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Proceedings Paper

Estimation of precipitation and latent heating distributions by satellite passive/active microwave remote sensing
Author(s): William S. Olson; Song Yang; Christian D. Kummerow; Ziad G. Haddad; Wei-Kuo Tao; Yansen Wang; Stephen E. Lang; Daniel E. Johnson; Scott A. Braun; Christine Chiu; Jian-Jian Wang
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Paper Abstract

Recent improvements in a method for remotely sensing precipitation and latent heating distributions based upon satellite-borne, passive microwave radiometer observations are summarized. In applications to synthetic data, estimated rainfall rates at sensor footprint-scale (14 km) are subject to significant random errors, but these errors are substantially reduced by spatial averaging. After spatial-averaging, rain rate and latent heating profile estimates exhibit biases that arise from a lack of specificity in the information contained in the microwave radiance data. The retrieval method is applied to observations from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Radiometer (TMI). Retrieved instantaneous precipitation and heating distributions show general self-consistency and delineate plausible storm structures in an application to TMI observations of a mesoscale convective system over the tropical North Atlantic. Well-known climatological distributions of rainfall are reproduced by global, monthly-mean TMI precipitation estimates from July 2000. Zonal-mean heating profiles in the Tropics from the same period exhibit a primary maximum of heating near 7 km altitude and a secondary peak near 3 km, while at higher latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, a vertical structure with heating aloft and cooling at lower altitudes is derived.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4894, Microwave Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Environment III, (30 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.466533
Show Author Affiliations
William S. Olson, Univ. of Maryland/Baltimore County (United States)
Song Yang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Christian D. Kummerow, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Ziad G. Haddad, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Wei-Kuo Tao, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Yansen Wang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Stephen E. Lang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Daniel E. Johnson, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Scott A. Braun, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Christine Chiu, Univ. of Wisconsin/Madison (United States)
Jian-Jian Wang, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4894:
Microwave Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Environment III
Christian D. Kummerow; JingShang Jiang; Seiho Uratuka, Editor(s)

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