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Possible Misidentification of Rain Type by TRMM PR over Tibetan Plateau

Fu, Y., and G. Liu (2007), Possible Misidentification of Rain Type by TRMM PR over Tibetan Plateau, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 46, 667-672, doi:10.1175/JAM2484.1.

Rain-type statistics derived from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar (PR) standard product show that some 70% of raining pixels in the central Tibetan Plateau summer are stratiform—a clear contradiction to the common knowledge that rain events during summer in this region are mostly convective, as a result of the strong atmospheric convective instability resulting from surface heating. In examining the vertical distribution of the stratiform rain-rate profiles, it is suspected that the TRMM PR algorithm misidentifies weak convective rain events as stratiform rain events. The possible cause for this misidentification is believed to be that the freezing level is close to the surface over the plateau, so that the ground echo may be mistakenly identified as the melting level in the PR rain classification algorithm.

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