difficult problem for the passive microwave constellation, as the signal over radiometrically warm land surfaces in the microwave frequencies means that the measurements used are indirect and typically require inferring some type of relationship between an observed scattering signal and precipitation at the surface. GPM, with collocated radiometer and dual-frequency radar, is an excellent tool for tackling this problem and improving global retrievals. In the years following the launch of the GPM Core Observatory satellite, physically based passive microwave retrieval of precipitation over land continues to be challenging. Validation efforts suggest that the operational GPM passive microwave algorithm, the Goddard profiling algorithm (GPROF), tends to overestimate precipitation at the low (<5 mm h−1) end of the distribution over land. In this work, retrieval sensitivities to dynamic surface conditions are explored through enhancement of the algorithm with dynamic, retrieved information from a GPM-derived optimal estimation scheme. The retrieved parameters describing surface and background characteristics replace current static or ancillary GPROF information including emissivity, water vapor, and snow cover. Results show that adding this information decreases probability of false detection by 50% and, most importantly, the enhancements with retrieved parameters move the retrieval away from dependence on ancillary datasets and lead to improved physical consistency.

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Christian D. Kummerow, Sarah Ringerud, Jody Crook, David Randel, and Wesley Berg

Abstract

The combination of active and passive microwave sensors on board the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite have been used to construct observationally constrained databases of precipitation profiles for use in passive microwave rainfall retrieval algorithms over oceans. The method uses a very conservative approach that begins with the operational TRMM precipitation radar algorithm and adjusts its solution only as necessary to simultaneously match the radiometer observations. Where the TRMM precipitation radar (PR) indicates no rain, an optimal estimation procedure using TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) radiances is used to retrieve nonraining parameters. The optimal estimation methodology ensures that the geophysical parameters are fully consistent with the observed radiances. Within raining fields of view, cloud-resolving model outputs are matched to the liquid and frozen hydrometeor profiles retrieved by the TRMM PR. The profiles constructed in this manner are subsequently used to compute brightness temperatures that are immediately compared to coincident observations from TMI. Adjustments are made to the rainwater and ice concentrations derived by PR in order to achieve agreement at 19 and 85 GHz, vertically polarized brightness temperatures at monthly time scales. The database is generated only in the central 11 pixels of the PR radar scan, and the rain adjustment is performed independently for distinct sea surface temperature (SST) and total precipitable water (TPW) values. Overall, the procedure increases PR rainfall by 4.2%, but the adjustment is not uniform across all SST and TPW regimes. Rainfall differences range from a minimum of −57% for SST of 293 K and TPW of 13 mm to a maximum of +53% for SST of 293 K and TPW of 45 mm. These biases are generally reproduced by a TMI retrieval algorithm that uses the observationally generated database. The algorithm increases rainfall by 5.0% over the PR solution with a minimum of −99% for SST of 293 K and TPW of 14 mm to a maximum of +11.8% for an SST of 294 K and TPW of 50 mm. Some differences are expected because of the algorithm mechanics.

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Yalei You, Christa Peters-Lidard, Joseph Turk, Sarah Ringerud, and Song Yang

Abstract

Current microwave precipitation retrieval algorithms utilize the instantaneous brightness temperature (TB) to estimate precipitation rate. This study presents a new idea that can be used to improve existing algorithms: using TB temporal variation from the microwave radiometer constellation. As a proof of concept, microwave observations from eight polar-orbiting satellites are utilized to derive . Results show that correlates more strongly with precipitation rate than the instantaneous TB. Particularly, the correlation with precipitation rate improved to −0.6 by using over the Rocky Mountains and north of 45°N, while the correlation is only −0.1 by using TB. The underlying reason is that largely eliminates the negative influence from snow-covered land, which frequently is misidentified as precipitation. Another reason is that is less affected by environmental variation (e.g., temperature, water vapor). Further analysis shows that the magnitude of the correlation between and precipitation rate is dependent on the satellite revisit frequency. Finally, it is shown that the retrieval results from are superior to that from TB, with the largest improvement in winter. Additionally, the retrieved precipitation rate over snow-covered regions by only using at 89 GHz agrees well with the ground radar observations, which opens new opportunities to retrieve precipitation in high latitudes for sensors with the highest frequency at ~89 GHz. This study implies that a geostationary microwave radiometer can significantly improve precipitation retrieval performance. It also highlights the importance of maintaining the current passive microwave satellite constellation.

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Mircea Grecu, William S. Olson, Stephen Joseph Munchak, Sarah Ringerud, Liang Liao, Ziad Haddad, Bartie L. Kelley, and Steven F. McLaughlin

Abstract

In this paper, the operational Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission combined radar–radiometer algorithm is thoroughly described. The operational combined algorithm is designed to reduce uncertainties in GPM Core Observatory precipitation estimates by effectively integrating complementary information from the GPM Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) and the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) into an optimal, physically consistent precipitation product. Although similar in many respects to previously developed combined algorithms, the GPM combined algorithm has several unique features that are specifically designed to meet the GPM objectives of deriving, based on GPM Core Observatory information, accurate and physically consistent precipitation estimates from multiple spaceborne instruments, and ancillary environmental data from reanalyses. The algorithm features an optimal estimation framework based on a statistical formulation of the Gauss–Newton method, a parameterization for the nonuniform distribution of precipitation within the radar fields of view, a methodology to detect and account for multiple scattering in Ka-band DPR observations, and a statistical deconvolution technique that allows for an efficient sequential incorporation of radiometer information into DPR precipitation retrievals.

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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

Abstract

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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