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Jun Li, Walter W. Wolf, W. Paul Menzel, Wenjian Zhang, Hung-Lung Huang, and Thomas H. Achtor

Abstract

The International Advanced Television and Infrared Observation Satellite Operational Vertical Sounder (ATOVS) Processing Package (IAPP) has been developed to retrieve the atmospheric temperature profile, moisture profile, atmospheric total ozone, and other parameters in both clear and cloudy atmospheres from the ATOVS measurements. The algorithm that retrieves these parameters contains four steps: 1) cloud detection and removal, 2) bias adjustment for ATOVS measurements, 3) regression retrieval processes, and 4) a nonlinear iterative physical retrieval. Nine (3 × 3) adjacent High-Resolution Infrared Sounder (HIRS)/3 spot observations, together with Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A observations remapped to the HIRS/3 resolution, are used to retrieve the temperature profile, moisture profile, surface skin temperature, total atmospheric ozone and microwave surface emissivity, and so on. ATOVS profile retrieval results are evaluated by root-mean-square differences with respect to radiosonde observation profiles. The accuracy of the retrieval is about 2.0 K for the temperature at 1-km vertical resolution and 3.0–6.0 K for the dewpoint temperature at 2-km vertical resolution in this study. The IAPP is now available to users worldwide for processing the real-time ATOVS data.

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Chaohua Dong, Jun Yang, Wenjian Zhang, Zhongdong Yang, Naimeng Lu, Jinming Shi, Peng Zhang, Yujie Liu, and Bin Cai

FengYun-3A (FY-3A), the first satellite in the second generation of the Chinese polar-orbiting meteorological satellites, was launched at Taiyuan, China, launching center on 27 May 2008. Equipped with both sounding and imaging payloads, enabling more powerful observations than the first generation of the FY-1 series, FY-3A carries 11 instruments. Two of them are the same as those on FY-1C/D, while the others, whose spectral bands cover violet, visible, near-infrared, infrared, and microwave spectral regions, are all newly developed. FY-3A instruments can be used to detect and study weather, clouds, radiation, climate, atmosphere, land, ocean, and other environmental features. FY-3A check out took about 5 months following its launch; FY-3A has been operational since January 2009. The plan for the future FY-3 series is to operate two polar-orbiting spacecraft—one in the morning and the other in the afternoon orbit—with different payloads for each spacecraft. This orbit configuration will be further coordinated with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). One low-inclination orbit spacecraft is under consideration for radar and passive microwave precipitation measurement missions. Details are under discussion and yet to be determined. An overview of the first launch, FY-3A (the second generation of the Chinese meteorological satellites), and its imaging and sounding capabilities and potential applications are given in this paper.

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Jun Li, W. Paul Menzel, Wenjian Zhang, Fengying Sun, Timothy J. Schmit, James J. Gurka, and Elisabeth Weisz

Abstract

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) measurements from the Earth Observing System's (EOS's) Aqua satellite enable global monitoring of the distribution of clouds. MODIS is able to provide a cloud mask, surface and cloud types, cloud phase, cloud-top pressure (CTP), effective cloud amount (ECA), cloud particle size, and cloud optical thickness at high spatial resolution (1–5 km). The combined MODIS–AIRS system offers the opportunity for improved cloud products, better than from either system alone; this improvement is demonstrated in this paper with both simulated and real radiances. A one-dimensional variational (1DVAR) methodology is used to retrieve the CTP and ECA from AIRS longwave (650–790 cm−1 or 15.38–12.65 μm) cloudy radiance measurements (hereinafter referred to as MODIS–AIRS 1DVAR). The MODIS–AIRS 1DVAR cloud properties show significant improvement over the MODIS-alone cloud properties and slight improvement over AIRS-alone cloud properties in a simulation study, while MODIS–AIRS 1DVAR is much more computationally efficient than the AIRS-alone 1DVAR; comparisons with radiosonde observations show that CTPs improve by 10–40 hPa for MODIS–AIRS CTPs over those from MODIS alone. The 1DVAR approach is applied to process the AIRS longwave cloudy radiance measurements; results are compared with MODIS and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite sounder cloud products. Data from ground-based instrumentation at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Cloud and Radiation Test Bed in Oklahoma are used for validation; results show that MODIS–AIRS improves the MODIS CTP, especially in low-level clouds. The operational use of a high-spatial-resolution imager, along with information from a high-spectral-resolution sounder will be possible with instruments planned for the next-generation geostationary operational instruments.

