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Evaluation of the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) precipitation features is presented from various passes over Indian oceanic and land regions under the framework of radiative transfer simulations for both emission and scattering atmospheres. There is considerable uncertainty in the interpretation of the SSM/I high-frequency scattering features for development of rainfall algorithms. Specifically large areas of very low emissivity regimes showing false rain signatures due to the presence of low brightness temperatures (TBs) that are often present in the vicinity of colder sea surface areas in the 85-GHz TB from SSM/I. In this connection, the Polarization Corrected Temperature (PCT) defined by Spencer using the 85-GHz channels, vertical (V) and horizontal (H), has been studied to delineate these surface effects. These false scattering signatures, once corrected using PCT as a suitable parameter, significantly improve the quality of the SSM/I-derived precipitation areas. These results are also confirmed with the cloud optical depth data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer sensor onboard the Aqua satellite and the standard merged rain product (geostationary infrared and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) microwave data) 3B42 from TRMM. This letter is aimed for selecting PCT as one of the suitable predictor variables for the development of operational rainfall retrieval algorithm for the Indo-French Megha-Tropiques satellite's microwave radiometer at high frequencies.
Date of Publication: July 2009