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Proceedings Paper

Investigating regime-dependent rainfall variations using TRMM active and passive microwave sensors
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Paper Abstract

Recent attempts to determine the response of the tropical hydrological cycle to climate forcing have been hampered by large discrepancies in the variability of available long-term satellite rainfall datasets over seasonal to interannual time scales. From investigations of regional and time-dependent changes in the structure of precipitation systems it is apparent that variations in precipitation systems due to differences in the meteorological regimes produce biases in satellite retrievals. This can have severe consequences for studies of climate variability since changes in these "climate regime" biases over seasonal or interannual time scales can produce large errors in the observed variability. Using data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) we have attempted to identify and understand how changes in the structure of precipitation systems result in biases in various single sensor satellite retrievals. Evidence of differences in the relative content of ice versus liquid water, systematic changes in the height of the liquid water column, and changes in the relationship of low-level liquid water content to surface rainfall have been found, which can impact passive microwave rainfall retrievals. In addition, evidence of significant changes in the mean drop diameter between these regions may lead to significant biases in retrievals from the precipitation radar. Although TRMM has produced improvements in estimates of zonal mean rainfall, we must address this issue of time-dependent systematic biases associated with climate regimes if we wish to develop more accurate retrievals for either regional applications or global mean estimates suitable for studies of climate variability.

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: 10.1117/12.466282
Show Author Affiliations
Wesley K. Berg, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Christian D. Kummerow, Colorado State Univ. (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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