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Microphysical retrievals over stratiform rain using measurements from an airborne dual-wavelength radar-radiometer

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5 Author(s)
Meneghini, R. ; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA ; Kumagai, H. ; Wang, J.R. ; Iguchi, T.
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The need to understand the complementarity of the radar and radiometer is important not only to the Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM) program but to a growing number of multi-instrumented airborne experiment that combine single or dual-frequency radars with multichannel radiometers. The method of analysis used in this study begins with the derivation of dual-wavelength radar equations for the estimation of a two-parameter drop size distribution (DSD). Defining a “storm model” as the set of parameters that characterize snow density, cloud water, water vapor, and features of the melting layer, then to each storm model there will usually correspond a set of range-profiled drop size distributions that are approximate solutions of the radar equations. To test these solutions, a radiative transfer model is used to compute the brightness temperatures for the radiometric frequencies of interest. A storm model or class of storm models is considered optimum if it provides the best reproduction of the radar and radiometer measurements. Tests of the method are made for stratiform rain using simulated storm models as well as measured airborne data. Preliminary results show that the best correspondence between the measured and estimated radar profiles usually can be obtained by using a moderate snow density (0.1-0.2 g/cm-3), the Maxwell-Garnett mixing formula for partially melted hydrometeors (water matrix with snow inclusions), and low to moderate values of the integrated cloud liquid water (less than 1 kg/m-2). The storm-model parameters that yield the best reproductions of the measured radar reflectivity factors also provide brightness temperatures at 10 GHz that agree well with the measurements. On the other hand, the correspondence between the measured and modeled values usually worsens in going to the higher frequency channels at 19 and 34 GHz. In searching for possible reasons for the discrepancies, it is found that changes in the DSD parameter μ, the radar constants, or the path-integrated attenuation can affect the high frequency channels significantly. In particular, parameters that cause only modest increases in the median mass diameter of the snow, and which have a minor effect on the radar returns or the low frequency brightness temperature, can produce a strong cooling of the 31 GHz brightness temperature

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 3 )