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Inference of Cloud Temperature and Thickness by Microwave Radiometry from Space

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  • 1 Earth and Space Science Division, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109
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Abstract

The Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) on the Seasat and Nimbus-7 satellite measured microwave radiation at 6.6, 10.69, 18.0, 21.0 and 37.0 GHz with both horizontal and vertical polarizations. Numerical simulations have been performed to explore the potential of using the 18.0, 21.0 and 37.0 GHZ SMMR channels with simultaneous infrared measurements of cloud top height for retrieving cloud temperature differential and thickness over the ocean. The results suggest it is possible to infer cloud vertical thickness to ∼0.4 km rms accuracy and cloud temperature differential to ∼3°C rms. These accuracies are approximately half the a prior variances.

Abstract

The Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) on the Seasat and Nimbus-7 satellite measured microwave radiation at 6.6, 10.69, 18.0, 21.0 and 37.0 GHz with both horizontal and vertical polarizations. Numerical simulations have been performed to explore the potential of using the 18.0, 21.0 and 37.0 GHZ SMMR channels with simultaneous infrared measurements of cloud top height for retrieving cloud temperature differential and thickness over the ocean. The results suggest it is possible to infer cloud vertical thickness to ∼0.4 km rms accuracy and cloud temperature differential to ∼3°C rms. These accuracies are approximately half the a prior variances.

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