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Influence of multiple scattering on CloudSat measurements in snow: A model study

Matrosov, S., and A. Battaglia (2009), Influence of multiple scattering on CloudSat measurements in snow: A model study, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L12806, doi:10.1029/2009GL038704.

The effects of multiple scattering on larger precipitating hydrometers have an influence on measurements of the spaceborne W-band (94 GHz) CloudSat radar. This study presents initial quantitative estimates of these effects in ‘‘dry’’ snow using radiative transfer calculations for appropriate snowfall models. It is shown that these effects become significant (i.e., greater than approximately 1 dB) when snowfall radar reflectivity factors are greater than about 10 – 15 dBZ. Reflectivity enhancement due to multiple scattering can reach 4 – 5 dB in heavier stratiform snowfalls. Multiple scattering effects counteract signal attenuation, so the observed CloudSat reflectivity factors in snowfall could be relatively close to the values that would be observed in the case of single scattering and the absence of attenuation.

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Atmospheric Dynamics and Precipitation Program (ADP)