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Estimating effective particle size of tropical deep convective clouds with a...

Hong, G., P. Minnis, D. R. Doelling, K. Ayers, and S. Sun-Mack (2012), Estimating effective particle size of tropical deep convective clouds with a look-up table method using satellite measurements of brightness temperature differences, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D06207, doi:10.1029/2011JD016652.

A method for estimating effective ice particle radius Re at the tops of tropical deep convective clouds (DCC) is developed on the basis of precomputed look-up tables (LUTs) of brightness temperature differences (BTDs) between the 3.7 and 11.0 mm bands. A combination of discrete ordinates radiative transfer and correlated k distribution programs, which account for the multiple scattering and monochromatic molecular absorption in the atmosphere, is utilized to compute the LUTs as functions of solar zenith angle, satellite zenith angle, relative azimuth angle, Re, cloud top temperature (CTT), and cloud visible optical thickness t. The LUT-estimated DCC Re agrees well with the cloud retrievals of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for the NASA Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System with a correlation coefficient of 0.988 and differences of less than 10%. The LUTs are applied to 1 year of measurements taken from MODIS aboard Aqua in 2007 to estimate DCC Re and are compared to a similar quantity from CloudSat over the region bounded by 140 E, 180 E, 0 N, and 20 N in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. The estimated DCC Re values are mainly concentrated in the range of 25–45 mm and decrease with CTT. Matching the LUT-estimated Re with ice cloud Re retrieved by CloudSat, it is found that the ice cloud t values from DCC top to the vertical location where LUT-estimated Re is located at the CloudSat-retrieved Re profile are mostly less than 2.5 with a mean value of about 1.3. Changes in the DCC t can result in differences of less than 10% for Re estimated from LUTs. The LUTs of 0.65 mm bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) are built as functions of viewing geometry and column amount of ozone above upper troposphere. The 0.65 mm BRDF can eliminate some noncore portions of the DCCs detected using only 11 mm brightness temperature thresholds, which result in a mean difference of only 0.6 mm for DCC Re estimated from BTD LUTs.

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Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)