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Gang Chen, Kun Zhao, Guifu Zhang, Hao Huang, Su Liu, Long Wen, Zhonglin Yang, Zhengwei Yang, Lili Xu, and Wenjian Zhu

Abstract

In this study, the capability of using a C-band polarimetric Doppler radar and a two-dimensional video disdrometer (2DVD) to estimate monsoon-influenced summer rainfall during the Observation, Prediction and Analysis of Severe Convection of China (OPACC) field campaign in 2014 and 2015 in eastern China is investigated. Three different rainfall R estimators, for reflectivity at horizontal polarization [R(Z h)], for reflectivity at horizontal polarization and differential reflectivity factor [R(Z h, Z dr)], and for specific differential phase [R(K DP)], are derived from 2-yr 2DVD observations of summer precipitation systems. The radar-estimated rainfall is compared to gauge observations from eight rainfall episodes. Results show that the two polarimetric estimators, R(Z h, Z dr) and R(K DP), perform better than the traditional Z hR relation [i.e., R(Z h)]. The K DP-based estimator [i.e., R(K DP)] produces the best rainfall accumulations. The radar rainfall estimators perform differently across the three organized convective systems (mei-yu rainband, typhoon rainband, and squall line). Estimator R(Z h) overestimates rainfall in the mei-yu rainband and squall line, and R(Z h, Z dr) mitigates the overestimation in the mei-yu rainband but has a large bias in the squall line. QPE from R(K DP) is the most accurate among the three estimators, but it possesses a relatively large bias for the squall line compared to the mei-yu case. The high variability of drop size distribution (DSD) related to the precipitation microphysics in different types of rain is largely responsible for the case-dependent QPE performance using any single radar rainfall estimator. The squall line has a distinct ice-phase process with a large mean size of raindrops, while the mei-yu rainband and typhoon rainband are composed of smaller raindrops. Based on the statistical QPE error in the Z HZ DR space, a new composite rainfall estimator is constructed by combining R(Z h), R(Z h, Z dr), and R(K DP) and is proven to outperform any single rainfall estimator.

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Shanlei Sun, Haishan Chen, Ge Sun, Weimin Ju, Guojie Wang, Xing Li, Guixia Yan, Chujie Gao, Jin Huang, Fangmin Zhang, Siguang Zhu, and Wenjian Hua

Abstract

This study investigated monthly and annual reference evapotranspiration changes over southwestern China (SWC) from 1960 to 2012, using the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ report 56 (FAO-56) Penman–Monteith equation and routine meteorological observations at 269 weather sites. During 1960–2012, the monthly and annual decreased at most sites. Moreover, the SWC regional average trend in annual was significantly negative (p < 0.05); this trend was the same in most months. A new separation method using several numerical experiments was proposed to quantify each driving factor’s contribution to changes and exhibited higher accuracy based on several validation criteria, after which an attribution analysis was performed. Across SWC, the declining annual was mainly due to decreased net radiation (RN). Spatially, the annual changes at most sites in eastern SWC (excluding southeastern West Guangxi) were generally due to RN, whereas wind speed (WND) or vapor pressure deficit (VPD) was the determinant at other sites. Nevertheless, the determinants differed among 12 months. For the whole SWC, increased VPD in February and decreased WND in April, May, and October were the determinant of decreased ; however, decreased RN was the determinant in other months. Overall, the determinant of the monthly changes exhibited a complex spatial pattern. A complete analysis of changes and the related physical mechanisms in SWC is necessary to better understand hydroclimatological extremes (e.g., droughts) and to develop appropriate strategies to sustain regional development (e.g., water resources and agriculture). Importantly, this separation method provides new perspective for quantitative attribution analyses and thus may be implemented in various scientific fields (e.g., climatology and hydrology).

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