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Validation of Satellite-Based Objective Overshooting Cloud-Top Detection...

Bedka, K., R. Dworak, J. Brunner, and W. Feltz (2012), Validation of Satellite-Based Objective Overshooting Cloud-Top Detection Methods Using CloudSat Cloud Profiling Radar Observations, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 51, 1811-1822, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-11-0131.1.

Two satellite infrared-based overshooting convective cloud-top (OT) detection methods have recently been described in the literature: 1) the 11-mm infrared window channel texture (IRW texture) method, which uses IRW channel brightness temperature (BT) spatial gradients and thresholds, and 2) the water vapor minus IRW BT difference (WV-IRW BTD). While both methods show good performance in published case study examples, it is important to quantitatively validate these methods relative to overshooting top events across the globe. Unfortunately, no overshooting top database currently exists that could be used in such study. This study examines National Aeronautics and Space Administration CloudSat Cloud Profiling Radar data to develop an OT detection validation database that is used to evaluate the IRW-texture and WV-IRW BTD OT detection methods. CloudSat data were manually examined over a 1.5-yr period to identify cases in which the cloud top penetrates above the tropopause height defined by a numerical weather prediction model and the surrounding cirrus anvil cloud top, producing 111 confirmed overshooting top events. When applied to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series (GOES-R) Advanced Baseline Imager proxy data, the IRW-texture (WV-IRW BTD) method offered a 76% (96%) probability of OT detection (POD) and 16% (81%) false-alarm ratio. Case study examples show that WV-IRW BTD . 0 K identifies much of the deep convective cloud top, while the IRW-texture method focuses only on regions with a spatial scale near that of commonly observed OTs. The POD decreases by 20% when IRW-texture is applied to current geostationary imager data, highlighting the importance of imager spatial resolution for observing and detecting OT regions.

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