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Influence of Microphysical Cloud Parameterizations on Microwave Brightness...

Jackson, G. S., A. Gasiewski, and J. R. Wang (2002), Influence of Microphysical Cloud Parameterizations on Microwave Brightness Temperatures, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 40, 187-196.

The microphysical parameterization of clouds and rain cells plays a central role in atmospheric forward radiative transfer models used in calculating microwave brightness temperatures. The absorption and scattering properties of a hydrometeor-laden atmosphere are governed by particle phase, size distribution, aggregate density, shape, and dielectric constant. This study investigates the sensitivity of brightness temperatures with respect to the microphysical cloud parameterization. Calculated wideband (6–410 GHz) brightness temperatures were studied for four evolutionary stages of an oceanic convective storm using a five-phase hydrometeor model in a planar-stratified scattering-based radiative transfer model. Five other microphysical cloud parameterizations were compared to the baseline calculations to evaluate brightness temperature sensitivity to gross changes in the hydrometeor size distributions and the ice–air–water ratios in the frozen or partly frozen phase. The comparison shows that enlarging the raindrop size or adding water to the partly frozen hydrometeor mix warms brightness temperatures by as much as 55 K at 6 GHz. The cooling signature caused by ice scattering intensifies with increasing ice concentrations and at higher frequencies. An additional comparison to measured Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-3) brightness temperatures shows that in general all but two parameterizations produce calculated s that fall within the CAMEX-3 observed minima and maxima. The exceptions are for parameterizations that enhance the scattering characteristics of frozen hydrometeors.

Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)
Atmospheric Dynamics and Precipitation Program (ADP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)